Industrial Relations

(Adopted October 2014) 

Principles

The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. Collective Bargaining provides the best outcomes for both employers and employees by simplifying the negotiation of contracts between employers and large numbers of employees.

2. Workers have the right to freedom of association. The right to join, or not join, a union and exercise rights of union membership must be protected.

3. Workers can help protect their rights and conditions by joining a union and participating in union workplace activities. Unions have traditionally played a central role in the industrial and social life of Queensland and Australia and continue to be relevant, especially in uncertain economic times.

4. The Industrial Relations system should protect the rights of workers and provide efficient ways to settle industrial disputes.

5. Queenslanders are better off with secure employment. The Queensland Government should lead by example and protect the rights and conditions of its staff. The Queensland Government should be an employer of choice in its policies.

6. All public servants in employed by the Queensland government and local governments should be protected by the Queensland IR system.

7. Meaningful and respectful employment is very important for the well-being of our society.

Aims

The Queensland Greens will:

1. Prevent employers from entering into contractor relationships with their staff through which employers shirk their legal obligations such as workers compensation, superannuation and any payroll-related charges.

2. Protect and enhance the power of Industrial Relations Commissions, including their powers to determine industrial awards for Queensland workers that provide a standard of living fit for human dignity.

3. Address the situation whereby Australians are working some of the longest working hours in the OECD, including unpaid overtime.

4. Protect workers' privacy in the workplace.

5. Reverse the trend of increased casualisation in the public sector workforce.

6. Pursue ways to move public sector employees and public sector corporations into the State industrial relations system to avoid the lingering effect of WorkChoices.

7. Bring Brisbane City Council employees under the protection of the Queensland Industrial Relations system.

8. Reduce casual employment for ongoing work in government departments and services in favour of contract employment.

9. Legislate that any employees in a Public-Private Partnership are employed under at least similar conditions to a government employee doing an equivalent job.

10. Make collective bargaining an enforceable right where a majority of employees desire it.

11. Review the operation of TAFE and apprenticeship systems to ensure apprentices are not living below the poverty line.

12. Increase penalties for operating unsafe workplaces and introduce industrial manslaughter laws.

13. Ban covert and overt surveillance of employees unless exceptional circumstances can be proved.

14. Ensure any medical or psychological assessment of employees (current or potential) is performed by qualified persons and only the final result of suitability is reported to the employer, rather than the details of any testing.

15. Legislate that employees' records are kept private and handed over to them upon the cessation of employment.

16. Ensure that Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is adequately resourced to promote WHS requirements and enforce the law.

17. Promote and encourage flexible working arrangements for all Queensland workers as a way of resolving conflicts between work and family responsibilities.

18. Introduce a requirement for union positions to be determined in free and fair annual elections conducted by an electoral commission and ban donations from non-members to internal campaigns.

19. Introduce democratic reforms for unions such as recall mechanisms, significant decisions requiring referendum, and template democratic constitutions.

20. Require unions to be subject to financial accountability similar to companies.

21. Require political donations by unions to require consent of individual union members on an annual basis.

22. Require any party and factional affiliation to be on the basis of individual union members opting in on an annual basis and paying the additional fee.

23. Ensure union members are able to initiate de-amalgamations of their unions, and also be able to initiate sections of unions splitting and joining other unions.

24. Ensure union membership is portable.

25. Ensure barriers to new unions are lowered. Demarcation to be determined by individual member affiliation.

26. Support continued productivity improvements, the equitable distribution of the resulting increase in income, and the option for workers to take their share of productivity bonuses in the form of shorter working hours as well as higher pay.

27. Require the option of rosters that allow a reasonable amount of time with family and for recreation.