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Combined Unions ARTC NSW Enterprise Agreement Negotiations Newsletter

Apr 19, 2016Bulletins

It’s Time to Come Clean ARTC


ARTC says they are prevented from making many improvements to your pay and conditions in the bargaining for your NSW enterprise agreement due to the Federal Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy.  Our investigations have, however, brought the company’s position into question.

Why is this important?

If ARTC is legally bound by the Workplace Bargaining Policy, the Combined Unions will focus the bargaining on what we can achieve under the policy.  If ARTC is not bound by the policy, we can press ahead with our current Log of Claims.

Since mid-2015, ARTC has claimed that the company is ‘bound’ to comply with the Federal Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy.  The Combined Unions have made numerous requests for further information on this.  To date the only information provided is that ARTC is deemed to be a Government Business Enterprise (GBE) pursuant to section 5 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.  We know this.  As the Australian Public Services Commission (the body that applies the Workplace Bargaining Policy) has publicly acknowledged, however, not all GBEs can be legally bound to comply with Government policies like the Workplace Bargaining Policy.

Instead, we have received advice that a Ministerial Direction, Order or formal instruction is required for ARTC to be bound to comply with the Workplace Bargaining Policy.  As a result, we sought further information from ARTC such as whether there is an order or some other directive or instruction from the Minister binding the company to comply with the Workplace Bargaining Policy.  ARTC has failed to directly answer these questions or to provide any further information.

Why can’t ARTC give us a clear answer on whether they are legally bound to comply with the Workplace Bargaining Policy, or whether they are voluntarily applying it?

Surely if the company is bound by the Workplace Bargaining Policy due to a Federal Government directive, order or instruction, this information can be provided?

Concerns that ARTC has breached Good Faith Bargaining Obligations

We have formally raised concerns on three separate occasions that ARTC is not bargaining in good faith, as per their legal obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009.  ARTC’s approach means that we must now progress the matter to the Fair Work Commission.  Among other things we will seek that the Commission order ARTC to confirm once and for all whether it is legally bound by the Workplace Bargaining Policy or whether it is voluntarily applying the policy.

Are you Informed? Involved?

It’s time to get involved at ARTC to get a better outcome in your NSW EA.  Join your union, talk to your delegates about getting involved, talk to your colleagues.  It’s time to get the message out there – the offer was voted down in December 2015 because it was not good enough.

ARTC needs to step up and improve the NSW EA offer now.

Authorised:  Alex Claassens

NSW Secretary

Rail Tram and Bus Union

Level 4,321 Pitt Street Sydney, NSW 2000

On behalf of the combined unions

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