Changes to federal industrial relations laws came into effect on 6 June, improving the way bargaining works. Changes will particularly affect multi-employer bargaining.
The option of multi-employer bargaining allows workers to bargain together, even when engaged by different employers, such as with standalone TAFEs and the industry-wide disability MEA. These changes to the IR laws mean that more employees in the disability sector will be able to be part of the MEA.
There is also now a better option for TAFE employees currently covered by a multi-employer agreement. It is called a Single Interest Employer Agreement, and gives members the option of taking legal protected industrial action during a bargaining period. This was not easily available to them under previous industrial laws.
These changes made by the federal Labor government are a positive step. They will assist in creating better standards across adult education, and better enable union members to campaign for improved wage growth.