Workforce Reform - Parliamentary Committee delivers its report

The Standing Committee on Legislation delivered its report on the Workforce Reform Bill 2013 earlier this week.

Key unions, including the CPSU/CSA, have been concerned about how much power the Barnett Government will give itselfwhen dealing with industrial relations issues and that it could open up thefloodgates to mass privatisation of public services.

In early February we aired our concerns at the hearing into the proposed legislation, saying cutting back on public servants and handing over the reins to the private sector reduces the flexibility and management of these services.

The legislation means public servants will not be able to challenge decisions about their employment and could give the government unprecedented power to terminate jobs with little regard for you and the services you provide.

With the level playing field gone we will likely see an escalation of industrial action to resolve disputes rather than applying for an independent assessment by the independent umpire – the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

In the report handed down on Monday the committee has recommended modifying certain parts of the Bill but two recommendationshave not gone as far as unions would have liked.

It recommended that the proposed section 2(A) should be changed from start with (2A) In making a public sector decision the Commission must take into consideration the following – to (2A) in making a public sector the Commission must take into consideration any submissions made to the Commission on behalf of the State government that is to include as matters as: 

In recommendation 6 – concerning the Redeploying and Redundancy of employees the committee recommended a new section to be inserted which sets out ‘that there be a periodic review of Part 6 of the PSM Act to occur at least once every four years’.

We will now be discussing this with the relevants MPs who will now need to determine how they respond.

If amendments are adopted these changes will need to be considered by the lower house.

Link to report

Link to original Bill 

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