Essential workers step closer to new, more consultative industrial system to end recruitment and retention crisis
The NSW Government has released the terms of reference for the Industrial Relations Taskforce.
The taskforce will be looking into a more consultative bargaining stream through reform to the Industrial Relations Act 1996. The review aims to identify opportunities for reform that will attract and retain public sector workers, delivering better outcomes in health, education and transport services.
For the past 12 years, the Industrial Relations system in NSW has been systematically eroded by the previous government, which has left workers and employers worse off.
The taskforce will also be reviewing the powers of the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) in NSW and making recommendations on the current ability of the IRC to resolve industrial disputes.
The taskforce will engage key stakeholders including employer bodies, unions, public sector agencies, local government and the legal profession, to create a new, cooperative interest-based approach overseen by the IRC.
Currently the IRC considers the state economy when awarding pay increases. The taskforce will examine how to consider the finances of the government while supporting efficient service delivery.
The taskforce will be led by former Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission Anna Booth and former President of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission Roger Boland. It will report back to Cabinet with recommendations.
Minister for Industrial Relations Sophie Cotsis said:
“The terms of reference of the Industrial Relations Taskforce further emphasise our government’s commitment to implement a modern and cooperative industrial relations framework.
“This taskforce will help set the framework for a more inclusive, collaborative industrial relations system that this state so desperately needs.
“We said we’d fix the recruitment and retention crisis in essential services, and this is a step closer to achieving just that.
“We can’t fix 12 years of wage stagnation and pay caps in a single years pay increase. We were upfront about this before the election.”