On Monday 5th of October the ASU filed an Application for a Majority Support Determination at the Fair Work Commission. The application is made to ask the Fair Work Commission to order that Birdlife Australia must initiate bargaining for an Enterprise Agreement. The application is made on the basis of evidence demonstrating that of the employees proposed, the majority would like to be covered by an Enterprise Agreement.
Why the delay?
The ASU had obtained sufficient signatures as early as June this year. However, it took some time for the ASU to properly map the organisation and understand who worked where and in what roles. The ASU needed this information for two reasons. The information enables us to be confident that the Agreement proposal has majority support and also, it enables us to best determine the scope of the Agreement.
Subsequently, the ASU has sought to work cooperatively with management. We thought it reasonable to offer management an opportunity to enter into discussions before moving to an Application at the Fair Work Commission. Unfortunately each of the ASU’s requests has been rejected.
Scope: – Who is proposed to be covered?
The ASU has asked the Fair Work Commission to make an order that Birdlife Australia initiate negotiations for an Agreement to cover all employees at Birdlife except for the following,
- Chief Executive Officer
- Head of Fundraising
- Head of Finance & Corporate Services
- Head of Member Development and Communications
- Head of Research
The ASU believes that employees who occupy the above positions likely undertake strategic managerial functions that make them operationally distinct from those proposed to be covered.
The ASU is also aware that a number of employees are not based in Melbourne. For this reason, we have suggested to the Fair Work Commission that if preferred, we would be prepared to negotiate an agreement just for employees of the Melbourne office.
Management at Birdlife Australia may choose to challenge the application. We are fairly confident that the application will succeed however, you can never be certain.
Should the application be successful, we will enter into negotiations. Ultimately we hope to produce an Agreement that anticipates problems and identifies solutions, that creates certainty and fairness between employees, and that improves organisational performance at Birdlife Australia.
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact ASU Organiser for Birdlife Australia, Andy Lewis on 0409 778 890.