As employees will be aware, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has ordered that the Australian Electoral Commission (“AEC”) run a secret ballot at Birdlife Australia to determine once and for all whether a majority of employees at Birdlife would like an Enterprise Agreement to be negotiated.
The lead up
The ASU conducted a majority support petition between March and June. By petition a strong majority of employees at the Melbourne office expressed a desire that the ASU negotiate an Enterprise Agreement with Birdlife Management. A majority amongst employees across the country was also achieved.
Birdlife management argued that given a shared preference to include all non-executive employees and, in light of the time taken to complete the petition, they could not be certain that a majority of Birdlife Australia employees wanted an Agreement.
Birdlife management indicated to the Commissioner at the FWC a sense of comfort with the idea of an Agreement, provided that the correct processes had been followed. Management suggested that they wished to act in accordance with the intentions of Birdlife employees and that they sought only to be sure that an Agreement was what Birdlife employees really wanted.
It was then proposed that the AEC run a ballot. A ballot would allow all employees a fair opportunity to have their say.
Ballot Timetable (a quick reminder)
Ballot material will be posted to eligible employees today, Tuesday 1 December 2015. Papers will be posted to the addresses specified in a list of employees provided by Birdlife to the AEC. Employees will vote by postal vote, returning ballot papers by mail to the AEC. Voting will close at 10 am on Tuesday 15 December 2015 and only Ballot papers received by the Returning Officer by that time will be counted.
The ASU has a long history of negotiating agreements with NGO’s. We have worked hard to negotiate terms at these organisations which solve problems and provide fairness and equity. Our Agreements ensure a consistent approach from management and fair treatment of employees.
Should you have any further queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact ASU Organiser for Birdlife Australia, Andy Lewis on 0409 778 890.