Members would be aware that the 2 EBAs at Slater & Gordon (Lawyers and Support Staff) expire for re-negotiation purposes on the 31 December 2020. About 5 weeks ago the USU/ASU discussed with S&G management that we needed to think about commencing formal EBA negotiations. It was agreed between the parties that we would commence formal negotiations in June 2020.
Not long after this discussion the pandemic commenced to quickly escalate and federal and State governments progressively introduced stricter and stricter social distancing and isolation rules to combat the pandemic to the point that most S&G staff have for some time been working from home and offices are closed.
USU/ASU approaches S&G on delaying negotiations
It is within this context that the USU/ASU recently approached S&G management and asked for negotiations to be delayed beyond June. The stringent social distancing rules and people working from home has meant that the USU/ASU could not properly prepare for bargaining. Usually in the 2-3 month lead up to the commencement of bargaining the USU/ASU would engage the membership and potential members with member surveys, developing the Log of Claims and having members meetings to discuss relevant EBA issues and endorse the Log to be served on management. This activity has been made virtually impossible because of the stringent social distancing rules. We are also concerned about bargaining in an economic environment of great uncertainty and whether this is conducive to a good EBA outcome.
So we have an agreed position with S&G management to delay the negotiations for 2-3 months after June and in the meantime monitor the situation and see if things improve in order to allow proper bargaining to take place. If conditions were to improve and we got back to some type of normality then it would be the USU/ASU’s view to commence the bargaining as soon as possible. But in early April it is difficult to make this judgement.
The USU/ASU will keep members informed of any major developments and is eager to negotiate the next round of EBA’s as soon as it is viable.
Want more information?
For more information, please get in touch with USU Organiser Emily Callachor on 0417 420 924 or firstname.lastname@example.org