The USU/ASU met with Virgin Australia yesterday afternoon to discuss the ongoing impact of the protracted lockdown in Sydney and border closures around the country. Virgin have begun consultation with the USU/ASU about standing down team members based in SYD.
Virgin reported that it does not have enough work for all SYD team members for Roster Period 9 (9 August 2021 to 5 September 2021). As a result, Virgin are proposing to stand down some team members for the duration of RP9. Virgin have proposed that the stand down will apply differently for full-time and part-time team members.
Virgin gave a commitment that it will continue to consult with the USU/ASU as this situation continues to develop. At the moment the stand downs will only apply to Sydney.
Virgin’s proposal is that full time team members would be rostered their normal minimum hours, and part time team members would be stood down.
The USU/ASU have already asked that full-time team members be given the opportunity to outline their preference to be stood down in order to accommodate caring responsibilities or other commitments. We will seek feedback on this request during our next consultation meeting with Virgin tomorrow morning.
Payments available to Sydney Team Members
Team members who are stood down can claim the ‘COVID-19 Disaster Payment’ ($750 per week) through Centrelink – Virgin will be releasing information packs to assist team members to access this payment. In addition, team members who are stood down can access paid annual leave, including going into two weeks’ negative annual leave accrual. Any annual leave taken will be in addition to the ‘COVID-19 Disaster Payment’.
Virgin will run an EOI process to allow any part-time team members to indicate their preference to work during RP9 if required. If a part-time team member remains stood up to work for RP9, they will be rostered for at least their minimum hours under your Agreement. The EOI process will open following our next consultation meeting with Virgin tomorrow morning.
Next steps
The USU/ASU will continue to consult with Virgin about any stand down of team members. Virgin have committed to returning to consultation discussions with the USU/ASU if circumstances change, including any changes to the eligibility for the ‘COVID-19 Disaster Payment’ or any extension to the ongoing Sydney lockdown. Separate consultation meetings will be scheduled should any stand downs be required in other ports.
A further consultation meeting will be scheduled on Friday, 6 August 2021. During this meeting, the USU/ASU will provide any feedback from members about the proposed stand down process.
Please contact your organiser if you have questions or feedback for Friday’s meeting.

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If you have any questions about this email or need any assistance at work, please contact your USU organiser Thomas Russell on 0419 761 320 or via email at