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Modern Award Fighting Fund - aims to raise $70,000

>> Media Release: RCSA Members support the Right of Workers and Employers to Choose Flexible Work Arrangements

RCSA has made a submission to the 4 yearly review of the Modern Awards. The RCSA Board, at its most recent meeting in March determined to establish a fighting fund to meet anticipated additional costs for the association’s ongoing defence against the union's push to eliminate ‘labour hire’ from the economy, and to severely restrict the ability of members (and non-members) to continue to operate in an open market for labour services. 

>> Media Release: Modern Award Review Update
(This update details the background to RCSA's involvement with FCB in preparing for the Modern Award Hearings. It includes the outline of RCSA Member evidence, union claims, a summary and the next steps for the coming months.)

Over the past 18 months, RCSA has expended $60,000 in the defence of the position of our industry during the Modern Award Review.  However, we require the further support of all members through a modest contribution to a Fighting Fund that will meet additional legal costs to defend our industry’s position in the face of the aggressive approach of the unions.

This is a matter of great importance to the on-hire industry as a whole and, as such, the Board has determined that to avoid the imposition of a special levy or an unnecessary increase in membership fees, we will instead establish a one-off fighting fund to raise $70,000.

In short, the unions are pursuing the introduction of four amendments to all 122 Modern Awards which, if successful, will do the following:


    1. Oblige members to offer ongoing casual employees (including on-hire workers) the right to convert to permanent employment after 6 months of employment with an on-hire firm (including across multiple assignments).   This obligation, if not complied with, would expose members to penalties of over $50,000 each time that an employer fails to write to an ongoing casual to give them the right to convert.  In some awards, the conversion to permanent employment would be automatic which is of even greater concern.
    2. Introduce a minimum engagement period of 4 hours for every casual employee which, in certain industries such as health and hospitality, would significantly decrease the attractiveness of casual and on-hire employment.
    3. Prohibit the employment of any new / additional casual employees (including on-hire employees) until an employer can prove that it has offered the additional hours (proposed to make up the new casual position) to existing casual employees. This would, if successful, significantly hamper on-hire worker services in Australia and expose members to $50,000 penalties each time that a member failed to offer the additional hours to existing employees.
    4. Prohibit clients from using on-hire worker services as an alternative to direct hire casual employment in order to avoid having to offer permanent employment to their own ongoing casual workers.

We are seeking initial contributions to the fighting fund based on your annual on-hire turnover:

On-hire business turnover

Fighting Fund Contribution

On-hire turnover of less than $1M

$500

On-hire turnover of more than $1M but less than $10M

$1,500

On-hire turnover of greater than $10m and less than $25M

$3,500

On-hire turnover of greater than $25M

$7,500

Fighting fund monies will be placed in trust and, if un-utilised upon completion of the matter will be returned to contributing members in proportion to their contribution. 

How can you help?

A representative of RCSA will shortly contact you to determine your capacity to contribute to the fighting fund to defend our capacity to operate free of unnecessary and overbearing union restriction. If you would like to make a contribution to the fighting fund immediately please contact Pam Iverson at piverson@rcsa.com.au

In the meantime, please contact RCSA (sschweigert@rcsa.com.au) or Charles Cameron (cc@fcbgroup.com.au) with any queries regarding the RCSA’s role and position during the Modern Award Review.