Qantas ground staff EBA ground-breaking
The new Qantas ground staff EBA has been hailed as ground-breaking by the union leadership following a 93% vote in favour of the EBA by members.
As well as pay increases, the EBA contains domestic and family violence leave and family friendly provisions which help address retirement income inequality. The ASU has hailed these as ‘ground-breaking’ for this predominantly female workforce.
Primary carers will receive 12 weeks parental leave and an additional 2 weeks of salary to be paid into superannuation unless they elect to take it as pay.
“On modelling by Qantas, that’s an additional $46,000 at retirement if the two weeks is taken as super. This is a big win for primary carers, who are predominantly women,” according to ASU Victorian Branch Secretary Ingrid Stitt.
For workers who do take the extra two weeks as leave, it is potentially 14 weeks of parental leave on top of the government scheme.
“New domestic violence leave mean employees can take the time to re-set their lives when they are at their most vulnerable. When workers – mostly women- are at the most turbulent time of their lives, the last thing they need to worry about is their job or entitlements”, Ms Stitt said.
Based on ABS data, it’s estimated over 1.9 million Australians over 15 have been affected by family violence, and three quarters of these are women. The Qantas ground staff EBA negotiated by the ASU provides for 10 days domestic and family violence leave.
The agreement gives a 5% bonus on current rate of pay, with a bonus $3000 for full-time employees and $2500 for part-timers. There’s a 4.5% increase by July 2018 and 3% from July 2019.
“As a country, we need to do more to address gender inequality and domestic violence. We view measures like those in the new EBA as pointers to a better way forward,” Ms Stitt said.
“Our members worked tirelessly when things were tough for the airline and were key to delivering a record profit. We’re pleased that Qantas, one of the largest private sector employers in the country has been prepared to reach agreement on innovative and progressive outcomes for our members.”
Contact: Rebecca Nicholson, 0409 216 053
The Australian Services Union Private Sector Branch, covers office, customer service and airline ground staff employees in private industry. It has some 5,000 members and growing. 70% of the membership is female. For more information, see asuvic.org