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AIG attempts to stymie award reform

Friday, 16 November 2018
By Jake Nelson

Lorraine Cassin, National Print Division Secretary AMWU.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has withdrawn its submission to update and modernise the competencies under the graphic arts award, saying the Australian Industry Group (AIG) was not prepared to work constructively in the process.

The proposal would have consolidated older competencies under the award and added new competencies to reflect the increasing use of digital and 3D print within the industry, according to Lorraine Cassin, national print division secretary at AMWU. “Unfortunately, it became clear in the course of our application that the Australian Industry Group (AIG) had no intention of working constructively with the AMWU and the PIAA to update the competencies in the Award. The behaviour of the AIG indicated to us that they would fight this application at all costs.

“On the basis of the above, we decided to withdraw our application and instead pursue our objectives by working with the PIAA on an implementation guide for classifying employees. The implementation guide will be a resource for employers to classify employees in a way that is in line with our modern industry standards. We look forward to continuing working constructively to improve skills and productivity in our industry,” she said.

Status quo: Paul Mitchell, PIAA

Printing Industries had supported the AMWU’s submission as being good for both businesses and workers, according to Paul Mitchell, national workplace relations manager, PIAA. “The PIAA had long supported the AMWU’s position to modernise the Graphic Arts Printing and Publishing Award Competencies to reflect the updated training package and new skills within the industry, including digital and 3D print,” said Mitchell.

“It is always the PIAA’s intention that our Industry should have a modern and fair Award for its member businesses and the tens of thousands of employees it covers.”

According to Mitchell, the Association had been assured that its members would be protected under the new system. “The PIAA’s support of the Union’s submission was achieved through gaining the following undertakings to protect and safeguard its industry members: that wages would not be materially impacted, and that the total competency points would be lower than they presently were – therefore in the case of wage disputes, wages would theoretically be lower,” he said.

The withdrawal of the submission means the status quo will remain in place. “That’s not a bad result for employers – things just stay the same – but it means if a worker who operates digital presses believes they’re not being paid fairly, those digital competencies are missing. It doesn’t give businesses any guidance about what those competencies would be,” said Mitchell.

2 Responses to “AIG attempts to stymie award reform”

  1. November 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm,


    AIG: please explain?

  2. November 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm,

    Disgraceful AMWU

    AMWU are now no longer a part of the print industry.
    CFMMEU ( pulp ) taking over members and Cassin moving to CFMMEU.
    Watch this space.

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