AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION
Workplace Relations Act 1996
s.576 (E)(1) – Procedure for carrying out award modernisation process
IN THE MATTER OF:
AM2008/1 - Award Modernisation
CPSU (PSU Group) Submission
1. The PSU Group of the Community and Public Sector Union (“CPSU”) represents
workers in the Commonwealth public service, the ACT public service, the
Northern Territory public service, the telecommunications sector, call centres,
employment services and broadcasting.
2. Accordingly, the CPSU has significant interest in the award modernisation
process in the broad industries of public sector administration,
telecommunications, broadcasting and employment services.
3. The CPSU recognises the magnitude of the task before the Australian Industrial
Relations Commission and parties to awards. The process of award
modernisation is obviously a significant undertaking and represents a broad scale
review of award operations in Australia.
4. These submissions should be read together with the submissions of the State
Public Services Federation (“SPSF”) Group of the CPSU.
5. The CPSU supports the written and oral submissions of the ACTU in this matter.
6. In respect of the three issues identified for consultation in the Statement issued
by the President on 29 April 2008, the CPSU relies on the following written
Model flexibility clause
7. The CPSU fully supports the flexibility clause proposed by the ACTU and the
submissions made by the ACTU in this respect. If the models proposed by AIG
or ACCI were adopted the Commission could not be satisfied that employees
would not be worse off and the inclusion of such clauses would effectively
undermine the operation of the safety-net. We believe the model clause
proposed by the ACTU allows for flexibility that is in the interests of employees
and employers, rather than just employers, and provides genuine protection for
8. Of the priority awards proposed by the ACTU, the CPSU has an interest in higher
education in the ACT and NT. Accordingly, the NTEU proposal will cover a
number of universities in which the CPSU has membership. We support the
higher education as a priority industry.
Technical services – engineers and scientists
9. We understand the priority award advanced by APESMA is not to include public
sector employees. If the scope of that award were to change, the CPSU would
potentially have an interest in the award.
Information, communications and technology
10. The CPSU has an interest in the information, communications and technology
award proposed by the Australian Industry Group. Specifically, the CPSU is
party to Telecommunications Services Industry Award and Contract Call Centre
Award. The CPSU remains unconvinced that this industry should proceed as a
priority award. We are however having discussions with the relevant unions and
Australian Industry Group about how award modernisation should proceed in that
11. We note that ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry proposed the
inclusion of community services in the priority list1. The CPSU is party to awards
that would fall in that industry. We do not believe it is appropriate as a priority
industry and therefore oppose its inclusion. We believe serious consideration
needs to be given to the sector and how awards within that sector are to be
modernised, and on that basis it should not proceed as a priority award.
12. The CPSU endorses the submissions made by the ACTU on this issue. We note
that the significance of the task before parties and the AIRC and acknowledge
that it will require commitment from all involved to adhere to the proposed
13. We endorse the oral submissions of the ACTU regarding a timetable for industry
groups not included in the priority list. The majority of CPSU’s membership fall in
industries not identified as priority awards and we would therefore welcome
timely communication and consultation in order to ensure these industries are
dealt with in an efficacious manner.
14. The CPSU has a significant interest in public administration through the
Commonwealth Government, ACT Government and NT Government. During Full
Bench proceedings the issue of whether or not Government awards are
enterprise awards was raised on a number of occasions. We believe this is an
important question that will need to be determined by the Full Bench in due
course. The character of each award will need to be determined on a case-by-
case basis. As the Full Bench is currently consulting on three particular matters,
we do not intend at this stage to make more detailed submissions on this issue or
provide details of those awards we believe to be enterprise awards. When the
Full Bench comes to consider the award modernisation process in the area of
public administration we would be pleased to provide that information.
Senior Legal Officer
Community and Public Sector Union