Decentralization of Collective Bargaining in Australia

2252 WordsJul 7, 201810 Pages
In Australia, industrial relations system has been shaped by diverse legislative Acts and political forces coupled with judicial decisions at both the state and federal level. This evident in the sense that there have been diverse amendments of the 1904 Act in light of increased pressures in the industrial sector. This elicited mixed reactions from the employees and employers, among other stakeholders in the industry. However, due to the disadvantages and/or drawbacks of the centralized system of collective bargaining in comparison to the advantages or positive aspects of the decentralized approach of collective bargaining, employers have favored departure from the centralized wage-fixing. Against this backdrop, it behooves us to explore…show more content…
There is an extensive array or reasons as to why employers have favored moving away from a centralized system of bargaining. One of the reasons encapsulates the fact that there was a high level of inflexibility in the centralized system (Lansbury, 2000). The centralized system was exceedingly inflexible the mandatory enforcement of arbitral awards meted out by the State tribunals and Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) adduce inadmissible evidence to this aspect (Lansbury, 2000). As such, a strategic approach to an exceedingly decentralized system of bargaining in the enterprise level dimension was espoused. This approach engaged an effective multi-stage dimension as seen in the move “from centralized wage determination to managed decentralism between 1983-93; coordinated flexibility between 1993-1996, and fragmented flexibility since 1996 (Lansbury, 2000, p.32). As such, the last two decades have marked a radical shift to a decentralized approach of collective bargaining. The efforts by stakeholders to individualize employment relations have achieved a considerable level of success. This has benefited employers since negation of grievances will occur at the enterprise or industry level. Accordingly, this reduces the cost of possible increased expenditure on when the trade unions are involved. For instance, the coalition government leveraged massive efforts towards diminishing the role of
Open Document