MEDIA RELEASE: Abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The H.R. Nicholls Society supports and welcomes the Prime Minister’s pledge to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s most recent order increasing the mandatory rates owner-operator truck drivers are required to charge threatens to push prices up by between 15 and 30 per cent and drive 35,000 self-employed truck drivers out of business.

H.R. Nicholls Society’s President, Adam Bisits, said:

The tribunal’s order makes it illegal for self-employed drivers to compete on cost with larger employees. It means trucking becomes an industry where winners and losers are picked based on what type of business they are, not who can offer customers the best service.

“An internationally competitive, efficient and reliable trucking industry is vital to Australia’s prosperity. Pricing owner-operators out of the market won’t just kill jobs and cause higher prices through less competition. It risks the further monopolisation of the industry by the Transport workers Union, in turn leaving major sectors of the economy vulnerable to industrial action.

“The H.R. Nicholls Society believes that the best way to guarantee Australia has a competitive trucking industry is the wholesale abolition of all regulations that inhibit market forces, particularly price and wage fixing arrangements. Only then will all businesses be able to compete freely based on their relative strengths.”

For Further Information:

Adam Bisits
President, HR Nicholls Society
adam.bisits@bisits.com
0438 405 527

 

Another HR Nicholls Society member for parliament!

Media Release
March 6, 2016
Another HR Nicholls Society member for parliament
James Paterson preselected for Senate
The HR Nicholls Society congratulates member James Paterson on his preselection by the Liberal Party today for the no 1 Senate position for Victoria.  James was a member of the board of the society in 2011-13.
The society stands for freedom to work and freedom to hire, for internationally competitive terms of employment and for the dismantling of the rorted Australian industrial relations system.  Significantly two senators who represent popular opinion outside party politics, Bob Day (South Australia, a former member and board member of the society) and David Leyonhjelm (New South Wales) support these principles.
The Society welcomes James as a future senator for Victoria who will be able to advocate for these principles within his party and in parliament.
For Further Information
Adam Bisits
President, HR Nicholls Society
adam.bisits@bisits.com
0438 405 527

Media Release: ABCC Delay Unacceptable

The H.R. Nicholls Society says it is utterly dismayed by the Turnbull Government’s decision to delay the passage of legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
As Australia’s leading proponent of people’s right to work free from union interference and intimidation, the Society says the Government’s decision is a betrayal of both its own supporters and of workers.
The President of the HR Nicholls Society, Adam Bisits says, “The Heydon Royal Commission established by this Government was absolutely vital in uncovering a raft of corrupt behavior – not only by unions, but equally by weak companies and company mangers who sell out their own workers by paying off unions in ill-advised attempts to buy industrial peace.”
“Independent anti-corruption bodies, such as the ABCC, are absolutely vital in exposing this sort of cynical collusion, and making sure that workers are protected from the manipulation of their interests by both company management and unions” says Mr Bisits.
“In delaying the re-establishment of the ABCC, the Government is sending a signal to big unions and big business that it tacitly approves of sleazy deals which harm the interests of working people, and entrench the power of the old-style industrial relations cartels that have no place in a modern economy” says Mr Bisits.

Media Release: Unfreeze IR debate and action

The president of the HR Nicholls Society, Adam Bisits, has welcomed Mr Turnbull’s focus on the economy and a commitment to a proper debate on economic issues.  A focus on the economy by new prime minister Turnbull requires amongst other things greater freedom of employment.

“The freeze on the practical problems with the IR system has to end – extending from the government’s rejection of a variable and more competitive minimum wage proposed by the National Commission of Audit, to the over-broad ‘workplace relations framework’ directions to the Productivity Commission” Mr Bisits said.

“The recent revelation that Seven-11 workers were paid beneath the minimum wage raised many contradictions (where was the FWC? where were the unions? what was the extent of exploitation?) none of which evoked an official response.”

As it did at the end of the Gillard government, the HR Nicholls Society has called on the government to end the most egregious defects of the current Fair Work system.

As it did at the beginning of the Abbott government, the society has proposed that those defects be examined and resolved by actual workers and employers (in a group appointed by the government for the purpose).

