Time is ticking away

Tick, tick, tick. Time is running out for three significant announcements that can have an overwhelming effect on local government, conditions of employment in the industry and careers. We dealt with two of them in the October issue of depaNews.

1. Fit for the Future

Develop some criteria that you say covers all considerations, drop a few of them off, let IPART change them - including making up a test of “global city” for Sydney, so you can nail Clover - and set a tight deadline for responses to the IPART recommendations of 18 November.

Expectations are that the Premier will do something dramatic on 1 December - or some time very soon after that.

If you would like to read an insightful and incisive review of where we are on this now - without any vested interest and with total impartiality - here is the Editorial from yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald. Recommended reading.

2. Industrial Relations Commission - to be or not to be

Sometimes you have to publish a rumour if it comes from a variety of reliable sources and where all you really want is the Government to deny it. Last month we published our expectation that the NSW Government would shortly announce that the judicial functions of the Industrial Relations Commission would be transferred to the Supreme Court and the dispute resolution and related functions would be slid into NCAT.

We made it clear that wasn’t what we wanted, we wanted the august and venerable century old institution to live forever, the Government to deny the allegation and commit to properly resourcing it.

Workforce NSW led with the story in its 6 November issue and said, amongst other things, that the Hon Gladys “has repeatedly failed to put the issue to bed”. And quoted her responses when they had asked like “the Government is committed to a strong IR system in the State and has a proud record in this area” and “NSW is enjoying historically low levels of days lost to strike action”. Opaque, moi?

In December, popular and respected Deputy President of the IRC Rod Harrison retires and on 1 December will be “sworn out” in Newcastle and, somewhat to everyone’s surprise, the Treasurer/IR Minister will be attending. Notwithstanding the fact that DP Harrison, for his contribution to good industrial relations in Newcastle over the decades really deserves the entire Cabinet chairing him around Newcastle while the Premier and Deputy Premier frolic alongside throwing petals in his path, the attendance of the Treasurer/IR Minister is unusual.

Expectations are high that the evasion will end and an announcement about the Commission’s future will be made.

We hope we are proved wrong.

3. 2015 Worst HR Awards to be announced in December

Yes, the Golden Turd can make or break HR professionals (sic) and even Directors of Corporate Services and GMs, too.

How has the industry gone with restructuring, job evaluation, treating its “human capital” fairly for better productivity, looking after work: life balance with flexible working arrangements, or living up to its own boasting about cutting edge employment practices and being an “employer of choice”.

Or even the things that shouldn’t be difficult, like complying with their Award obligations to provide part-time work for parents returning to work?

And what about last year’s nominees, have they learned anything?

Tick, tick, tick, those who have done the wrong thing, or don’t understand what it is to do it, are getting nervous.

Any sweaty palms in HR at your Council?

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