MEDIA RELEASE: NTEU calls on Tony Abbott to rule out using funding to achieve his IR agenda
Tuesday 20 July 2010
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) today called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to rule out making employment provisions a condition of government funding by changing the industrial relations regulations, as happened in the higher education sector under the Howard Government.
This follows Mr Abbott yesterday ruling out changing the Fair Work Australia legislation over the next three years, but failing to give the same commitment about changes to industrial relations regulations.
“NTEU has a simple question for Mr Abbott - will he declare the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) as also dead and buried,” Paul Kniest, NTEU Policy and Research Coordinator said today.
“Under the Howard Government, additional government funding was conditional on universities imposing a series of unnecessary employment provisions, forcing NTEU to renegotiate every one of its Enterprise Agreements to ensure that each university would be eligible for this additional funding under the HEWRRs legislation.”
“Much of the current round of Enterprise Bargaining has involved restoring some the conditions lost under the HEWRRs, including limits on the use of the fixed term and casual employment.”
“Indeed the major sticking point currently at UNSW is the restoration of some these pre-HEWRRs conditions.”
“Mr Abbott not only needs to declare Workchoices dead and rule out changes to the Fair Work Australia legislation, he also needs to make a commitment that he will not resort to implementing his industrial relations agenda by making anti-union provisions in Enterprise Agreements a condition of government funding,” Mr Kniest concluded.
For further information and comment:
Paul Kniest, Policy and Research Coordinator, 0418 170 622