On 21 March, the business and unions received correspondence from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) regarding your Enterprise Agreement (EA).

The FWC advised:

  • They have made a preliminary decision that the IEA clauses (Schedules B & C) are unlawful. You will recall that the USU’s position throughout negotiations was that IEAs are unlawful.

    TransGrid have been invited to make submissions to the FWC in relation to its stance on IEAs;

  • That TransGrid may not have properly notified employees of the voting process;
  • That the Consultation clause at Clause 5 does not meet the minimum requirements and if the EA is approved, the model Consultation clause per the FW Act will be inserted;
  • That an employee’s right to notice of termination may be Inferior to that prescribed in the National Employment Standards (NES). Under no circumstances can the terms of the NES be undercut, traded off or contracted out of;
  • Clause 41.1.3 of the Agreement offers an early morning shift penalty of 110% for any shift commencing after 5am and before 6:30am. The Electrical Power Industry Award 2010 (the Award) provides a span of ordinary hours from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm and does not provide an early morning shift. It appears that under the Award employees would be entitled to overtime for work outside the span of ordinary hours. Subject to the rates of pay offered to employees, employees otherwise entitled to overtime between 5am and 7am may not be better off overall under the agreement than under the modern Award;
  • Clause 28.8 of the agreement allows employees to take time off in lieu of payment for overtime (TOIL). TOIL must be taken at the ordinary time rate (i.e. an hour off for each hour worked). The Award also allows employees to take TOIL. However under the Award the period of time off that an employee is entitled to take is equivalent to the overtime payment that would have been made. Further, the agreement lacks some of the safeguards provided by the Award. Specifically, the Agreement does not state that on termination accrued TOIL will be paid to the employee at the overtime rate applicable to the overtime when worked. You may wish to provide submissions or an undertaking in relation to this issue; and
  • TransGrid’s submissions to the aforementioned concerns are to be filed with the FWC by Wednesday, 28 March.

We will keep the membership updated as things progress.

If you have any questions contact your Organiser Troy Dunne on 0419 403 076 or tdunne@usu.org.au