The ASU has worked hard to extract promises from Slater and Gordon about the integration of Nowicki Carbone into the main S+G business. Much of this work has been done through the negotiation of the Lawyers Enterprise Agreement at Slater and Gordon.
Subject to approval of the Agreement, the following provides a basic outline of enforceable commitments made by Slater and Gordon in relation to Nowicki Carbone.
Key points about the Integration :
- Full integration of the Nowicki business into Slater and Gordon will be achieved by October 1, 2016.
- All Employees who would if employed by Slater and Gordon be covered the S+G Lawyers Enterprise Agreement will be offered Employment by Slater and Gordon on Dec 15, 2015. These offers will be effective October 1, 2016.
- All Employees who would if employed by Slater and Gordon be covered by the S+G Support Staff Enterprise Agreement will be offered Employment by Slater and Gordon on April 1, 2016. These offers will be effective October 1, 2016 and will follow a consultative job mapping process.
- Employees will be offered employment on a like for like basis. If you are on a fixed term contract you shall be offered a fixed term contract. If you are a permanent employee, you shall be offered a permanent role.*
- At October 1, 2016 graduate to third year lawyers working in MVA and WC practices will be placed in Quartile 4 “Q4” of the S+G Lawyers Enterprise Agreement Payscale.
- Family and Crime lawyers will likely be placed in Q1.
- Other lawyers will likely be placed in Q’s 2 and 3.
- Off-Scale lawyers must be paid a minimum the Q3 third year rate plus 4%. Except Crime and Family -: Q1 plus 4%.
- Any associate or senior associate who is paid less than the current S+G NSW 3rd year rate is to be covered by the Lawyers Agreement. This means that associates and senior associates must also be provided an offer of employment.
- For pay rates including for legal assistants, para-legals and law clerks please consult the relevant Slater and Gordon Enterprise Agreement.
- Within 1 week of the approval of the Lawyers Agreement by the Fair Work Commission, Nowicki Carbone will offer to Nowicki employees a variation on their employment contracts. The variation will be to the effect that Slater and Gordon Organisational Change, Redeployment and Redundancy terms will be incorporated into Nowicki Carbone contracts.
*The Slater and Gordon Enterprise Agreements contain provisions which restrict the use of short term contracts and casual employment. At Slater and Gordon, fixed or maximum term contracts can only be used where there is a genuine need for backfill or for project work. These provisions will dovetail with the commitment from S+G to offer employment to Nowicki employees. The ASU will be prepared to argue on behalf of members’ when the member, being a fixed or maximum term employee, believes they should be offered a permanent role.
The ASU also understands that Nowicki has placed a freeze on Graduate Recruitment. Whilst S+G has committed to providing 30 new positions for graduate and “first job lawyers” in or about the next 18 months at this stage it is the intention that, unless a real argument about merit can be made, these positions will be available to existing S+G employees only.
To be sure, there is still much water to flow under the bridge. However, the commitments we have extracted from Slater and Gordon provide increased certainty to Nowicki employees. Should you have any queries or concerns don’t hesitate to contact ASU Organiser for Slater and Gordon, Andy Lewis on 0409 778 890