Patrick joined the New Approaches Program in 2015. Previously, she was involved in various collective negotiations with the Commission. In particular, the Commission was involved in a dispute over the 2015 enterprise agreement of Patrick Bulk Port Services of Newcastle. Once this dispute was resolved, Vice-President Booth approached Patrick`s management and the Maritime Union of Australia to see if they would be interested in changing the way labour relations were conducted at Patrick. Both sides agreed to be part of the new approach program. The Court of Justice, which is at the heart of our labour relations system, the Fair Labour Commission (Commission), has had a much more limited role in labour disputes than in the past. The good news is that workdays lost in Australia due to labour disputes are only a small part of the level they reached 30 years ago. The prospect of harm to workers and unions through protected trade union actions is part of the business bargaining plan under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act). If a job has a registered contract, the premium does not apply.
However: xviii Mark Bray and Johanna Macneil, Facilitating Productive Workplace Cooperation: A Case Study of Sydney Water and the ASU Water Division (March 2015) Fair Work Commission www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/engagement/case-studies/syd-water-case-study-2015.pdf >. As the 2015 Sydney Water Company Agreement expires on June 30, 2017, the parties are currently negotiating a new agreement with the support of the Commission. On 11 April 2017, the Commission issued a statement in which the parties participated in “intensive and productive” discussions, in which they identified the underlying interests and identified a number of common options to protect them. [xx] Once these options are considered, the parties will return to the Commission to guide the new enterprise agreement. Traditionally, the parties have turned to negotiations from a position in which they are ultimately confronted with profits.vii Australian jobs are no exception and are often characterized as contradictory, with management and unions in the “war” and failure of negotiations, in relation to the party that receives the most from the other. viiiIn preparation for enterprise bargaining, parties will often define firm preconceived positions based on past conflicts and practices to serve their underlying interests.