||Issue No. 308||26 May 2006|
If the Answer is Nuclear ….
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Politics: Labor Pains
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Corporate: House of Horrors
History: Clash Of Cultures
International: Childs Play
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
The Locker Room
Riders on the Strom
No Gerry Can
Insight Fires Up
Black is White, Andrews
The CFMEU Mines Division rep called Andrews after the Minister again tried to argue WorkChoices did not prevent health and safety training.
"The Minister is splitting hairs and he knows it," Maher said, "while workers are losing their lives all around Australia.
"Trade unions provide the bulk of health and safety training because it wouldn't be done otherwise.
"It is widespread and effective because industrial instruments require employers to give workers leave to be trained.
"Kevin Andrews legislation makes that illegal and nothing he can say or do alters that fact.
"He wants employers to have the choice about whether their people undergo health and safety training and that means the worst employers will simply opt out, with his blessing."
A rash of workplace deaths have embarrassed the Minister into again claiming regulations that forbid the inclusion of health and safety training in agreements, do not prevent health and safety training.
"The provisions in the new Workplace Relations Regulations do not prevent a trade union or anyone else from providing OH&S training," Andrews said. "Nor do they prevent employers granting leave to their employees to attend OH&S training, or any other training."
Andrews' regulations label a series of matters "prohibited content". These cannot be included in any collective agreement, even if the parties agree.
Further, it is unlawful to even ask for them and any worker who does can be fined thousands of dollars.
His regulations are listed on the legal database austlii, under the heading Commonwealth Consolidated Regulations.
"A term of a workplace agreement is prohibited content to the extent that it deals with the following ..." they read.
" (c) employees bound by the agreement receiving leave to attend training (however described) provided by a trade union"
Unions NSW officer, Mary Yaager said unions in that state provided OH&S training for 10,000 workers every year.
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