During the EBA negotiations that were held yesterday (Wednesday 28 August) mediated by the Fair Work Commission Emirates said that the EBA that was previously overwhelmingly rejected by employees would again be issued for voting on, from Friday 5 September till Thursday 11 September. The USU/ASU/ALAEA again advise members to vote NO, for the same principled reason as last time, the Emirates EBA is not fair to employees.
The USU/ASU/ALAEA, delegates and officials along with only 4 employee bargaining representatives and Emirates management attended the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on Thursday 14 August. The USU/ASU/ALAEA had asked the FWC to assist the parties in finalizing a fair and equitable Enterprise Agreement for the next three years.
USU/ASU and ALAEA members at Emirates have told us that the proposed Agreement that was rejected by almost 75% of employees has to be improved and that the Fair Work Commission (FWC) should be asked to assist in getting a good EBA for employees.
The USU/ASU/ALAEA and bargaining representatives met with Emirates management on Wednesday 23rd July and Thursday 24th July for EBA negotiations. This was the first meeting since Emirates employees had comprehensively rejected the Emirates proposed EBA with a 74.25% NO vote.
What do we want?
The USU/ASU/ALAEA want to get an EBA agreed to and voted up as soon as possible. In voting down the company proposed EBA employees have clearly and unambiguously determined that they want an EBA that is fair and reasonable for employees and Emirates.
The proposal that the USU/ASU/ALAEA had put to Emirates is one that the USU/ASU/ALAEA have consistently told Emirates that the USU/ASU/ ALAEA believe will get the endorsement of members. This proposal is:
• 3 year EBA – expires 30/12/17
• 3% pa – 1/1/14, 1/1/15, 1/1/16
• Pay grades all increased by 3%
• Pay rise payable to all those over max level for grade
• Paid breaks clause included
• Increase redundancy pay or give commitment to job security for life of agreement
• Include Mascot allowance
• Fix duty travel time
• Delete split shifts clause 12.5
Along with the pay increases back paid to 1 January 2014 this is a settlement that the USU/ASU/ALAEA can endorse. However Emirates, as well as rejecting any improved EBA offer, is now threatening that if there is no Agreement by the 24th August then back pay will not be made.
So where are negotiations at?
While negotiations have been robust the USU/ASU/ ALAEA continue to bargain in good faith. To now have Emirates talking about back pay is very disappointing given all our efforts to accommodate the difficulties Emirates experienced in scheduling these negotiations.
This is particularly so given the USU/ASU/ALAEA and the bargaining representatives put the only constructive proposal during this round of negotiations.
The USU/ASU/ALAEA proposed the minimum parameter for the “good” classification in the performance related merit distributions being altered from 1.5% to 1.25%, and that this 0.25% differential be transferred to guarantee increases of 3% per annum. Emirates rejected this, but what was really unfortunate was that Emirates did not respond with a counter proposal.
The USU/ASU/ALAEA will not endorse an Agreement that does not include back pay. Emirates have undertaken that they will not issue an EBA for voting unless the USU/ASU/ALAEA and bargaining representatives endorse the proposed EBA. As far as the USU/ASU/ALAEA is concerned payment of back pay is a non-negotiable requirement for USU/ASU/ALAEA endorsement of an EBA to be put up for voting on.
What’s happens next?
The USU/ASU/ALAEA are applying to the Fair Work Commission to list a bargaining dispute and have the negotiations mediated by the Commission. The USU/ ASU/ALAEA believe that this is the fairest way to expedite bargaining and to try to get to an Agreement that all parties can support. The USU/ASU/ALAEA will ask the Fair Work Commission to set aside the 13th and 14th August to mediate the bargaining.
We have said to Emirates that it is imperative that there is a decision maker in the room for these discussions.
In the meantime the 2011 Agreement continues to set your terms and conditions of employment and protects your employment entitlements.
For more information, please get in touch with your local contact Clare Raffan on 0417 177 266
On Monday 9th June voting commences on EBA 2014. This is your only chance to vote NO to the Emirates proposed EBA that, if approved, will set your wages and other conditions until the beginning of 2017.