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AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION SUBMISSION TO AWARD REVIEW TASKFORCE RATIONALISATION OF AWARD WAGE AND CLASSIFICATION STRUCTURES 3 February 2006 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………3 ACCI SUBMISSION……………………………………………………………………………3 AEIA RESPONSE..…………………………………………………………………………….4 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………..7 3 RATIONALISATION OF AWARD WAGE AND CLASSIFICATION STRUCTURES Introduction 1. The Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA) is the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry. 2. Established in 1917 and registered as an employers’ association under the Workplace Relations Act 1996, the AEIA’s activities centre around three core areas, namely workplace relations, policy and strategy and membership services. 3. All key industry players responsible for the production of live entertainment in Australia are members of the AEIA, including venues, producers, major performing arts companies, festivals, promoters and service providers. The AEIA also represents the interests of independent cinema exhibitors and the exhibition and event industry. 4. The AEIA is a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the AEIA has actively contributed to the ACCI’s submission to the Award Review Taskforce. 5. The AEIA generally supports the thrust of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Workchoices) Act 2005 (the Act). A single workplace relations regime and simple award structures are well overdue. However, the AEIA is concerned about the amount of complex legislation with which Australian businesses will be required to comply. 6. As an industry which is generally award reliant, the foreshadowed changes to awards and classifications and wages will not necessarily assist the industry’s productivity or efficiency in the short term. Therefore, the results of this review should be able to be easily understood by both employers and employees, otherwise time and money will be wasted in deciphering complex arrangements. ACCI submission 7. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission with regard to the rationalisation of award wage and classification structures. 8. Ideally, there should be a single minimum wage for adults, juniors, apprentices and trainees which underpins workplace bargaining. This would be the simplest structure to introduce. 4 9. As an interim measure, the AEIA supports the four level classification system proposed by the ACCI. The proposal identifies the four main levels of skills and responsibilities contained in the majority of federal awards which have undergone the Minimum Rate Adjustment (MRA) process. 10. The ACCI proposal does not extend the classification system to cover managers and professionals, the majority of which are at present award free. Like the Award Rationalisation process, the rationalisation of award wage and classification structures should not extend into areas which have been traditionally award free. Any extension of award coverage could lead to unintended demarcation disputes. 11. The AEIA supports the establishment of the Wage and Classification Rationalisation Principles as proposed by the ACCI. The establishment of clear and concise Principles will provide consistent outcomes for all the parties to the process, and provide uniformity in the Australian Pay and Classification Scales (APCSs) across all industries. This will assist the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) in delivering consistent outcomes for all award covered employees. 12. The AEIA endorses the ACCI’s submission that ANZSIC divisions should not be used in either the award rationalisation review or the rationalisation of award wage and classification structures review. 13. The ACCI’s submissions with regard to State considerations and discrimination issues are also supported by the AEIA. AEIA Response Award Review Taskforce Discussion Paper Question: Does the minimum rate adjustment process provide a useful model for assessing skill-level structures for wage classifications? 14. For the live entertainment industry the MRA process resulted in all our awards being varied to provide for classifications and rates of pay in accordance with the MRA Process. The Key Classifications were identified and related to the Engineering Tradesperson Level 1 (the C-10 level) in the Metal Industry Award, having regard to the skills, responsibilities and conditions under which work is performed. 5 15. Indeed, all Federal Awards that have been through the Award Simplification process had to contain properly fixed minimum rates of pay before the AIRC approved the simplification of the Award. Statistics from the AIRC’s Award simplification website indicate that 1268 Federal Awards have been simplified, 16 Awards are currently undergoing the simplification process and 782 new awards have been created since 1 July 1998. 16. Therefore it is quite conceivable the majority of the 2229 Federal Awards that have been simplified (AIRC figures) will contain at least one classification (key classification) related to the C-10 level classification of the Metal Industry Award. It is also quite conceivable that the key classification was set on the basis of the relative skill, responsibility and the conditions under which the particular work is normally performed. 17. The AEIA therefore submits that the majority of Federal Awards that have undergone the Award Simplification process, will more than likely contain a classification which has a nexus to the C-10 level classification in the Metal Industry Award. Further research by the Taskforce could confirm this assumption. 18. Having established that the majority of awards contain a nexus to the C- 10 level, the ACCI proposal for a 4 level APCSs can be justified. The ACCI proposal provides for subtle variations to the model, where industry specific requirements are needed. 19. In answer to the Taskforce Discussion Paper Question, the AEIA believes that it is more appropriate for the Taskforce to examine the results of the Award Simplification process where all Awards were required to contain appropriate minimum rates of pay based on the 1989 MRA Principle. The process of then collapsing or broadbanding other classifications within the Award to two pay points below C-10 and one above C-10 level would be an appropriate methodology for the Taskforce to undertake. Question: What is the best means of broadbanding classification structures? 21. Once it can be established that the majority of Federal Awards contain a classification with a nexus to C-10 it is then appropriate to establish classification levels both below and above the C-10 level. The ACCI proposal is an appropriate example which could be adopted by the Taskforce. 22. Existing classifications could then be translated into the new classification structure. 6 Question: How will these broadbands best assist the Fair Pay Commission in its wage-setting function? 23. Should the ACCI proposal be adopted, the number of classifications would be reduced dramatically, and provide a consistent structure which could generally be replicated in other APCSs. 24. The number of pay points would also be reduced thus allowing the Fair Pay Commission to concentrate on adjusting substantially fewer classification levels that presently exist. Question: How can classifications and wage rates be broadbanded in accordance with the requirement to remove state-based differences within three years of reform commencement? Question: Are there any specific issues in a broadbanding approach that relate to APCSs for juniors, trainees/apprentices and workers with disabilities? Question: Are there any specific issues in the broadbanding of casual rates? Question: To what extent should the Taskforce consider substantial realignment or amalgamation of classifications derived from Federal and State Awards? 25. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission. Question: Should APCSs be rationalised on the industry basis? If so: Should the ANZSIC divisions be used as a basis for a system of rationalised APCSs or are there better alternatives? Can an industry based system of APCSs be achieved through a single rationalisation process or is a multi-stage approach more appropriate? 26. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission. 27. In addition the AEIA strongly opposes the use of the ANZSIC divisions for any system of rationalised APCSs, as outlined in our response to the Award Rationalisation Discussion Paper. Question: Are there alternatives to an industry based approach that the Taskforce should consider? What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of these alternatives? 7 Question: Should rationalisation occur beyond and industry basis, possibly to one single APCS structure? Are there any specific issues in simplifying APCSs that relate to juniors, trainees/apprentices and workers with disabilities? Are there any specific issues relating to the simplification of casual rates? What transitional arrangements could the Taskforce consider to deal with differences in classifications derived from federal and State awards? Question: How can the Taskforce best prevent discrimination in making recommendations about wage and classification rationalisation? How should pay equity issues be addresses by the Taskforce? 28. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission. Conclusion 29. The AEIA believes that the ACCI proposal has the ability to provide employers and employees with a synchronised, easy to understand classification structure applicable to all Australian industries. 30. It must be remembered that the new APCSs will provide minimum rates of pay for each classification level – not paid rates. The proposal will act as a safety net allowing employers and employees the ability to negotiate above the safety net having regard to the skills, responsibilities and conditions under which work is performed. 31. The AEIA commends the ACCI proposal.
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