The Federation Press

Good Faith Bargaining under the Fair Work Act 2009

Lessons from the Collective Bargaining Experience in Canada and New Zealand

Overview

The Fair Work Act 2009 imposes a legal obligation on the parties to collective bargaining to bargain in “good faith” - but what does this concept actually mean? In Australia, the jurisprudence on the meaning of good faith bargaining is still in its infancy. However, there are worrying signs that the good faith obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 are being interpreted narrowly, in a way that emphasises continuity with the “hands-off” approach to bargaining that existed under the (now repealed) Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Alex Bukarica and Andrew Dallas put forward their argument that a narrow approach to good faith bargaining is not consistent with the intended operation of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Moreover, they maintain that the effective promotion of good faith bargaining in Australia will be impaired unless we come to grips with some of the important lessons that emerge from the practice of good-faith based collective bargaining overseas, particularly in Canada and New Zealand.

Table of Contents

Foreword by The Hon Justice M J Walton
An Overview
Collective Bargaining and the Good Faith Obligation in Canada
Collective Bargaining and the Good Faith Obligation in New Zealand
Learning the Lessons: Promoting Good Faith Bargaining in Australia
Epilogue
“All is not fair in love and war” — The Aftermath of the Qantas dispute and Fair Work Australia’s role in dealing with serious industrial disputes. Appendix
New Zealand’s code of Good Faith in Collective Bargaining
Bibliography
Index

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