Wages and Conditions
As an employee in the private sector in the State of Victoria your working conditions and rates of pay are determined by one of a number of possible “industrial instruments”.
These include Modern Awards which set the minimum conditions for an industry, or, workplace agreements (EBAs), which are negotiated at a workplace level by unions and must offer better conditions than the industry award. Common law contracts are also common, but must not leave you worse off as compared to the relevant modern award.
It can sometimes be confusing to work out which of these applies to you.
Members who are uncertain or require assistance can contact our ASU ASSIST workplace advisors on 9342 3300 for advice or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Awards and New Modern Awards
Many workers’ conditions are set by a Federal Award and often an workplace agreement (EBA) as well. A Federal Award will set out the minimum wages and conditions for your industry or organisation, and these conditions may be built upon in an EBA which outlines “above award” wages and conditions. EBA’s are the result of union members uniting to bargain collectively for conditions that are better than the minimum standard set out in the award.
On January 1, 2010, the Federal Government created 122 new modern awards from thousands of various state-based and federal awards. Therefore, there are now new Modern Awards for ASU members working in call centres, legal, airlines, freight, the community sector, administration and finance. To find out the conditions of your Modern Award go to the Fair Work Commission Website here. But remember: if you have negotiated a better workplace deal through an EBA, then your working conditions are determined by that EBA.
Collective Agreements/Enterprise Bargaining Agreements
Collective Agreements or EBAs are negotiated between a group of employees (usually, but not always, represented by their union) and an employer at a particular workplace. In most cases an EBA is underpinned by the relevant Federal Award, and often it is necessary to refer to both documents in order to determine your conditions of employment. EBAs build upon the minimum conditions set out in the industry award.