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Enterprise Agreement Bargaining Representatives - are not your friends.

Recently a large employer found to its cost that union bargaining representatives knew the employer was signing up to a deal it did not truly appreciate, but did nothing to alert the employer to its error.  The enterprise agreement (EA) has been approved and the employer’s mistake has become an enforceable condition that will operate for the life of the EA.

EA’s under the Fair Work Act 2009 are complex documents where a mistaken understanding of conditions can run into real money. Professional union negotiators generally have a seat at the bargaining table for these EA’s, and they can bring an unforgiving “take no prisoners” attitude to misunderstandings by employers about what they are signing up to.

Just like any commercial negotiation, employer representatives need to have a full understanding of the conditions that are being negotiated. If a mistake occurs, an employer can be fixed with the consequences for the whole of the life of the EA, up to four years... more...Download PDF



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