Women make up the bulk of the almost three million employees who do not negotiate their pay and conditions but rely on awards to determine their pay and conditions, new research has found. With bargaining delivering higher wages, the research suggests this is one reason women do worse than men in the pay stakes. Co-author of the report Who Bargains by the University of Sydney’s Workplace Research Centre Dr Brigid van Wanrooy said it is essential that awards are recognised for the vital role they play in the setting of employees’ pay and conditions and continue to be maintained.” The research found collective bargaining has been largely confined to the public sector with just 21 percent of private sector employees bargaining. “The employees who do not participate in bargaining tend to be low-paid, low-skilled, in part-time and casual employment, and women,” she said. The research was commissioned by the NSW Govt, and IR Minister John Hatzistergos said it “will inform our ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government concerning the national industrial relations system”. The report will be launched on Aug 7 at the Hilton Hotel Sydney from 9.00am (details www.wrc.org.au) and a full copy will be available from www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au.