Pattern bargaining in Australia

As a matter of general comprehension amongst industrial relations’ practitioners, pattern bargaining is a process in labour relations, where a trade union gains a new and superior entitlement from one employer and then uses that agreement as a precedent to demand the same entitlement or a superior one from other employers. Pattern bargaining is thus a course of conduct by a person who is a negotiating party to two or more proposed enterprise agreements, seeking common wages or conditions for two or more of those agreements, where the conduct extends beyond a single business.

 

In Australia, the Fair Work Act does not actually proscribe pattern bargaining as such: rather it denies protection to industrial action taken in support of it, and makes specific provision for the grant of an injunction to stop or prevent such action.

 

A course of conduct by a person is pattern bargaining if:

 

the person is a bargaining representative for two or more proposed enterprise agreements

the course of conduct involves seeking common terms to be included in two or more of the agreements, and

the course of conduct relates to two or more employers.

Pattern bargaining is a course of conduct by a person who is a negotiating party to two or more proposed enterprise agreements, seeking common wages or conditions for two or more of those agreements, where the conduct extends beyond a single business.