TheTrends in Enterprise Bargainingreport released today showed that agreements lodged in the June quarter delivered a modest wage increase of 3.9 per cent to Australian employees.
Across the private sector an increase of 4 per cent was recorded in the June quarter and in the public sector wages increased by 3.9 per cent on average.
An increase of 3.9 per cent in wages across the economy is a modest increase and a drop from 4.6 per cent recorded in the March quarter.
This no doubt reflects the impact of the global recession on Australian businesses.
This also demonstrates how enterprise level bargaining, which is at the heart of the new workplace relations system, is flexible and responsive to changing economic conditions.
TheTrends in Enterprise Bargainingreport also showed that there were 5 467 agreements lodged in the June quarter in 2009.
This in part reflects the large number of expiring enterprise agreements in the June quarter.
Changes made to the workplace relations system in March 2008 ensured that all agreements lodged prior to 1 July 2009 must pass a no disadvantage test in order to come into operation.
The changes also ensured that no new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) which undermined the safety net could be offered.
The Rudd Government has been crystal clear with the Australian people about what the new Fair Work regime would mean for them.
The Rudd Government engaged in extensive consultations with business and unions on the details of the new workplace relations system in the lead up to its implementation.
This is in stark contrast to the Howard Government’s extreme and unfair Work Choices laws which were imposed on the Australian people and allowed individual statutory agreements that stripped away basic wages and conditions.
Unfortunately, the Opposition lead by Mr Turnbull has failed to rule out the re-introduction of individual statutory agreements that undercut basic wages and entitlements like redundancy pay.