And effective IR practices in other countries have to be examined and emulated: see those of Germany in the last ten years, where flexibility, firm-level agreements, and a non-statutory system have resulted in one of the world’s strongest economies, with 5% unemployment and the lowest youth unemployment[1].

“The HR Nicholls Society calls on Mr Turnbull to begin to restore freedom of employment by tackling immediate or pressing defects of the Fair Work system” Mr Bisits said.  “These include terms of employment to only relate to genuine employment issues, employment agreements to be binding, and making practical the Productivity Commission’s report.”

For Further Information:

Adam Bisits                                                                  Kyle Kutasi

President, HR Nicholls Society                           Vice President

adam.bisits@bisits.com                                          kkutasi@gmail.com

[1] From the February 17 2015 address of Professor Bernd Fitzenberger (then Freiburg University, now of Humboldt University) to the National Press Club, Canberra, part of an Australian  speaking tour organised by the society

 

0438 405 527                                                                0433123865

 

Note on the HR Nicholls Society

The society will hold its annual conference on Saturday 28 November 2015 to examine the draft Productivity Commission report on workplace relations, the Trade Union Royal Commission, coastal shipping reform and other IR issues.  It is hoped the government will be represented at the conference.

[1] From the February 17 2015 address of Professor Bernd Fitzenberger (then Freiburg University, now of Humboldt University) to the National Press Club, Canberra, part of an Australian  speaking tour organised by the society

Media Release: Unemployment Up 0.4% since last January

MEDIA RELEASE: 8 February 2015
Unemployment Up 0.4% since last January

The unemployment rate of 6.4% (s adj) in January is 0.4 percentage point higher than it was in January 2014 as was the unadjusted figure of 6.8%. Moreover, the increase of employment of only 1.6% over the past year continues to fail to keep pace with the growth in the working age population of 1.8%.

Given the slower growth in the economy, which the Reserve Bank expects to slow further in the lead up to the election, it is clear that the regulatory arrangements  (wage awards and other regulations) are pushing unemployment higher.

These developments in the labour market emphasise the need for deregulation of workplace relations and the establishment of a much more flexible market.

Although the growth in wages is now no higher than inflation, Australia’s wages have been growing faster than in developed countries, resulting in reduced competitiveness. While the reduction in the exchange rate will help offset that, that is not the best way of improving competitiveness

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)

MEDIA RELEASE: Unemployment Up – But Employment Increases

The unemployment rate of 6.3% (s adj) has reached a 12-year high, increasing slightly from the previous month.

However, data reveals a modest improvement in the labour market as employment rose by 42,700 (0.4%) in November 2014. Despite this, the growth of 1.5% in demand for labour over the past 12 months is still failing to keep pace with the growth in the working age population of 1.8%.

Youth unemployment has also continued to increase significantly. In November 2013 the unemployment rate for persons aged 15 to 19 years was 16.5%. The latest figures show the rate to have risen considerably to 20.1%. February 1997 was the last time that youth unemployment was greater than what it is today. Such a record high level indicates poor employment prospects for first-time job seekers.

Additionally, the Australian labour market is also faced with the issue of growing underemployment. The labour force underutilisation rate for November 2014 is 15.0%, the highest rate since November 1997. This increase is largely due to the growth in part-time employment in comparison to full-time employment. The latest figures show that while part time employment increased by 40,900 in November whereas full time employment increased by 1,800.

These developments in the labour market emphasise the need for deregulation of workplace relations and the establishment of a much more flexible market.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)

 

Media Release: Royal Commission Submission Calls for Minimal Regulation

MEDIA RELEASE
3 November 2014
Royal Commission Submission Calls for Minimal Regulation

The HR Nicholls Society submission to the Royal Commission on Trade Union Governance & Corruption calls for existing regulatory arrangements under the Fair Work legislation and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to be replaced with minimal regulation of employer/employee relations.

The submission, acknowledged by Commissioner Heydon, particularly addresses the reference on ‘the adequacy and effectiveness of existing systems of regulation and law enforcement’ (a)(j)

Analyses in the submission by two prominent lawyers show advantages conferred on trade unions which are unnecessary and unjustified. These include entry to work premises, ability to disrupt work performance, engagement in protected industrial action and forcing parties into regulated bargaining. Read more

Employment News is All Bad

Using the unadjusted labour force data, the September figures show an unchanged unemployment rate of 6.1%. But this apparent “stability” disguises the deterioration in the labour market.

