Federal Parliament should establish an urgent inquiry into how best to protect public sector workers from State government attacks, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt, said today.
Joining Alex Scott, Secretary QLD Public Sector Union 'Together' at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Mr Bandt released draft terms of reference for an inquiry.
"Public sector workers are under attack like never before and no more so than in Campbell Newman's Queensland, " Mr Bandt said today.
"Conservative governments are wielding the knife and public sector workers are looking to the federal Parliament to act."
"So far the Federal Government's response has been limited. The Commonwealth could be doing much more to protect State public sector employees across the country and this inquiry will explore how."
"It's time to assess whether the Fair Work Act is properly protecting State public sector workers."
"The Australian Greens will work with workers in the Queensland public sector and their unions like Together to ensure state public servants have the best protection possible."
Mr Bandt will give notice of a motion to establish the inquiry on Monday.
Motion for an inquiry follows
That this House:
(1) notes with concern the recent and growing job losses in State governments around Australia, as well as the difficulties many State public sector employees face in bargaining over wages and conditions;
(2) directs the Standing Committee on Education and Employment to inquire into and report on the conditions of employment of State public sector employees and the adequacy of protection of their rights at work as compared with other employees, including:
- Whether current state government industrial relation legislation provides State public sector workers with less protection and entitlements than workers to whom the Fair Work Act applies;
- Whether the removal of components of the long held principles relating to Termination, Change and Redundancy from state legislation is a breach of obligations under the International Labour Organisation conventions;
- Whether the rendering unenforceable of elements of existing collective agreements relating to employment security is a breach of the obligations under the ILO conventions relating to collective bargaining;
- Whether the current state government industrial relations frameworks provide protection to workers as required under the ILO conventions;
- Whether state governments have undertaken actions in the restructuring of the public sector that disproportionately impact on women;
- Whether State public sector workers face particular difficulties in bargaining under State or Federal legislation;
- Whether the Fair Work Act provides the same protections to public sector workers as it does to other workers; and
- What legislative or regulatory options are available to the Commonwealth to ensure that all Australian workers, including those in State public sectors, have adequate and equal protection of their rights at work.