In a notice of motion put before the City of Sydney Council, Greens Deputy Lord Mayor Cr. Chris Harris has proposed that while the council is legally obliged to provide existing employees with a ‘Workplace Relations Fact Sheet’ designed by the Federal Government, it should also provide staff with an alternative non-political fact sheet.
This is especially timely given the Queensland government’s legal challenge in the Federal Court – the NSW government is considering joining this action - where it is seeking a declaration that local government bodies are not constitutional corporations and therefore are not subject to Work Choices legislation.
“My motion for an alternative non-political fact sheet is about providing council staff with all the facts so they can be fully informed. At the moment council is legally bound to provide staff with the government’s IR fact sheet. However to be truly informed staff need to have all the information before them otherwise all they will have is government propaganda,” said Cr Harris.
“I’ve requested that council acknowledge that the government approved ‘Workplace Relations’ fact sheet is inadequate and that council provide staff with an alternative, council-produced fact sheet that shows them the other point of view.
“I seek the support of all councillors to give our staff the opportunity to be fully informed of the implications of the government’s IR laws so that they can act to protect their families from the impact of grossly unfair Work Choices legislation.” Cr. Harris said.
Notice of Motion – Alternative Work Choices Fact Sheet.
Cr. Chris Harris
August 21, 2007
a) Notes staff have advised that the City of Sydney has a legal obligation to provide existing employees with a “Workplace Relations Fact Sheet” which purports to explain Work Choices Legislation. The “fact sheet” is produced by the Australian Government Workplace Authority.
b) notes that staff received external legal advice and have confirmed that this obligation exists.
c) notes advice from Minister Della Bosca and Minister Paul Lynch of a legal challenge in the Federal Court where the Queensland Government is seeking a declaration that local government bodies are not constitutional corporations and therefore are not subject to work choices legislation.
d) notes that the NSW Government is considering joining the abovementioned Federal Court Action
e) directs the CEO to distribute a non-political alternative fact sheet to staff. This fact sheet is to be modeled on opposing arguments taken from the ‘Rights at Work’ literature and is to be circulated to councillors for comment before distribution to staff.