Not only did employment fall by 30,000 but those not working or seeking to work increased by 45,000. In effect, those who lost their jobs did not even try to get back into the work force.

This is not a one off development. While over the past 12 months employment did increase by 46,000 or 0.4%, those not working or seeking to work increased by 242,000 or no less than 3.7%.

In short, the demand for labour has not kept pace with the growth in the working age population (15 years and over) and retirees and the youngees with no work prospect have increased. This is reflected in the fall to 64.5%  in the participation rate from 65.2% a year ago.

How has Australia got to this parlous situation?

While the end of the mining boom has contributed, the main reason is that Australia has a highly regulated labour market which will not allow temporary downwards adjustments in employees’ conditions in other industries. These conditions deter employers from risking additions to investment and jobs.

Unless early action is taken to remove the Fair Work arrangements, the Abbott government will not only fail by a long way to achieve the employment growth of 1.5% in the 2014-15 budget, but also the election jobs target of one million over 5 years.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)

Media Release: Unemployed up by 15%, Employment Falls Too

The increase in July unemployment to 6.4% seasonally adjusted rate (from 5.6% in July last year), and the accompanying small fall in employment since last month, highlight the need for reduced regulation of workplace relations in circumstances where the economy is growing below trend.

Unless regulations are reduced the Abbott government’s budget forecast of a 1.5% increase in employment in 2014-15 will not be achieved and productivity growth will remain sluggish.

The regulatory problem is highlighted by the fact that the growth in the working age population (WAP) is twice as fast as the growth in employment over the past 12 months – employment up by only 0.9% while the WAP increased at double that rate (1.8%).

Before the Fair Work legislation employment was growing faster than the WAP and the participation rate was growing. Over the past three years that rate has fallen from 65.4% to 64.8%.

On top of the twelve months increase of about 15% in numbers unemployed, this indicates continued large increases in those who have given up actively looking for work – the so-called drop outs

Labour Force – Increases Since July 2013 (Original Data)

000s               Percent

Employment                                1,041                0.9

Working Age Population              3,421                1.8

Unemployed                                   96                14.9

WAP is civilian population aged 15 years and over

It is now abundantly clear that urgent changes must be made to the existing regulatory legislation, and the administration of it, just to reach the “sensible centre” and remove the bias evident in the existing arrangements.

Sufficient evidence of the monopoly position of unions has already been given to the Heydon Royal Commission to warrant immediate reforms and allow employers much greater freedom to determine employment conditions. It is anomalous, for example, that the MUA has to be taken to the Federal Court in an attempt to reduce its monopoly powers.

The proposals to reform the ABBC and other minor reforms are welcome but have yet to be implemented and will not themselves change the behaviour of militant unions.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)

 

Employment Grows –But Faster Growth in Drop Outs

The June ABS Labour Force figures show  employment continuing to grow but at a much slower rate than the growth in the working age population (WAP) – over the past 12 months employment rose by only 0.9% while the WAP increased at double that rate (1.8%).

This indicates further large increases in those who have given up actively looking for work. And these partly reflect the adverse effects of the regulatory system.

Labour Force – Increases Since June 2013

000s             Percent

Employment                                           1,042                0.9

Working Age Population                        3,774                1.8

Unemployed                                            51                    7.5

Although the unemployment rate is up only 0.1 percentage point to 6.0% (S Adj), the labour market is much weaker than this suggests. The failure of the growth in employment to keep up with the working age population increase means continuing high drop outs of the labour force. Before the Fair Work legislation employment was growing faster than the WAP.

Unless there is a major improvement in labour demand the Abbott Government will not achieve the budget forecast employment growth of 1.5% in 2014-15. And Abbott’s pre-election jobs target of a one million increase within five years will fall well short.

The revelations at the Royal Commission show that urgent changes must be made to the existing regulatory legislation, and the administration of it,  to remove the bias evident in the existing arrangements and stop  militant unionism. The proposals to reform the ABBC and other minor reforms are welcome but have yet to be implemented and will not themselves change union behaviour.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)