LNP’s new laws attack medical practitioners, public servants, local govt employees Terri Butler for Griffith

LNP’s new laws attack medical practitioners, public servants, local govt employees

The LNP passed new industrial relations laws last night.

The new Work Choices-style laws are extensive and contain significant attacks on medical practitioners, and other public service and local government employees. Employers and employees will have their freedom, to decide for themselves what to include in collective agreements, taken away. And some employees will lose the right to collective bargaining altogether.

Collective bargaining is under attack: some employees will be excluded from collective bargaining altogether. Individual contracts will be able to exclude collective agreements. New provisions will have the practical effect of forcing medical practitioners onto individual contracts, Work Choices style.

The new laws also attack people’s freedom to negotiate. There’s a long shopping list of things that employers and employees will no longer be able to include in collective agreements (EBAs) and other instruments. For example, they won’t be able to agree on provisions to protect job security. The government has taken a leaf out of the Work Choices playbook, and has prohibited clauses incorporating workplace policies into EBAs. Employers and employees won’t be able to agree that people engaged as casuals, or temporarily, should be able to convert to permanent employment after a period of time.

In yet another LNP attack on injured workers, EBAs won’t be able to contain provisions about accident pay or other amounts payable because an employee sustains an injury. And EBAs won’t be able to include provisions requiring an employer to manage workloads in a particular way.

There is just no need to restrict people’s freedoms in these ways.

The independence of the umpire is also under fire. Industrial Relations Commission members will be able to be appointed on fixed terms – an obvious attempt to place pressure on them to make pro-government decisions.

Doctors are among those who will have their freedom to bargain collectively most heavily affected.

ASMOFQ and the AMA are concerned by these laws. You can find their statement here.

In that statement ASMOFQ and the AMA say to salaried doctors:

“These changes represent the most radical overhaul to your terms and conditions of employment in recent time, prompting AMA Queensland and ASMOFQ to establish a joint taskforce.”

Serious concerns raised about contracts imposed on Qld medical officers (abc.net.au)

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