Public Sector Labour Relations in Western Australia: An Overview
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The election of a LiberalNational Coalition government in 1993 heralded a period of significant and sustained change in Western Australian public sector labour relations. As legislator, the Coalition government embarked upon a program to decentralise and deregulate the Western Australian industrial relations system; as an employer, the government has had to respond to the economic imperatives which have faced most employers in recent years. The result has been a period of major change in the public sector - employment levels have declined as services have been privatised or contracted out; the proportion of non-permanent and part-time employees has risen significantly. Individual workplace agreements have been introduced; individualised performance-related management and reward systems have increased; and the scope for union involvement has diminished, as has the level and density of union membership. The experience of the public sector therefore reflects many of the workplace changes that are also found in the private sector. It also brings the government's industrial relations policies into sharper focus.
Australian Journal of Public Administration