Building a case to address unfairness in industrial relations

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Queensland unions today explained to a parliamentary inquiry why the Palaszczuk government must reverse three years of industrial injustice.

The Queensland Council of Unions, along with other affiliate unions, made submissions today to the Finance and Administration Committee investigating the Industrial Relations (Restoring Fairness) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said the legislation is proposed to reverse changes made by the LNP which outlawed agreements on employment security, protections against contracting out, and union encouragement.

“This legislation is simply putting back in place what was taken away by the previous Newman government,” he said.

“We are hopeful that the changes get through Parliament because they are inherently fair and that the cross-benchers support these changes,” he said.

The LNP’s treatment of public sector workers was a major factor in its election defeat.

“All people want to do – whether you’re a teacher, firefighter, nurse, doctor, ambulance officer, public servant – is go to work and do a really good job without fear of being sacked or discriminated against or bullied,” he said.

Unions at today’s hearing included those representing nurses, ambulance officers, doctors, radiographers, teachers, teacher aides and firefighters, as well as other public sector workers.

“Workers are hopeful these changes will mean that if there’s anything wrong in their workplace that they can get their union in to discuss the issues,” Mr Battams said.

Reinstating consultation about major workplace changes was also critical to restoring confidence among public sector workers, he said.

Today’s Committee submissions will be considered during forthcoming Parliamentary sittings, while there will be a full review of the Industrial Relations Act in coming months.

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