The union for Western Australia’s nurses and midwives has faced a $350,000 fine over a massive strike outside the state parliament last year, demanding better pay and work conditions.
Thousands of nurses and midwives gathered on the steps of parliament in November last year, despite the state’s Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) ordering the union not to strike.
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Last month, it was revealed that both parties settled with an agreed-upon penalty of $350,000, significantly lower than the potential maximum penalty of nearly $36 million.
Union secretary Janet Reah had also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for failing to appear before the commission.
IRC made the final decision today, imposing the $350,000 penalty against the union and a $10,000 fine for Mr Reah.
Lawyers for the commission’s registrar told ABC that a significant penalty was needed to avoid the ANF, or other unions, seeing breaching the orders as “part and parcel” of industrial campaigns.
IRC also suggested that the union obey the law in the future, maintaining its liability to a more significant penalty if it breached the commission’s order again.
However, Tim Hammond, the ANF’s lawyer, stated that the union would only adhere to the commission’s orders for the ongoing pay and conditions dispute.
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