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ASU says Vote NO at Emirates!

Emirates will roll the dice and put an inferior Agreement out to vote.

Your Union and bargaining representatives met with Emirates on Wednesday, 7 June 2017 to talk through Emirates’ draft replacement Agreement. The low pay offer was not discussed further, however Emirates has been put on notice about significant anomalies in their proposal.

Earlier this week bargaining representatives met with Emirates to respond to their draft replacement Agreement that was initially provided to us 25 May 2017. Before meeting, Unions had sat down with Aelred Rodrigues (Human Resources Manager – Australia & New Zealand) to highlight serious anomalies in Emirates’ draft. Mr. Rodrigues addressed some concerns but has said he will go ahead and put a Proposed Agreement out for staff to vote on.

Emirates’ is denying bargaining representatives any further opportunity to seek clarifications.

We will highlight our primary concerns with the draft here and strongly advise staff to contact their Union with any queries that may arise from the information Emirates circulates to explain the impacts of their proposal on all staff.

Drafting anomalies in Emirates’ Proposed Agreement

In the draft Agreement that your bargaining representatives have seen, there are number of anomalies including missing entitlements and varied entitlements that were not the subject of Bargaining.

Emirates has been notified that the wages and salaries provided at Clause 15, is drafted so poorly it would not accurately reflect what the bargaining committee understood to be the Emirates’ wages and salaries offer.

The clause as it was presented to the bargaining committee on 7 June 2017, contained further anomalies due to missing information in respect of pay scales.

The Unions highlighted other anomalies that exist in their Proposed Agreement but we have little hope for better clarity and a refined Agreement.

Emirates also informed us that they want to circulate their draft Agreement on 11 June 2017.

The offer
Overall, what we still need to ask ourselves is what incentives are there for staff to accept an Agreement that offers no pay increases before 2018 and requires that staff lose their current entitlements to other pay and conditions?

Emirates’ key proposals would have a negative impact on staff:

  • Withdrawal of the merit based payment that was due 1 April 2017.
  • Pay freeze for 2017.
  • Fixed pay increases below CPI, from 2018: 1% effective January 2018 and 1.5% effective January 2019.
  • Reduction of the of the merit-pot payments compared to your current Agreement.
  • Selling out future employees’ long service leave and annual leave loading.
  • No py increases for people at the end of the band, just lump sum payments – which won’t improve your annual leave loadings.

The minimum rates increases awarded for the Airlines Industry 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been 2.5%, 2.4% and 3.3% respectively.

Reasons to Vote ‘NO’ the Emirates Enterprise Agreement 2017
The bargaining committee did achieve some success at the negotiation table with Emirates. We persuaded Emirates to put safeguards into new proposals such as limiting the use of a new Annual Shut Down provision, so that staff would be able to predict when the business will shut down. New Cashing-out of Annual Leave provisions would also ensure staff are protected from the negative impacts of cashing out Annual Leave entitlements.

We had some success with some minor improvements to their original pay offer but we do not believe the pay offer is fair and reasonable especially because staff may be trading off their 2017 merit-pot payment due 1 April.

Your union and bargaining representatives consistently pressed Emirates on the unfairness of their proposals and informed the Company that staff would be disadvantaged by a pay offer that doesn’t keep up with the year on year increases to your costs of living.

Without a fair and reasonable pay offer on the table, there is no incentive to accept a poor outcome from bargaining that will make you and future employees worse off than under your current entitlements.

The only alternative is to vote ‘NO’. If the majority of staff vote ‘NO’, then staff will have a new opportunity to seek answers from the Company at the negotiation table. It is only if the employees work together that you will be able to convince head office to deliver pay increases that ensure your wages keep up with the cost of living.

Voting ‘NO’ will also mean that the bargaining committee can clean up problems with drafting of the Agreement and make sure the Agreement is the best it can be. At best, the Agreement should state your conditions of employment in plain and clear terms.

What your Union has been advised about the Voting process
On Wednesday, 7 June 2017 Emirates notified the bargaining committee of their intention to proceed with a Vote on their draft Agreement. Emirates have said that email addresses of all eligible staff have been supplied to their external provider who will administer the vote.

Staff should receive an email from Emirates’ external provider on Monday, 19 June 2017. The email will contain details how to make a valid vote, including a PIN to login and cast your vote. Your vote will need to be received by the specified time on Sunday, 25 June 2017, after which the votes will be counted.

If a majority of employees who participate vote ‘yes’ to the Agreement, Emirates will submit the Agreement to the Fair Work Commission for approval.

Stay informed
We will update you about the full details of the voting process as soon as practical.

  • Make sure that your current contact details are up to date with the ASU.
  • If you are not an ASU member – now is the time to join – you can do this online at asuvic.org

If you want more information contact your local ASU delegate or Organiser, Imogen Sturni, at isturni@asupsvic.org

Print or download PDF here

Date

16 June 2017

Category

Industry Bulletins

Author

Imogen Sturni

Tags

EBA, wages, emirates, airlines, Melbourne Airport, call centre