The USU/ASU recently wrote to Virgin to notify the company of a dispute under your enterprise agreement after being told by members that Virgin is abandoning the 6/3 roster pattern for full-time Guest Services employees.
As you know, there has been a longstanding practice at Virgin for full-time Guest Services team members to be employed under a 6/3 roster pattern (6 days on and 3 days off in a 9 week roster cycle).
Your enterprise agreement requires Virgin to consult with the USU/ASU and any impacted employees before making any changes to roster patterns.
Over the last 12 months, many employees at Virgin have been stood down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosters looked very different during this time, however, Virgin tried to roster any stood up employees in line with the 6/3 roster pattern.
Now that a majority of employees have been stood up and have returned to work, Virgin are trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to abandon the 6/3 roster pattern.
USU/ASU members have told us that roster patterns have been completely removed from their latest rosters. These members have no guaranteed number of days off in a row and have no way of knowing in advance when they will and won’t be working.
Virgin are claiming that they have done nothing wrong. They say that they are not required to consult with the USU/ASU and their employees because they are not changing roster patterns. Virgin claim that roster patterns no longer exist after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USU/ASU is concerned about the impact this will have on our members’ lives. If Virgin do not provide predictable rosters to their employees, our members won’t be able to make plans for their personal lives and other employment commitments. We are also concerned about workplace fatigue if members are not provided guaranteed days off in a row.
The USU/ASU has sent a letter to Virgin demanding that the company:
- Consult with the USU/ASU and Guest Services employees before introducing any major changes to the rosters of employees; and
- Return to the 6/3 roster until such consultation occurs.
If Virgin do not agree to these demands, the USU/ ASU will proceed to lodge a dispute at the Fair Work Commission.
The USU/ASU will consult with members once Virgin provide further details about roster patterns.
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