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The ERA takes control of Mitre 10 wage rates

The ERA takes control of Mitre 10 wage rates

The Employment Relations Authority has fixed the wages provisions of a collective agreement between First Union and Jacks Hardware and Timber (Mitre 10).

“This is the first time the Employment judiciary has taken control of workplace wage rates in 30 years,” says Max Whitehead, Managing Director of Whitehead Group.

The Authority, says Mr Whitehead, believes it has a duty to promote collective bargaining and address inequality in employment relationships.

“Bargaining between First Union and Jacks began in October 2013. So, it seems that the Authority chose to step in because of the two parties’ inability to come to an agreement,” says Mr Whitehead.

Mr Whitehead says that the ERA can only get involved in employment contract agreements if there are grounds to do so in the Employment Relations Act 2000, such as all avenues for reaching an agreement are exhausted. There must also be a breach of the duty of good faith during the bargaining process.

“Although having the ERA set wage provisions is unprecedented, employers are very concerned that they no longer have exclusive rights over their workers’ pay rates. They will be watching what now happens very closely.”

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