There are a lot of changes happening with the Award system in Australia that you need to be aware of.
Under the Fair Work Act the number of Awards is under review and all Awards are going through a ‘modernisation’ process. This process started in 2010 and will continue through to 2014.
This review is being overseen by the Fair Work Commission.
What is an Award?
An award is like a rule book that spells out the minimum wages and protections covering a certain
Industry, occupation or company. It covers important issues like pay rates, hours of work, rest breaks and allowances.
An Award is a legally enforceable document and provides the safety net for workers in Australia.
The other important role of an Award is to ensure that whenever we negotiate a new EBA or ‘collective agreement’ with Tabcorp it must leave you ‘better off overall’ as compared to the Modern Award. This is called the BOOT – or better off overall test.
The National Employment Standards or NES
The National Employment Standards apply to everyone in the workforce no matter what award,
agreement or employment contract covers them. There are 10 National Employment Standards that are contained in the Fair Work Act.
The conditions in an award or agreement have to be the same or better than the National Employment Standards. If they’re not as good, they don’t apply and the NES apply instead.
What Award applies to On Course Tabcorp staff?
You are currently covered by the Tabcorp Wagering Employees Award 2003. This Award is what’s known as an ‘Enterprise’ Award as it covers a particular company, or ‘enterprise’.
Under the Award Modernisation process Enterprise Awards were due to expire at the end of 2013.
Under the legislation two things can happen by the end of 2013 to your Award:
1. Your current Award can be made into a Modern Award and so it continues on, or
2. It can be replaced by another modern Award that already exists
The ASU made an application to the Fair Work Commission in December 2013 to keep the Tabcorp Wagering Employees Award 2003 as a Modern Award. The Fair Work Commission will start hearing this case in the coming months.
Based on previous cases we know that the most likely Modern Award that may apply to your work (if the current Enterprise Award doesn’t) is the Clerks Modern Award.
We also know from previous cases that Tabcorp are opposed to keeping the Tabcorp Wagering Employees Award 2003 that has applied to your work, and under-pinned your EBA’s for decades.
Tabcorp say that the Modern Retail Award is the appropriate Award for the wagering industry because selling bets is the same as selling any product in a shop. The ASU do not agree with this as we say your work is far more specialised than the retail industry. Historically the Fair Work Commission has recognised the Clerks Award as being the more appropriate industry Award.
We need your assistance to win this case. It’s very important that we work together to protect our safety net of Award conditions. That’s why the union is taking on this case. Our case will be about trying to keep the current Tabcorp Wagering Employees Award 2003 or if this argument is not supported by the Fair Work Commission ensure that the Clerks Award applies to On Course Operators.
Enclosed is a short survey that will assist the ASU greatly in preparing the evidence for our case. None of your personal details including your name will be used so you can be assured that your survey responses will not identify you as an individual. All survey results will reported as an aggregate.
Please take the time to complete the survey and return to the ASU:
Fax: 03 9342 3399
Mail: Reply Paid PO Box 324, North Melbourne VIC 3051