Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

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The State Wage Case is held pursuant to section 50A of the Industrial Relations Act, 1979. This obliges the Commission before 1 July in each year to make a General Order setting the minimum wage under the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act, 1993 for employees over the age of 21, for apprentices and for trainees. The General Order also adjusts rates of wages paid under State awards. More information can be found here.

After hearing oral submissions on 2 and 3 June 2015, the Commission in Court Session has reserved its decision.

Written submissions can be viewed here and proceedings can be viewed here.

The State Wage Case is held pursuant to section 50A of the Industrial Relations Act, 1979. This obliges the Commission before 1 July in each year to make a General Order setting the minimum wage under the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act, 1993 for employees over the age of 21, for apprentices and for trainees. The General Order also adjusts rates of wages paid under State awards. More information can be found here.

The State Wage Case 2015 was heard on 2 June 2015 and continues today, 3 June from 3pm to hear submissions following the Fair Work Commission issuing its Annual Wage Review decision yesterday.

Submissions and powerpoint presentations can be viewed here.

Proceedings will be webcast and can be viewed here.

The State Wage Case is held pursuant to section 50A of the Industrial Relations Act, 1979. This obliges the Commission before 1 July in each year to make a General Order setting the minimum wage under the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act, 1993 for employees over the age of 21, for apprentices and for trainees. The General Order also adjusts rates of wages paid under State awards. More information can be found here.

The State Wage Case 2015 is listed for 2 June 2015 and an additional date to be advised after the Annual Wage Review decision of Fair Work Commission.

Submissions can be viewed here.

Proceedings will be webcast and can be viewed here.

The Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union was unsuccessful today in persuading the Commission to vary the Railway Employees’ Award and the Rail Car Drivers Award. The Union sought to vary the Awards to reflect the actual total percentage increases that were awarded to the State minimum wage since 2006.

It has been recognised by the Commission in Court Session in State Wage Cases that successive flat dollar increases to the State minimum wage over time can have the effect of compressing relativities between wage rates in awards. 

While the Commission accepted that since 2006 there has been a degree of compression of relativities within the Awards’ classifications, the effects were relatively small and inconsistent between classification levels.

The Commission held there was an insufficient nexus between cumulative State minimum wage increases, expressed in percentage terms, and the adjustment of the classification rates in the Awards.  The Commission appreciated that the Commission in Court Session has paid particular attention to awarding flat dollar increases to the minimum wage to favour the needs of the low paid.

In coming to its decision the Commission considered the importance of preserving the integrity of skill based career paths, the Awards’ rates as compared to cumulative CPI increases, the higher rates under the relevant industrial agreements, the modernisation of the Awards and potential flow on implications. On the evidence, it was clear that a substantial basis for the Union’s claim was to elevate the Awards’ base rates as a floor to bargain for an industrial agreement, which was not a proper basis to restore award relativities.

The Commission also discussed the meaning of a “public sector decision”.

The decision can be read here.

Red Express Pty Ltd, a business which owns and operates trucks, contracted to provide transport services to Toll Transport Pty Ltd.  In October 2009 the parties entered into a standard “Contract Carrier Agreement”, and in late 2010 an opportunity arose for Red Express to expand its work for Toll, by distributing products in the Katanning region of Western Australia.

Today, the Tribunal accepted there was a variation of the 2009 Agreement to accommodate the Katanning work at an agreed rate.  However, the Tribunal rejected Red Express’ claim that the 2009 Agreement was varied to include a term for minimum carton volumes and fuel levies. This was because there was no evidence that those two issues were finally agreed to by Toll. On the evidence, the parties did not proceed past the negotiation stage and there was no mutual assent to the alleged variation.

The Tribunal also considered the principles in relation to ‘no variation’ clauses, the subsequent conduct of the parties and certainty of terms.

The decision can be read here.

Contact Us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263

Free Fax :1800 804 987

Email : Registry

 

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