FWC Decision on 1-in-4 being a Learner Shearer

11-Jul-2016

 

Fairwork Commission rejects AWU Submission on Compulsory Learners but reintroduces a Learner's Log Book & explicit Payrate.

On Friday the Fairwork Commission (FWC) announce that the have rejected the Australian Worker's Union's (AWU) claim to have compulsory 1-in-4 shearers to be a learner, where there was a learner available.

The claim which was originally submitted more than 18 months ago, was reject primarily on the basis that it does not substantially meet the Modern Award objectives.

Such an award provision reserving a certain number of pens for ‘learners’ was first introduced in 1917 and was retained in the Award until 2010 when it was omitted as part of the Award 'modernisation' process. The SCAA was not unanimous in not supporting the proposal to reinstate the removed provision learners as all members recognise the need to have a 'continuous flow' of learners in the workforce.

The debate for its reintroduction was whether or not the Award is the most appropriate instrument to promote the need to train learners. The compulsory nature of such a provision was outweighed by the need to have flexibility in some situations and the other successful training programmes that are currently in place.

It was also acknowledged by the SCAA that those who do 'the right thing' will nearly always have a learner in their team and those who make little effort to invest in the future, will not engage learners regardless of what the industrial laws state.

Learner's Logbook

From the AWU's submission, the FWC did see value in reintroducing a 'Learner's log book or equivalent' to show future employers the cumulative number of sheep a Learner has shorn to date, to prove that they have not shorn more than 5,000 sheep, being the definition of a 'Learner'.

LEARNER’S CERTIFICATE TO BE PRESENTED AT EACH SHEARING  

Issued to ……………………………..

Home address ………………………………

Date of issue of certificate ………………………………….

Age ……………………………………..

 

Date  Station  Total Sheep Shorn Average tally per day (whole days)
Signature of owner or manager or shed overseer  Signature of learner  Total sheep shorn prior to issue of this certificate 
             

 

Learner's Pay Rate: Adult Shed Hand Rate + $20.36 per week Comb & Cutter Allowance 

When the Pastoral Award was re-written to the current version in 2010, the Learner's daily rate was erroneously omitted. Consequently the FWC has reinstated the rate to be: The earnings of a learner shearer will not be less than they would have received had they been employed for the same period as an adult shed hand, plus the combs and cutters allowance of $20.36 per week. The agreement of such specified learner will be endorsed “learner” at the time it is signed. 

To download the FWC findings  

FWC Decision on 1in4 Learner Shearers July 2016 FWC Decision on 1in4 Learner Shearers July 2016 (370 KB)


Any question, please contact SCAA Secretary

 

 


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