Coalition gets to grips with IR
Friday, February 8, 2008/
The Coalition has resolved to maintain its support for some form of AWA-style individual agreement following a two day party room meeting in Canberra that concluded yesterday.
Coalition MPs reportedly agreed to use the Senate majority they will continue to hold until 30 June to attempt to have some form of individual agreement included in Labor’s first tranche of industrial relations legislation.
Given Labor’s pre-election promise to abolish AWAs, the decision means the transitional IR legislation is now unlikely to pass through Parliament until the new Senate comes in.
Some divisions remain in Coalition ranks, however, about what sort of individual agreement they should support.
Parliamentarians including Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce reportedly want to amend Labor’s bill so that the interim employment agreements it proposes would be made permanent.
But others, such as former workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews, believe that employers would be afforded greater flexibility through AWAs coupled with a no-disadvantage test.