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Fight looms over printing award update

Tuesday, 01 May 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

‘It seems to suggest the AIG has no understanding of where the industry is now’: Lorraine Cassin, national print secretary, AMWU.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has slammed the Australian Industry Group (AIG) for its “disturbing” opposition to the union’s application to update the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award.

The union says the main aim of its four-yearly review application is to update the competencies in the award’s existing ICP training package.

“This would reflect that changes that have occurred in the industry over recent years, with particular respect to the rapid changes in technology, digitisation and 3D Printing,” says Lorraine Cassin, the AMWU’s national print secretary.

“Unfortunately, the AIG is opposing our application, suggesting the competencies should not be “disturbed”.  It is not a case of disturbing, it is a case of updating an award to reflect the industry today, which is consistent with the modern award objectives,” Cassin says. 

“This is a very disturbing view, as it seems to suggest the AIG has no understanding of where the industry is now, and how it has changed drastically over the last 5 years.”

The industry’s peak employer body, the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA), has already agreed to the updates, according to Cassin.

“The PIAA is the chair of the Print Industry Reference Committee for the Printing and Graphic Arts Training Package and this committee has endorsed unanimously all the changes to the training package. 

“Previously, the PIAA has advised the AMWU in writing that they agreed with our position on inserting the updated competencies into the Modern Award as part of the current Modern Awards review.”

Cassin says the award must recognise the modern skills that workers need to be successful in the printing industry, and that an understanding of the digital era is crucial. 

‘A number of recommendations to be considered’: Paul Mitchell, workplace relations manager, PIAA.

PIAA workplace relations manager, Paul Mitchell met with Fair Work Commission deputy president Val Gostencnik on Monday as the AMWU released its series of recommended changes for the award.

Mitchell said that “while there are a number of recommendations to be considered, Printing Industries would be involved in the review process to ensure that the integrity of the industry and interests of members would be advocated for.”

The review is an ongoing process which has the capacity to widely impact many areas of the printing industry and is a matter of priority for the PIAA, Mitchell said.

Printing Industries is encouraging members of the association to make use of the resources offered by the Workplace Relations and HR team if they have any queries regarding the award.


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