– Renee Burns
It seems like November is conference season! We are looking forward to presenting our paper ‘The Evolution of the Regulatory Framework for Trade Union Training in Australia’ at the Australian Labour Law Association 2021 Conference on Friday, 12 November.
The ALLA conference is held annually and brings together labour law practitioners, academics and students from across Australia and abroad.
We will be talking about how the Trade Union Training Authority promise of worker education was delivered at a workplace level through education leave clauses in awards and agreements. We also consider the approach of industrial tribunals when considering claims for education leave.
We discuss the changing approach to trade union education leave under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth), the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 (Cth) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), in the context of provisions regulating the institutional and organizational rights of unions more generally. We also examine the current framework for union education including enterprise agreement provisions and the role of TUTA’s successors, including the Australian Trade Union Institute.
Considering the contemporary Australian industrial relations landscape, and the effect of shifting legal and regulatory frameworks over time, our paper aims to address the question: what is the role of trade union education and what right should workers have to access union education through provisions for paid leave and related rights?