You will know by now that Virgin has decided to implement a change that will see ground operations employees work an additional 6 hour shift in each 9 week roster cycle. This was because it was identified that for some time employees had not been working the correct amount of average weekly hours.
Your ASU representatives met with management representatives several times during the consultation process. Virgin made two proposals: firstly, to move to a 5/2R roster pattern, and secondly to add an additional 6 hour shift in each 9 week roster cycle. ASU members strongly opposed the move to a 5/2R roster pattern, because it would have seen an unequal allocation of weekend shifts – some employees working every weekend, and some employees never working on the weekend.
The ASU also proposed an alternative: instead of changing the roster pattern, or employees having to come in for an extra shift every 9 weeks, Virgin should add 8 minutes to the length of each shift. Unfortunately, Virgin did not take up this proposal. However, we were able to get some improvements to Virgin’s ultimate decision, including:
- Maintaining the 6/3 roster rather than moving to a 5/2R roster;
- The change won’t be implemented until January 2016, meaning employees can get through the busy Christmas period without being rostered for any additional shifts;
- Ensuring that employees can use accrued DIL hours to cover the additional shift; and
- A Virgin/ASU review of the new rostering arrangements after 2 cycles under the new arrangements, mid-2016.
It was only because of the work of your ASU delegates that we were able to get these important changes.