• Peter Bateman
    241
    The Fair Pay Agreements Bill is currently before Parliament. Until I skimmed through it I didn't realise that H&S features in section 115 as one of several topics the bargaining parties must discuss.
    Does this present an opportunity to lift H&S standards required of employers in some of the most challenging industries?
  • Andrew
    341
    No. Fair Pay Agreements is a shocker. Worse piece of draft legislation ever.

    And I am appalled the drafters think Health and Safety should be a negotiable thing..
    What are they going to do "Oh I know how about we pay you $0.20 more and we'll do away with the supply of safety boots"

    And many workers are at major risk of losing their union. That's not going to be good for them (Assuming their union is any good at health and safety. Andrew Little certainly wasn't.)
  • Yonny Yeung
    6
    Interesting, considering Andrew Little was the head of EPMU for 11 years
  • Chris Anderson
    70
    Fair Pay Agreements set the minimum standards for employment agreements, conditions cannot be lower, there's no suggestion that they'll allow things like Health and Safety will be negotiated away. HWSA will still apply.
  • Andrew
    341

    Andrew Little is the union boss who is on record as saying Pike rivers health and safety (to paraphrase) was an exemplar.
  • Andrew
    341

    The way these things work is a settled Fair Pay Agreement will be at the lowest common denominator.

    An FPA is a clean slate document. It is not the re-negotiation of a Multi Employer Collective Agreement or a Collective Employment Agreement.

    Safety standards are already enshrined in law. So a FPA cannot have a suggested clause that is anything less than this standard. Therefore a Clause has to be greater than the standard. And it is this clause that will be negotiated. And therefore moving into negotiating about safety. Which is something that in my view should not be done.

    In the end it ends up being a nonsense. Heres an example. A task requires safety boots as the necessary PPE. And the required pair is $100 for a laced up version. That boot meets every standard and every requirement to do its job. So you are going to end up with the parties negotiating a better boot. This is interesting - what is a better boot if the minimum standard is already a good boot. So they parties will bat this back and forth for ages and settle on "lets get a $150 boot". Now some employers can't afford the $150 boot. And why should they when they can get a perfectly adequate boot everyone is happy with for $100. But that doesn't matter. So that clause will go to the Employment Relations Authority. And they won't like it because there is not enough specificity around what a boot is. So it will go back to the parties to define "boot. Yadah yada yada. Eventually it goes out to ratification to employers. And little Joe Blogs Limited who can't afford the boot casts a "No". But this vote is overrode by the "Big End Of Town". So Joe Bloggs decides he can't afford all these new fangled employment conditions so shuts up shop. That's the end of the safety issues for him. But workers in the Big End of Town employer get their $150 safety boots. But they have lost their hot chocolate at smoko

    And that is all aside from considering what Maori view on safety boots. Because their views need to be sought in the process.
  • Steve H
    267
    If they were actually doing what they said they were doing/going to do, that might have been the case, but they weren't.
  • Andrew
    341

    Good ole Andrew. Just rocked up to Gordon (an accountant with no mining experience) and said "G'day hows this super gassy mine with my members in it going Gord" "Bonza Andrew. Fair dinkum she's all spick and span and above board" "Good on yah Gord. As you are then. Now where's Damian and Ged?"

    Theres a story line you will never see written.

    And a warning why you don't want some unions involved in FPA's
  • Aaron Marshall
    89
    Hopefully, employers will see this as an opportunity to better enforce employees responsibilities. e.g. PPE use, safety reporting, consequences for safety device tampering.
  • Andrew
    341
    We can and do that already
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