The agreements were approved at the end of last year and came into force on 26 December 2019. “These agreements are shady, and the decision to approve them was shady and it is good to see that this is recognized by the Full Bench in today`s decision. The full bank of the Fair Work Commission will now submit applications for approval of the agreements. MBA NSW analysis shows that a Level 3 carpenter or craftsman would get $203,820 per year based on a 56-hour week – a standard benchmark for medium-to-large commercial projects – under the new agreement. CFMEU NSW began distributing copies of the draft contract to contractors last month, and some of the repeated terms and conditions imposed by John Setka`s subsidiary in Victoria. “The wages and conditions of the current agreement will help keep the NSW construction industry competitive with other countries and territories in a tense construction labour market,” he said. However, industry sources said they were increasingly concerned that the CFMEU agreements would make them vulnerable to non-unionized entrepreneurs. “BHP already has very good operating agreements at its coal plant and Operations Services employees earn the same wages and conditions as workers directly employed alongside them. At the end of 2018, BHP presented to the Fair Work Commission two independent agreements of the unions to cover a new staff of the subsidiary Operations Services: an analysis of the union`s draft contract for the NSW shows that the CFMEU will have increased basic wages by almost 45 percent over the last eight years if employers accept the new contract , compared to 21% in the broader private sector and 27% for the construction premium. Tony Maher, president of CFMEU, said today`s decision was a setback for BHP`s strategy to cut wages by employing people in non-union agreements on an internal labour supplier. Although BHP`s marketing says there is “no difference” between BHP and OS, these agreements have lower wages and conditions for R OS employees.
The full-fledged bank accepted several remedies from the CFMEU, including whether there had been a genuine worker agreement and whether the agreements passed the “best overall test” over the Mining Industry Award and the Black Coal Mining Industry Award. This means a salary increase of more than $80,000 under CFMEU agreements since 2011, when carpenters received $122,524, or about 150 per cent of the price.