Go to top of page

New Approaches

Deputy President Booth facilitating interest-based bargainingDeputy President Booth facilitating interest-based bargaining between TAFE NSW management and officials and delegates from CPSU NSW, AWU and United Voice in July 2019

The New Approaches program is the framework through which the Commission performs its legislated function of promoting cooperative and productive workplace relations and preventing disputes.

New Approaches complements the Commission’s dispute resolution and bargaining functions by providing a formal process to help parties to work together effectively and prevent disputes from occurring. The Commission can deal with a New Approaches application if parties at a workplace or business agree.

The New Approaches program enables the Commission to work with parties to:

  • promote cooperative and productive workplace relations through interest-based approaches to bargaining for enterprise agreements
  • develop new ways of resolving conflict or disputes at the workplace, using interest-based problem solving
  • support the introduction of change, innovation and productivity improvements through new ways of collaborating, outside of the bargaining cycle and before a dispute occurs.

The Commission may provide:

  • training in interest-based bargaining and dispute resolution
  • training and assistance in collaborative workplace change, including training for consultative committees
  • help with enterprise bargaining and the development of joint processes to implement enterprise agreements.

At 30 June 2019, the Commission was facilitating 26 open New Approaches matters.

New Approaches matters can remain open for a significant period, with the Commission providing ongoing support across a range of areas, including training, facilitation of negotiations, and the provision of advice and support to parties.

In December 2018, a pilot evaluation survey was conducted with two sets of employers, Endeavour Energy and Sydney Water, and their trade union counterparts. As a result of feedback, the Commission will make changes to the survey in consultation with the New Approaches User Group.

Since February 2019, the Commission has administered a short baseline attitudinal survey at the commencement of each New Approaches file. We will administer a completion survey at selected milestones during the life of the file or at the conclusion of the file.

This year the Commission has focused on improving its educational materials. We engaged instructional designer Maura Fay to work with us to produce new presentations, collateral materials and videos.