As you may be aware, the last EA meeting was conducted at HOB on Monday, 9 October. We will get to that in a bit, but first some other news:
We congratulate and welcome Pam Christy, from the Wallsend Contact Centre, who has recently been elected as a workplace delegate. We thank you in advance for your hard work, Pam!!
As has been stated before, we rely on our delegates to perform the invaluable task of being our eyes and ears on the ground and urge anyone who wants to be an advocate in their workplace to contact their nearest delegate or union official.
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With negotiations in full swing and Ausgrid seemingly doing everything they can to subvert the principles or good faith bargaining, now is the time to join your union. The strength of a union is in its numbers – no numbers = no negotiating power. Joining is easy, just fill out the attached form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Alternatively, you can join online at usu.org.au/join. Those who refer a colleague to sign up will receive $50 per member referred. Now…
Ausgrid seem to be trying all they can to subvert the principles of good faith bargaining by sending out teams of management, none of whom are even involved in negotiations, to teams of workers to spruik about their generosity. If they’re not crowing about their incentive attached to redundancy – which was the idea of the combined unions that was presented to the company earlier this year and is still subject to negotiation – they’re now holding sessions about the “offer.” Let’s be clear – whilst the company has made an offer with regards to wage increases, there is still hard work to be done with regards to the Agreement in its entirety.
At Monday’s meeting, the unions voiced their concerns with regards to:
- Wage increases in years 2,3 & 4 being subject to the implementation of CCR, a point of discussion that has been moving at glacial speed. The combined unions are fundamentally opposed to wage increases being subject to agreement on the implementation of CCR – people deserve a pay increase;
- The incentive payment not being anywhere near what the unions would deem an incentive for people to exit the business when having consideration for the remaining period of job protections legislation. The company knows this, that’s why they’re out there spruiking about it already;
- The draft EA presented had NO protections WHATSOEVER with regards to the post job protections period in terms of forced redundancy. It read like a free for all.
- The USU submits that post 30 June 2020, there still needs to be a rigorous VR system in place so as to protect people against indiscriminate redundancies;
- The definition of major change as it written in the draft document is quite open, thereby leaving workers’ exposed to having Ausgrid decide what constitutes major change and, therefore, when they would be obligated to consult;
- The draft dispute resolution procedure moving far away from what had been discussed with the previous negotiating team. Status quo – Gone. Matters pertaining to the employment relationship – Gone. There is simply no balance between the draft consultation and dispute resolution clauses. A good consultation clause reduces disputation. Were both clauses to find their way into the Agreement as written, occasions of dispute would increase dramatically;
- Further, the consultation clause as drafted doesn’t even pass the minimum requirements of the Fair Work Act; and
- One positive (for now) is that the company hasn’t flatly rejected the combined unions’ proposal for a global percentage cap on redundancies post 30 June 2020. We’ll see what happens here…
For more information, please contact your site delegate or Organiser Troy Dunne on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 403 076