ABCC Bill update
The Turnbull Government’s bills to bring back the ABCC passed the House of Representatives last night – and will now go back before the Senate. It follows the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee (the Committee) inquiry report released last Friday that recommended that the Senate pass both the ABCC Bill and Registered Organisations Bill.
In forming its view, the Committee drew on submissions from Master Builders on the necessity of the Bills – and appeared to acknowledge industry frustration at the attempts by those opposed by the Bills to delay a Senate vote:
“The committee considers that an inordinate amount of time has been spent on debating and inquiring into these bills. The fact that there have been no changes to the bills demonstrates that their re-referral for yet another inquiry is unnecessarily blocking the Senate from voting on the bills”.
The report comes after the Committee released its report into the CFA Bill last Monday, calling for the Senate to pass the Bill. As members may be aware, the Senate subsequently passed the CFA Bill by 37 votes to 31 (with Labor, Greens and Senator Lambie voting against).
The passage of the CFA Bill through the Senate provides a further indication of the likelihood that the ABCC Bill (which includes the proposed Building Code 2014) will pass into legislation. The Senate is next due to sit the week commencing 7 November.
With certainty on the proposed Building Code 2014 likely to occur in the near term, Master Builders continues to advise members of the attendant risk of signing onto enterprise agreements such as the new CFMEU Pattern EBA, which are not compliant with Building Code 2014.
Master Builders also reminds members holding the extant Industry EBA 2011-2015 (and who entered into it prior to 24 April 2014) that they remain compliant with both the current Building Code 2013 and the proposed Building Code 2014.
The CFMEU has recently put out more misinformation to its membership, this time implying that as a result of a proposed EBA with a top tier builder having been assessed by FWBC as compliant with the current Building Code 2013, that there is now in the CFMEU’s view suddenly ‘little excuse’ for any others who have yet to enjoy the ‘çertainty’ of the CFMEU Pattern EBA.
As members will recall from previous advice, FWBC does not assess agreements for compliance with the proposed Building Code 2014. This is a role currently performed by the Department of Employment, who have already assessed the CFMEU Pattern EBA as non-compliant with the proposed Building Code 2014.
Therefore, the only real certainty currently provided by the CFMEU Pattern EBA is that of an unsustainable outcome that puts future work at risk for both employers and employees.
Members should also note that the proposed EBA at the centre of the CFMEU’s latest propaganda is not in the same terms as the CFMEU Pattern EBA, and has yet to be voted on. It serves as yet another example of the CFMEU’s current position of putting its misguided ideology on code compliance ahead of the best interests of its membership.
Members seeking further information should contact the IR Department on (03) 9411 4560.