BUSINESS UPDATE (Issue 17)

By on October 29, 2004

A Test Drive of the New Award Review Service
Mary Thompson, Tylden Quarries

On January 1st 2005, the Federal Quarry Industry – Victoria – Award 2000 will come into effect via the Common Rule Test Cases. We understand that the Victorian Trades Hall Council has lodged an application at the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to make all Federal Awards Common Rule in Victoria which will delete the Mining Industry Sector Minimum Order- Victoria 1997 and the All State Minimum Sector Agreement.

On the 18th of August 2004, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (“the Commission”) ruled that the “first wave” (which is the first 12 awards the unions have lodged in the Commission) will become Common Rule in Victoria. All other awards will flow on from the Commission decision.

By law, employers must ensure that their employees receive equivalent or greater pay and conditions than the Quarry Industry – Victoria – Award by 1st January, 2005.

The implications of non conformance may include industrial disputes and, potentially, Commission hearings where you will have to prove you are paying more than the Award. If you are not paying Award or better conditions you will be required to back-pay the difference.

If you have a different pay structure, and have different conditions from the Award, you should perhaps consider having an individual workplace contract in place on your site. This is because it is possible that if you have an employee issue that ends up in the Commission, then the Commission will only rule on an agreement that has been ratified in the Commission. If there is no agreement then you will generally revert to the Award condition.

We offered to “test drive” the CMPA’s Award Review Service on our site involving a review of current employment contracts and conditions. We found the exercise valuable and identified a number of areas potentially requiring further analysis or modification prior to January 1st 2005, including working week length, hourly rates, overtime clauses, accident make up pay, bonuses, and relationships towards award and contract terms.

We have also used this opportunity to consider including other relevant areas in our standard employment contract, including random drug and alcohol testing.

In summary this was a pretty quick and painless process involving only production of a sample contract, preliminary discussions, and a post review meeting. Of course there will be some re-drafting and possibly employee negotiations, but the paperwork provided as part of the service makes this a simple process. Members are encouraged to conduct a formal review of pay and conditions prior to January 1st 2005.

ACE 2005

The 4th Australian Construction Equipment Expo (ACE 2005) is just around the corner with the exhibition to be run from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th of February 2005 at Sandown Racecourse.

ACE is the largest trade event in Australia dedicated to the earthmoving, civil construction, quarry and extractive industries and will occupy an impressive 50,000 square metres which is the equivalent to almost two Melbourne Exhibition Centres!

As with ACE 2003, the CMPA will have an expo stand and we invite all members to drop in and say ‘hi’ whilst passing through. Those Associate members who would also be interested in exhibiting at ACE are requested to contact Mr Jason Humphris on 03 9567 4265 or ace@etf.com.au as soon as possible as space is already almost 80% sold out and it is a great direct marketing opportunity to reach thousands of qualified prospects face-to-face. Exhibitors have the opportunity to release and sell new products, provide show specials, expand your database and in general create an interest in their available products with both existing and new clientele. Organisers expect over 5,000 qualified trade visitors to attend over the 3 days which would otherwise take your sales team years to see individually.

Those Voting Members who are interested in attending the Event (and not wanting to pay the $20 entry fee!) should keep an eye out for the free entry forms which will be available from your key suppliers attending ACE or in the CMPA News which is to be released just prior to ACE.

As with previous years, ACE will provide an opportunity for those interested in items of plant and equipment to have a look at what is available on the market and who to talk to. For full details on the event including the exhibitor list, on-site attractions, and Seminar Program information, visit the ACE 2005 website at www.ace2005.com.au and you can even pre-register online right now!

On a closing note, if anyone is willing to assist the CMPA in manning the stand even for an hour, it would be greatly appreciated if you could contact the Secretariat. We look forward to seeing you all at ACE 2005!

ACE Organisers:
Exhibition and Trade Fairs
73 Atherton Rd Oakleigh VIC 3166
Phone: 03 9567 4260
Fax: 03 9567 4261
Email: ace@eft.com.au
Web: www.ace2005.com.au

WHAT IS THE CPI?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an important economic indicator. It provides a general measure of changes in prices of consumer goods and services purchased by Australian households.

The CPI is used for a variety of purposes, such as in the development and analysis of government economic policy, the adjustment of wages and pensions, and in individual contracts. Because of this, the CPI either directly or indirectly affects all Australians.

The simplest way to understand the CPI is to imagine a basket of goods and services comprising items typically bought by Australian households. Now imagine the basket is purchased each quarter. As prices change from one quarter to the next, so too will the total price of the basket. The CPI is simply a measure of the changes in the price of this fixed basket as the prices of items in it change.

It is important to remember that the CPI measures price movements (i.e. percentage changes) and not actual price levels (dollar amounts). For instance, the index for Beef and Veal of 112.1 and for Pork of 121.9 in the September quarter 2000 does not mean that Pork is more expensive than Beef. It simply means that the price of Pork has increased at a little under twice the rate of the price of Beef and Veal since the base period.

IN THE PIPELINE

As part of an active industry Association, it is important that you are kept aware of the issues that the CMPA sees as impacting upon members and their businesses over the next three to six months.

We realise that this list mirrors that presented in the last newsletter, however wish to note that the last 2 months have required considerable time and effort towards the AGM and membership renewals.

  1. Archaeological and Aboriginal Relics Preservation Act and the Victorian extractive industries
  2. Review of the EIDA
  3. Development of the capital acquisition support materials
  4. Provide comment on Planning Scheme changes
  5. Finalisation and release of CMPA Fact Sheets pertaining to silica and noise management
  6. Preparation for twin Mobile Plant Workshops to be held in March 05 in Bendigo and Traralgon
  7. Establishment of a protocol for banks to use with assessing the value of commercial leases
  8. Release of remaining three drilling publications
  9. Establishment of a Business Support Board to assist members in difficulty

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