COSBOA has published the full text of its memorandum of understanding with the ACTU and responded to unfounded criticism about the agreement. The facts of the agreement are as follows:
The MOU is based on shared values and goals
The two organisations acknowledge that there will be differences of opinion in certain policy areas
The two organisations want fairness, equity and prosperity, and agree that every person, whether they be workers, contractors or small business owners, is entitled to safe, healthy and fairly remunerated work
The two organisations agree that the needs of small business people differ from the needs of big business, and that both small business people and workers face similar challenges as a result of economic activity being dominated by large corporations
The two organisations have agreed to support a bargaining system that enables small businesses and their associations to make agreements to suit the needs of their sector, either as individual businesses or as groups of businesses.
COSBOA does not:
Endeavour to unionise small businesses
Advocate for compulsory sector-wide bargaining
Want to remove the autonomy of small business owners to choose whether or not to participate in bargaining.
Quotes attributable to COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd
“It’s disappointing to see other business organisations fear mongering and making unfounded assumptions. The notion that COSBOA has somehow been duped by the unions is condescending and it is false. We have no proposal, nor will we accept that it is appropriate, to unionise small businesses.”
“What we’ve done with the ACTU is find common goals and values such as fairness and prosperity. The IR system, including bargaining, is designed for big businesses. It’s inaccessible and intimidating to small businesses, who employ about half of this country’s workforce. And that’s not fair – hence why both organisations would like to see a simpler, more easily navigable system that can meet the needs of smaller workplaces.”
“Change is difficult in the IR system. It’s incremental, and it won’t happen if we don’t cooperate with all sides.”
Media contact: Alexi Boyd 0433 644 097
COSBOA's original press release with the ACTU