Organisers and Delegates from the USU and the TWU met with Linfox Armaguard on Tuesday 20 February to negotiate a fair and reasonable outcome for members. At this meeting the USU also raised concerns on the wording of clauses for Domestic & Family Violence Leave and Personal Leave. The meeting concluded with a slightly increased offer from that in December 2017.
Over the course of Monday 26 February and Tuesday 27 February, USU members were invited to attend meetings to discuss the proposed wage offer. As a result, members present unanimously endorsed the offer.
The offer is:
- Year one of the agreement = 1.9% and back pay
- Year two of the agreement = 1.9% or CPI (whichever is greater)
- NB: Armaguard have confirmed that in year two of agreement, CPI is at 2.2%
- Year three of the agreement = 1.9% or CPI (whichever is greater)
To ensure members receive the best conditions available, the USU has been negotiating with Linfox Armaguard on wording in other parts of the Agreement, namely:
- Clause 22 Wages, subclause 22.1.2: updated to include the words “either directly or through a third party” with regarding to Westpac work returning to Armaguard;
- Clause 33 Overtime: updated to reflect correct rate of overtime to be paid;
- Clause 40 Domestic Violence & Family Violence Leave: updated to include the words “in addition to current leave entitlements”; and
- Clause 36 Personal Leave: the USU has requested that Armaguard not limit evidence in this provision to be only a “medical certificate” and instead include “medical certificate AND a statutory declaration” as evidence to ‘satisfy a reasonable person’, this is per the Fair Work Act and National Employment Standard.
Armaguard have to date, refused to include a statutory declaration as reasonable evidence for the full personal leave entitlement.
In case you are wondering why this is a crucial point, if Armaguard limits ‘reasonable evidence’ to a medical certificate only, then employees can and will be significantly disadvantaged due to the nature of Doctor accessibility and Medical Centres, particularly in more remote areas of the state as well as in more metropolitan areas. As the Act and NES is written, any reasonable employer would not hesitate to include provision of a statutory declaration as evidence for leave within an Enterprise Agreement.
It may be interesting to note, that the Enterprise Agreement for the NSW Road Crew has not been limited to a medical certificate only, their agreement allows them to provide “evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person” for the illness and/or nature of emergency, for personal and carers leave.
The USU questions why NSW Cash employees are being limited, when the NSW Road Crew is not.
We will keep members updated with the EA as it progresses.
USU Official Emily Callachor – email@example.com