Introducing new Workplace Relations Advisor John Ryan
4 April, 2018
AMA Victoria is pleased to welcome John Ryan to our Workplace Relations team. John brings 38 years of experience to his new role as Workplace Relations Advisor.
John was a Commissioner for the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for the last eight years, where his key functions included conciliation and arbitration of industrial disputes, unfair dismissal claims, conciliation of bargaining disputes and bullying claims, and approval or rejection of enterprise agreement applications. He has previously held senior industrial relations positions in a number of organisations, including the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, Federated Ironworkers’ Association and the Pharmacy Guild.
John has seen industrial relations issues from all sides and says he’s looking forward to helping and servicing members on the ground.
“I’ve always been passionate about worker rights. I think you can best assist worker rights, either by helping employers get it right or you can assist workers directly by ensuring they get what they’re entitled to. If you get that fairness going then you will have improved the relationship between employers and employees and that should be at the heart of a membership organisation like the AMA. I can add value and bring a set of skills that have taken me 38 years to acquire and I want to put back in, by helping members.
“If you spend all your time becoming a doctor, you don’t have time to become an IR expert. At some point you need to ask, ‘Where is my IR expert so that I can deal at an equal level with an employer’s IR expert?’ That’s why you have an organisation like the AMA. It provides this level of expertise and I’m part of this.”
John’s philosophy is relatively simple – a happy workplace is good for the employee and the employer. “With my experience, I’m far more able to see the merits of both sides of an argument and far better placed to promote the concept that we’re dealing with relationships. Every industrial problem is a relationship problem and the main thing is how you improve relationships. Workers want to work in happy workplaces and employers want workers who want to come to work. You only get that by working on relationships.
“The more I’ve learnt about the law, I’ve learnt that it’s more important to focus on the relationship than it is on the legal question. The health industry needs to get its relationships right. Having an EBA is not about the words on the paper, it’s about the relationships you have with your employees. If you aren’t doing something right, it shouldn’t be a case of being told off for doing something wrong. It’s can we point out the better way of doing it and improving relationships?”
AMA Victoria CEO Dianne Angus says the appointment of John Ryan enhances the service available to members and is a further boost to the Workplace Relations team, following the successful negotiation of the new enterprise bargaining agreement for public hospital doctors.
“We are very fortunate to secure someone with the depth, breadth and seniority of experience to join our Workplace Relations team,” Ms Angus says. “No other associations, employers or hospitals have ex-Commissioners working for them and we know John will be a great asset and a strong advocate for the rights of our members.”
If you would like to contact John about an employment issue, please contact the Workplace Relations team on (03) 9280 8722.