Members should be aware of a CFMEU misinformation campaign that is reaching new lows and contains a number of claims that Master Builders considers are incorrect. Some of the key issues that our members should be aware of are as follows:
- Firstly, whilst the CFMEU/Breakaway Group deal is compliant with the current Building Code 2013, it is not compliant with the proposed Building Code 2014. This means that an employer who signs onto the CFMEU/Breakaway Group EBA will not be eligible to tender for future federally funded work should the Building Code 2014 take effect. That is, whilst such contractors should be able to complete work on jobs covered by Building Code 2013 – they will no longer be eligible to tender for federally funded work where an expression of interest or request for tender is called on or after the date Building Code 2014 commences.
- Secondly, a subcontractor being advised of the fact that the CFMEU/Breakaway Group deal is not compliant with the proposed Building Code 2014 is not unlawful coercion. However, it is unlawful for a head contractor to discriminate against a subcontractor for not having signed up to the CFMEU/Breakaway Group EBA. It is also unlawful for a union such as the CFMEU, to coerce a head contractor into not engaging particular subcontractors. Master Builders also reminds members that employers (e.g. a principal contractor) may be held vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees (e.g. a shop steward).
- Thirdly, Master Builders does not consider that the CFMEU/Breakaway Group deal is the ‘best option’ for employers. The deal provides for what we consider are unsustainable wage increases with no meaningful offsetting productivity improvements and the potential of being excluded from future federally funded work should the proposed Building Code 2014 commence operation. This may be the reason why a significant number of Breakaway Group members have yet to even sign it themselves.
- Finally, the proposed Building Code 2014 does not take away Christmas breaks, RDOs, inclement weather rules, the right to representation, etc as claimed by the CFMEU.
Members are reminded that the CFMEU/Breakaway Group deal is a costly agreement that has the potential of putting future federally funded work at risk. Members should contact the Master Builders IR department on (03) 9411 4560 if they require further information.