Swinburne Enterprise Agreement 2017

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In order to ensure the proper formation of electoral pools and to maximise the potential of an enterprise agreement, it is essential that employers in the education sector take an objective, transparent and logical approach to deciding who should be excluded or excluded from the vote. This is particularly the case when a large number of meeting or used employees may be covered by the agreement. It will not be enough to simply include in the voting pool all casual workers and sessions who worked the previous year. It should be shown that a work model and an ongoing working relationship are established. Swinburne University had conducted lengthy negotiations with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and other negotiators over a 12-month period on a proposed enterprise agreement for their academic, executive and general staff, including casual and meeting staff. When the majority of staff finally voted in favour of Swinburne University of Technology, Academic and General Staff Enterprise Agreement 2014 (agreement), the NTEU contradicted the FWC`s approval of the agreement on the grounds that there was no “real agreement” from staff, since Swinburne University had included in the vote of 3158 employees a number of employees in the 2013 academic year. According to the NTEU, 47 workers were not eligible to vote because they were not affected Swinburne employees at the time of the request for a vote on the agreement. The agreement was voted by a majority of 57 votes. The Fair Labour Act provides that the group of employees who can pass a proposed enterprise agreement is “the worker employed at the time of employment.” In the case of a strictly literal reading, this would mean that a casual or meeting employee who does not work accurately at the time of the vote could not be included in the voting pool. Full Bench felt that such an approach would be too technical and could yield absurd results. The employees who were asked to approve the agreement by voting for it were casual workers. You had accepted a current job at McDermott on a casual basis.

However, they were not responsible for the enforcement or payment at the time of the vote and, on that basis, the only Commissioner found that the agreement could not be approved. The full FWC bank found that (unlike the Swinburne case, where all workers – including inactive workers – were allowed to vote on the agreement) with respect to the approval of the enterprise agreement in the McDermott case, the “36 active workers” were invited to vote on the agreement [at paragraph 25].

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