Commonwealth must foot the bill for IR services, says NSW
THE NSW Government has warned its work for the Fair Work Ombudsman will stop unless it receives funding from the Commonwealth.
Minister for Industrial Relations Mike Baird said the state government had decided to extend its contract with the Ombudsman for a further six months but will not carry the long-term costs of the service.
"While it costs NSW $7.8 million a year to do this this federal work, NSW is only paid $4.6 million – that means NSW is subsidising the Commonwealth to the tune of more than $3 million a year," Mr Baird said.
"The ball is now in the Federal Government's court and we think it is reasonable for them to cover the costs of this federal work."
In a transition arrangement set up when industrial relations was transferred to the Commonwealth on 1 January 2010, 78 NSW industrial relations staff do compliance work for the federal Fair Work Ombudsman. The agreement was due to expire on 31 December 2012.
Mr Baird argued that while the federal government pays South Australia a similar amount to NSW for compliance work, the workload is considerably less.
"If the Federal Government does not agree to a fairer funding arrangement by the end of March, the contract will expire at the end of June 2013 to enable staff to have time to transition to new employment," he said.