Union takes policies to UN - Public Service Association

Union takes policies to UN

PS News online – 11 March 2015

The Public Service Association (PSA) has lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO) over the State Government’s policies on industrial relations.

The PSA has been joined by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in the action which it says follows a Government attack on fundamental worker’s rights.

General Secretary of the PSA, Anne Gardiner said laws introduced by the Government between 2011 and 2014 “breached international standards affecting the State’s nearly 400,000 Public Servants”.

“Governments are in the unique position of being both an employer and a legislator. The NSW Government has abused this power in order to deny NSW Public Servants the basic rights other workers in Australia take for granted,” Ms Gardiner said.

“Public sector employees don’t have the right to collectively bargain for wage increases above a limit determined by their employer, or to secure entitlements like redundancy pay in their Award,” she said.

“You can judge the character of a Government by how it treats its own workforce. Instead of being the gold standard this Government has shown contempt for its employees.”

President of the ACTU, Ged Kearney said Australia was a member of the ILO and had ratified Collective Bargaining conventions.

“We have been forced to make this complaint because the actions of the NSW Government do not comply with Australia’s international obligations,” Ms Kearney said.

The complaint calls on the ILO to investigate the conduct of the NSW Government, as “the regime put in place by the NSW Government is in breach of Australia’s legally binding commitment under Convention 87 – Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, and Convention 98 – Right to Organise and Collectively Bargain.”

“Alongside conventions on forced and child labour, discrimination and equal pay, these conventions form the fundamental rights at work that the international community is committed to upholding,” according to the complaint document.

The letter to the ILO can be found at this PS News link.

The full complaint document can be found here.

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