Mark Wooden, leading Australian economist, clarified the role of AWAs beyond any shadow of a doubt. Wooden affirmed that employers enthusiastically embraced AWAs "because they could legally reduce pay and conditions." [Fairness test killing AWAs, PM warned,The Australian, 12 November]
It is pure malicious greed to reduce pay and conditions in the economic boom-time that PM Howard reminds us we are experiencing under his leadership!
AWAs were introduced in 1997 with a "no disadvantage test." Howard gave his "rock solid guarantee our policy will not cause a cut in the take home pay of Australian workers" barely a year before WorkChoices abolished the "no disadvantage test."
And we all know about average wages falling in lower-paid jobs; backlogs of AWAs waiting to be vetted; the high percent of AWAs that fail the Fairness Test - Howard's new spin on "no disadvantage." Perhaps "no disadvantage" was one of those non-core promises ...
Wooden claims, "AWAs are dead." They should be, given their original objective and the resulting bureaucratic nightmare that AWAs and the Fairness Test have created.
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O'Connor ACT 2602
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