On 15th March 2017 Aerocare management provided their first draft of the proposed new agreement for staff. You have probably seen it by now and what you will notice (apart from some very poor drafting and ambiguous clauses) is that the draft excludes casuals and permanent full time staff from its coverage.
This is no mistake – this is deliberate. Management say that casuals and permanent secure full time staff will be covered by the current expired agreement and only permanent secure part time employees will be covered by the new agreement. There is nothing in writing about what pay rises casual or full timers will get, verbally, management say it is the same as the main agreement but is pays to get written confirmation. We await written advice if it comes.
This is an odd thing to do. It creates two groups of workers based on whether they are part time, full time or casual – we doubt this is legal. This is a divide and conquer strategy we must resist.
Oddly drafted and makes no sense
Your ASU negotiating team met the company on 16th March 2017 to discuss their draft agreement. It was great to have 2 reps from Sydney and Melbourne airport to talk about what staff are thinking.
There are quite a few additional changes to the new agreement that the company failed to mention in their memos to staff like:
• Taking out the requirement to start negotiating any new agreements 3 months before the current one expires
• Continuing nominated hours by requiring part timers to sign individual flexibility agreements (contracts) to waive their rights
• Stopping you from shift swapping without a formal individual flexibility agreement
• Allowing you to be disciplined If you take 15 days personal leave (which would include the new 5 days of domestic leave) – which defeats the purpose of the leave
• Continuing to impose harsh confidentiality clauses which stop you from talking about your agreement negotiations
And much more.
We have told the company much of their agreement needs redrafting. We also have heard from them that they reject all of our claims.
This is not unusual many companies reject claims initially and change their minds.
Show me the money
Many people have thought that maybe the proposed pay rise from the company will be ok. To assess this you need to look as some facts.
In the last EBA that has just finished Aerocare staff got an approximate pay rise of 10.8% in 2013. This rise came after 2 years of negotiations and then was a once only base rate pay rise to last 4 years until the current agreement expired on 19 February 2017.
So the pay rise of 10.8% covered 6 years, 2 years of negotiations and 4 years of the agreement but was not back paid.
During the time of your agreement, the cost of living (or CPI) went up 12.6% and the base line Award that would cover Aerocare staff if you did not have this poor agreement went up 16.8%.
Meanwhile your agreement stayed static for 4 years – no pay rises on the base rates. Effectively you went backwards.
Management propose this again – an upfront rise and nothing for 4 years. Basically the company is catching up to the Award rates and freezing your pay for 4 years.
Here is a table with the key numbers on cost of living and Award increases from 2011:
CPI increase Award Review increase
2016 1.4% 2.4%
2015 1.4 % 2.5
2014 2% 3%
2013 2.4% 2.6%
2012 1.8% 2.9%
2011 3.6% 3.4%
Total 12.6% 16.8%
Source: ABS Statistics and Fair Work Commission Decision 2011-2016
It is also worth remembering that the Award provides for penalty rates, annual leave loading and allowances – none of which you get at Aerocare.
We have asked Aerocare for some detailed information about what has been happening at the company which we are entitled to under the Fair Work Act. They are refusing to provide this information and it is likely we will have to go to the Fair Work Commission to get it.
Our next meeting is on 31st March 2017 if you have feedback talk to your local ASU representatives. We need to know what you think.
Aerocare on TV
Many people are now asking questions about the conditions for staff at Aerocare after the company was featured on ABC 7:30 on 20th March 2017 and so they should. All any one wants is a safe secure workplace that has wages and conditions that mean that employees have good jobs and can pay their bills.
When we bargain with a company all we want is what is fair and what they can afford. Aerocare and their big end of town investors can afford our claims they just need to know we want them.
Things will not change for the better unless we continue to work together and let the company know we are worth more than they are offering and the conditions we are working under must be improved.
For more information, please contact;
Matt Norrey 0407 873 050 or firstname.lastname@example.org