On Wednesday 13 June 2018, HCF presented the USU with an offer (without prejudice) which was socialised with members on Thursday 14 June 2018; the membership rejected HCF’s offer. 

The USU wrote to HCF on Friday 15 June 2018 to put forward our position, as below.

The USU met with HCF on Tuesday 19 June 2018 and spoke to our position, HCF took it on notice and advised a response would be provided.  The next bargaining meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 26 June 2018.

The USU’s position, without prejudice, is:

The Position:

The Explanation

1.     Title: Enterprise Agreement


2.     Duration: 3 years, to expire 30 June 2021


3.     Cl 1.1 Who is covered?: Update to reflect current position titles


4.     Cl 11 Your Wage

o   3.5% wage increase to be paid annually to all EA employees, to be paid from 1 July 2018

o   Remove cl 11.1(e) in its entirety

Cl 11.1(e) is a restriction on the wage increase, as it is performance based.  HCF have confirmed that there is no ‘performance policy’ and that is at the discretion of individual mangers.  The annual wage increase should apply to all employees and be without conditions. 

5.     Cl 15 Travel Expenses:  Change rate of travel expenses paid, to be flat rate of the base rate of pay for the hours travelled, to the nearest minute.


6.     Cl 18 Annual Leave:  Amend Cl 18.1 to say “You are entitled to 4 weeks paid annual leave per year, accruing pro-rate through the year, based on ordinary hours.  Annual Leave accumulates year to year.”


7.     Cl 20 Personal/Carers Leave

o   Amend 20.1(a) to say “A personal illness, or injury, of the employee…”

o   Amend 20.6 to say “You must notify your immediate Manager/Team Leader of your absence as close as possible to your rostered start time and take all necessary steps to apply for personal/carer’s leave as soon as practicable, upon your return to work”

The USU is concerned that employees may be unfairly disciplined if for any reason, you are unable to enter your personal/carers leave into Preceda immediately upon your return to work. 

8.     Cl 21 Domestic Violence Leave:  Amend 21.1 to say “An employee experiencing domestic violence will have access to 10 days per year of paid leave for medical appointment, legal proceedings and other matters and activities arising from domestic violence.

This leave will be in addition to other leave entitlements of this Agreement and may be taken as consecutive or single days or as a fraction of a day and can be taken without prior approval.

Proof of domestic violence may be required and can be in the form of an agreed document issued by the Police Service, a Court, a Doctor, a Domestic Violence Support Service or Lawyer, or a Statutory Declaration.

No adverse action will be taken against an employee if their attendance or performance at work suffers as a result of experiencing domestic violence.”

The USU believes that conditions on the use of Domestic & Family Violence leave should be specific and within the EA to ensure that those that require access to the leave understand what the entitlement is.  Currently HCF have a leave policy that speak to this leave, however the EA itself does not contain enough explanation.  

9.     Cl 22 Public Holidays:  removal of requirement to take F&F day on a local gazetted holiday (text immediately below 22.1(c)


10.  Cl 26 Grievance Procedure

o   Amend 26.1 to say “The grievance Procedure shall be followed to resolve grievances about matters arising under this agreement, the national employment standard and/or any matter pertaining to the employment relationship.”

o   Amend 26.8 to say “Either you, your representative or the Fund can go to the Fair Work Commission, or if agreed, to another third party for conciliation, arbitration and/or determination.”

Currently, the EA only allows for a grievance to be raised for a matter arising under the EA or the National Employment Standards (NES).  The USU wishes for the clause to be amended to include reference to the employment relationship, or words to that effect. 

11.  Cl 28 Consultation:  Accept the Fair Work Model Clause only with the addition in cl (1), of (c) “has made a decision to introduce any change that has a significant effect on employees

Any change that has a significant effect is broader than the wording in the Model Clause which speaks only to a “major” change with a significant effect.  The USU believes that ANY change made by HCF, that has a significant effect should be consulted with affected employees (and their representatives).  The USU believes that a “significant effect” such as, effects to personal life, wages, conditions (e.g. roster, location) and amenities.

