Developments in collective bargaining during 2022 and their implications for the future
Journal of Industrial Relations
2022 saw a slight increase in the willingness of unions to use or prepare to use industrial action as part of collective bargaining. However, pay rises for employees covered by enterprise agreements generally lagged those received by the broader workforce. Employees on average saw a significant cut in their real wages. Towards the end of 2022, the recently elected Albanese government made several changes to the bargaining provisions contained in the Fair Work Act 2010 (the FW Act) with the explicit goal of increasing the pace of wage rises. By increasing union bargaining power, it is likely that these amendments will eventually lead to a higher rate of wage growth than would otherwise be the case, though a number of factors may limit likely size of any such effect.
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