How Ms Anna Burke voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation that increases the powers and influence of trade unions in workplace relations

Division Ms Anna Burke Supporters vote Division outcome

22nd Mar 2012, 1:36 PM – Representatives Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Agree to the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree to the Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry) Bill 2012.

Passing this motion ends the discussion of the bill in detail. Immediately after this motion, the members agreed to read the bill for a third time.( Third reading passed without division. ) This means that the bill passed through the House of Representatives and, as it had already passed through the Senate, it will now become law.

Background to the Bill

The bill was introduced to address the poor working conditions facing vulnerable workers in the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry.(More information about this bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the bill as passed by both houses can be found here.) Controversially, it extends most of the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 to outworkers by deeming them to be employees. It also extends specific right of entry rules to sweatshop premises. This allows a permit holder (such as a union official) to enter such premises without giving 24 hours notice under certain circumstances.

References

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Feb 2012, 9:55 AM – Representatives Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill a second time.

This means that the majority of MPs agree with the main idea in the bill, which was to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (‘ABCC’) and create the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate.

The bill was subsequently agreed to without further division.( Third reading agreed to without division. ) This means that the bill passed the House and will now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

Background to the bill

The ABCC was originally established by the Coalition Government in 2005 in response to the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, which found that there was “widespread disregard of the rule of law” within the industry.( Summary of Findings and Recommendations (1.9MB). For a more general introduction on the ABCC, see the Wikipedia page. )

The Labor Government promised to abolish the ABCC when they were elected in 2007 and this bill reflects that promise.( Supporters condemn dismantling of ABCC – Lateline report)

References

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

15th Jun 2011 – Representatives Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011 - Consideration in Detail - ACTU nomination of board members

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The majority voted against a motion to amend the Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Bill 2011. The amendment was introduced by Liberal Party MP Stuart Robert.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. The majority voted No so the amendment was unsuccessful.

The amendment would have removed the power of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to nominate board members for the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which is created by the Bill. Under the Bill, the ACTU appoints all three of the directors who represent civilian employees.

Debate in Parliament

Liberal MP Robert argued that appointments made to Commonwealth bodies “should be made by elected officials who are accountable at the ballot box”.(See MP Robert's full contribution here. ) He insisted that “the coalition do not have a problem with trade unions” but that it “patently objects to a body such as the ACTU having the power to appoint ... three members to the board that only it can remove”.

Labor MP Warren Snowdon said that the Government would not support the amendment.(See MP Snowdon's full contribution here. ) He said that there was precedent for this arrangement already in existence. Further, he argued that appointing employee representatives through the ACTU was the most reasonable and cost effective process.

Background to the Bill

The Bill is part of a package of three bills.(More information about this bill and the context surrounding it can be found here. The text of the proposed amendment can be found here.) It creates the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation by merging the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority. The purpose of these changes is to modernise Australian Government superannuation and make it more consistent with the broader superannuation industry.

References

No No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 6 60 60
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 6 6 12
Total: 66 72

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 66 / 72 = 92%.

And then