MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – 3 November 2017

CONGRATULATION: go to Rod Henderson, a former CoSBA President of many years, who was bestowed Life Membership by the Malaga & District Business Association (MDBA) where he was also the President for many years. Well done, and very well deserved Rod.

THE UNION GRAVY TRAIN: An article by Grace Collier published The Weekend Australian, October 28, 2017 under the heading ‘Workers rejoice, this union gravy train is terminating’ sets out the facts about the union “gravy train”(copied below), stating: “This charity is part of a vast network of cashed-up bodies we refer to as union-affiliated entities. As you may be aware, these entities are the reason we see a condition peculiar to the Australian union movement, which could be labelled “No members? No worries!”

This phenomenon describes a common scenario in which a un­ion has a shrinking membership, offset by a rapidly rising income and giant asset pool. All of this is untaxed, which for the unions must be gloriously worry-free.”

And, in many instances small businesses may ask. “So what?” In the misguided belief that it is a matter concerning the unions therefore it has nothing to do with them. Wrong, it does! In a measure approximating 50%.

Small businesses employ approximately 50% of the private sector workforce paying superannuation contributions, in the majority of cases into union controlled funds, which is the main source of the union “gravy train.” Wake up small businesses the union “gravy train” has everything to do with you!!!

Ironically, the vast majority of the amorphous accumulations of small business employees on whose behalf the contributions are made are not members of a union. Some GRAVY TRAIN!!


WA IR SYSTEM REVIEW: Following two aborted attempts by the Barnett Government, in fear of the unions, the Minister for Commerce & Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston has advised of the conduct of a Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System, and in so doing invited CoSBA to make a submission, in his advice, he stated:

“The Ministerial Review will be required to take into account the constituency of the State Industrial relations system, being mainly small business employers and State public sector employers employees. It is estimated that the State system potentially covers one in five employees (21.7 per cent) to more than one third of employees (36.2 per cent)”

In the 1997 report More Time For Business, the Federal Government’s response to the 1996 “Bell Report” (Time For Business), the then Prime Minister, John Howard, in his Foreword stated:

“Small Business is the engine room of the Australian economy, a vital source of enterprise, innovation and jobs.

Small Business is based on the self-reliance, initiative and vision of men and women with a commitment to hard work and the preparedness to take a risk to achieve their goals and ambitions. Small Business is integral to the decentralised network of family, workplaces and community which is the most effective guarantor of freedom and choice.

Too often in the past, government has been a burden for Small Business. Government has appeared unable or unwilling to understand the special needs of Small Business and unaware of the impact of decisions on them.”

Accordingly, CoSBA will be strongly advocating, that in developing the revised industrial relations laws, the Government must demonstrate its willingness to understand the special needs of Small Business, not to burden Small Business with laws that unnecessarily bind Small Business in red tape, costs and legalistic processes, and be fully aware of the impact of their decisions on small businesses. In particular, given that, setting aside the public sector, the WA IR System only applies to non-constitutional corporations (Pty Ltd companies. Which are mainly small businesses.