Your ASU National Negotiating Team (NNT) met face to face with the firm’s negotiators for the first time on 7th & 8th December 2015 in Melbourne. This was our fourth meeting and it was great to have the whole team together in the room.
On the first day of negotiations we discussed the firm’s claims which were received on 3rd December. Your NNT got direction from members on 7th December in members’ meetings about our response which was conveyed to the firm on 8th December 2015.
We also had the opportunity on 8th December 2015 to get the firm’s response to our claims which is detailed in a table attached to the bulletin.
The firm seems to be willing to negotiate on some matters but there are a lot of matters they oppose.
New bonus system coming
We learned that the firm intends to roll out a new bonus scheme in January 2016 to 4th year lawyers and above and then progressively to other staff in 2017.
We asked to be consulted about the new scheme prior to implementation and this was refused. We believe this refusal is inconsistent with the commitments that the firm signed up to in the current EBA to consult about workplace issues. We have again written to the firm to seek talks on this issue before implementation of the new scheme.
Wage information available
After a number of months we now have wage information from the firm which we can share with members. We have some reservations about the accuracy of some of the data (which is not internally consistent) but unfortunately the firm says they cannot address these concerns until 28 January 2016 – 4 months after we first made the request for the information.
We also got information about the spread of percentage pay rises which we know many staff want to know about. Make sure you contact your local ASU delegate if you are interested in this information. You need to be an ASU member to access this information.
We need your feedback
During the discussions on our claims the firm representatives made some representations that we need to check with members to assist us to rebutt their assertions. For example the firm says they have never rejected an application by an employee for a flexible work arrangement.
We want to test that assertion with you and check if that is the case.
We also need additional information from staff about the procedure of overtime (paid and unpaid), and the operation of the trainee lawyer clause among other things. Early in the New Year we will be in contact asking you to provide us feedback about these and other issues.
The firm reps cancelled the meeting on 21st December 2015 but we have insisted on a meeting on 15 December 2015. Then the next meeting will be on 28th January 2015. We hope this meeting is face to face but the firm seems reluctant to fly in delegates for these meetings. This is disappointing as your team feel we can achieve so much more discussion if everyone is in the same room.
We have produced a couple of EBA campaign badges – which you may have seen around. These are available from your delegates. Got questions? It you have queries contact your local ASU delegate or ASU organiser, Andy Lewis, on 0409 778 890.