12.  Cl 29 Union Membership:  Include wording that the Fund “recognises and respects the role of the Union Workplace Delegate”

Your Workplace Delegates play a very important role, not only as representatives of the Union but also in the local workplace.  Without Delegates, you would have less support and protection in formal counselling sessions.  The USU’s original claim for this item was to include a “Delegates Charter” which spelt out the expectations of the Union Delegate, however as that was considered lengthy and not in line with HCF’s implication desire, the USU has reduced the intent as such. 

13.  Schedule A:  Remove junior rates table



DOWNLOAD a copy of HCF’s without prejudice offer, which has been explained in the table below:  

Note: Correction to the notice issued 18/06/2018:  The second dot point in the ‘Cons’ column said “in last EBA HCF offered 7% over 2 years duration”, it has now been corrected as below:

The output is that for a 2.5 year term agreement, the average percentage increase was 2.8%, if you were eligible to receive the increase, depending of your performance.  



·       Clause 15 travel time – employees to be paid for actual time spent travelling

·       Removing junior pay rates and paying all employees as per adult pay rates

·       F&F Day can be used on any day for regional and interstate staff – instead of requirement to use on gazetted holiday

·       Clause 21 Domestic Violence leave to include wording that the leave is “in addition to other leave entitlements”

·       Definition of immediate family member to match HCF leave Policy Guidelines – this includes that spouse is x-spouse or x defacto partner

·       Pay increase to take effect 1 July 2018 – subject to USU accepting offer by midday 15 June 2018 and all EA staff vote answer is yes before 30 June 2018


·       3 Year EA (with only 2%/annum increase – this is lower than current CPI (which is 2.1%) and would be locked in for 3 years)

·       2% annual increase to wages and allowances – to be effective from 1 July 2018 (first pay period is 25 July 2018) – only offer for back pay if this offer is accepted (2% over 3 years is 6%, however in last EBA HCF offered 7% over 2.5 years duration) + current HCF EA clause 11.1(e) states that based on performance you may not be eligible for any increase

·       Above increase and back pay is subject to HCF offer being voted and accepted by staff before 30 June 2018

·       Grandfathering annual leave loading for existing staff, and new staff will not have access to this entitlement (2 classes of employees, next EA (30 June 2021), how many staff will still be getting annual leave loading, and will it be removed completely for everyone?)

·       Change in ordinary hours for all EA employees (excluding direct) to Monday – Sunday 7am – 9pm (will head office staff or branch staff be made to work Wednesday – Sunday? Or shiftwork)

·       Inclusion of model consultation clause in place of current consultation clause 28 – this is more favoured towards the employer (it does not allow consultation before the change, and only provides consultation after the change – if it is a major change with significant effect and changes to rosters and hours – any other change does not require consultation (before or after))

·       Sick Leave notification to be entered on first day of returning to work – this does not allow time to get a statutory declaration signed and may create an instance in the future for staff discipline

·       Part time additional hours’ notice period reduced from 2 weeks to 1 week before 20% loading is applied on additional hours worked – currently HCF can give as much notice as they like, however if the notice period is less than 2 weeks, they give compensation in the form of 20% loading on additional hours worked – HCF want to change this to 1 week, to avoid paying 20% loading

·       Application of higher duties allowance, HCF request to change from 4 single accumulative days to 5 consecutive days (would disadvantage people just doing a few days here and there and also weekend POCs)

·       Removal of all other items from USU log of claims (several items – including DSP, Delegates Charter, Consultation Clause, Leave types, no loss of conditions, reasonable wage increase, job security, rolling call centre loading into base rates of pay, back pay,  position classifications, bonus structure and criteria, EAP, Time in lieu, Superannuation, Definitions, any other matters which arise from negotiations)

IMPORTANT to NOTE:  Negotiation of the Enterprise Agreement is ongoing, all offers are on a “without prejudice” basis. 

It is time to join the USU!

Contact your workplace delegate:  Emma Bonnano, Glynnis Ferrett, Rebekah Tong, Kevin Gray and/or Nadasha Tuwhakaraina

Contact your union organiser: Emily Callachor – 0417 420 924 – ecallachor@usu.org.au

Visit the USU website – www.usu.org.au/join


USU Official – Emily Callachor – 0417 420 924 – ecallachor@usu.org.au