It’s not the pro-union industrial relations law. No, no … it’s weak management.
And given the very weak labour market fiogures, labour productivity has ticked up for a nanosecond. Problem solved.
In any case, the government has a solution for lousy management.
Mr Shorten is seeking to broaden the debate by allocating $12 million over four years by establishing the Centre for Workplace Leadership, which picks up on discussions at forums in 2009 and 2011.
He said the Centre would boost leadership capability in workplace of all sizes including those in regional areas and small to medium enterprise. The Centre would:
*be the Australian expert on workplace management and leadership and improving the productivity of Australian workplaces through leadership;
*deliver quality training for leaders and managers on effective leadership, workplace culture and people management practices and connect leaders to training and development from other providers;
* promote and disseminate practical, relevant research, including surveys, on workplace change and improvement;
* lead the public debate on the importance of good leadership, workplace culture and people management and on the interdependencies between high performing and productive workplaces, effective management practices and quality jobs; and
* drive a broader movement to ‘do things differently at work’ by recognising that productivity ‘happens’ at work and that leadership is a crucial mechanism to improve productivity.
One wonders what the business schools have been doing. Nothing, apparently.
Here’s a tip, Bill. Just rant on about the importance of management quality – which is, by the way, endogenous (I thought you might have learnt that in your MBA) – it would be so much cheaper.
Look out for all the government’s favoured sons and daughters picking up the loot being spent on this latest ‘teach-them-how-suck-eggs’ venture, including some sort of financial transfer to the union movement.
After all, the union movement knows a thing or two about business, what with the ACTU downsizing and outsourcing (normally a term which would require mouth being washed out with soap) some of its functions.
And, of course, it is well known that that unions are appalling employers and are subject to a higher than proportional number of claims for unfair dismissal.
But, no doubt, the unions will be well represented on the Centre’s advisory board.
I honestly thought this sort of thing went out with the Ark, or at least in 1993. But apparently not.
UPDATE: There is a certain irony to Shorten rushing through Parliament the changes to the Transfer of Business provisions in FWA which attempt to nobble the Newman’s government’s attempt to outsource the provision of services. Good one, Bill. Actually, it will mean that those non-government agencies will simply refuse to employ ex-public servants.
But when it comes to the (deficient) review of the Fair Work Act, the government is in no hurry to make any changes unless they are agreed by both business and unions. Actually, Bill, being in government is about acting in the national interest not playing some sort of puerile game of winners and losers.