Today your ASU representatives met with Qantas to discuss a range of issues associated with Qantas’ decision last year to close the Melbourne and Brisbane call centres.
Melbourne Rostering Discussions to Continue
Many staff on the multi shift-work roster have been angered about plans to reduce the spread of hours in Melbourne from 24 hours to 0700 – midnight, and to change the roster pattern significantly.
Your local rostering committee met local management yesterday and raised a number of concerns about the proposed roster including:
- Loss of penalty shifts and earnings
- Concerns with the proposed hours of operation – 0700 – midnight
- Dissatisfaction with the proposed start and finish times and the impact – particularly on those with family responsibilities
- Reduction in the number of weekend shifts
Your local rostering committee has made some suggestions about how the proposed start and finish times and the spread of hours can be improved upon. The ASU has reiterated these concerns with management today and pointed out that individual staff may have made very different decisions if they had known that these changes were going to be implemented three months prior to the closure of the Melbourne centre. Qantas has explained that the changes are necessary as part of the ‘transition process’. They say that because they have let some staff go on early release and because they need to get ready for Melbourne’s closure, changes are necessary to the roster. They want a new roster implemented by 11 March.
The company has agreed to meet with the local rostering committee to look at whether the proposals of the staff on the rostering committee will work. We hope that this meeting scheduled for Friday is fruitful. The union has reserved the right to continue consultation with the company in the event that agreement cannot be reached locally. Of most concern to the ASU is the proposed change to the hours of operation as this would have a dramatic impact on the earnings of those staff who rotate through night shift. There is also a financial impact associated with reducing the number of weekend shifts available in Melbourne. On this issue the company has agreed in principle that staff on the shift work roster will be compensated for the loss of income associated with any reduction in hours and penalty shifts. Exactly how this is calculated, what’s included in the calculation and how its paid will be the subject of further discussion between Qantas and the union next week.
We will keep you posted on these important negotiations.
Re-employment with Qantas
There has been much confusion about how long staff who are made redundant have to wait before they are allowed to be re-employed in any part of the Qantas Group. Last year when the company issued a Q&A to staff they stated that the policy was 6 months. They now say the company policy changed in November last year even though they neglected to tell any of their employees or the ASU! To complicate matters further our EBA says 12 months. SO which one is it? We have told Qantas that they should honour the representations made to staff in writing last year – 6 months! Qantas will respond to this next week.
Redeployment – including to other Qantas subsidiaries
It’s fair to say that there are a large number of staff still trying to identify redeployment opportunities – 100 in Melbourne and 107 in Brisbane. Therefore everything that can be done should be done.
The ASU has requested that Qantas provide the written policy in relation to redeploying to other subsidiaries as again there is some conflicting information coming out of HR. Individuals considering a redeployment to another Qantas subsidiary (other than Qantas Airways Limited) should seek advice from the union before signing any new contract.
Similarly anyone transferring from Melbourne to Brisbane should carefully check their contract of employment prior to transferring and seek advice from the union about anything they are unsure about.
Qantas has confirmed that the closure dates remain un-changed: Melbourne – June 2015 and Brisbane – June 2016
Exact release dates for employees in Melbourne is being looked at now with a view to providing the required written notice under our EBA.
Staff Travel and LSL trips
The ASU has again raised the issue of changes to beneficiaries and LSL trips being extended at the same on-load priority. Qantas are adamant that this is a company-wide matter and therefore they cannot change the policy. Notwithstanding this, the union has pointed out to Qantas that with so many staff leaving Qantas at the same time, there is not a lot of time to book and take LSL trips and this is unfair to staff who have earned the entitlement. They will look at it but we are not holding our breath.
Rumours persist that Mindpearl continue to take more and more of the overseas Qantas calls. This is a worry for the remaining jobs at Qantas. Apparently none of the senior Managers at today’s meeting knew anything about Mindpearl. We have asked them to respond to our concerns that this work continues to grow in an off-shore non-Qantas company. They have agreed to respond next week.
The agreement between the Tasmanian government and Qantas has been signed and sent to the government for execution. The new lease for the Hobart property has also been finalised. Recruitment of new staff is also progressing as planned with an additional school of 15 scheduled for April.
Recently Qantas announced some changes to the Hobart management structure. The CSM role has been made redundant and three new roles have been created at the Executive level – ‘Operations Manager Contact Centres’. It is proposed that these will be shift work positions. They will not be covered by the EBA. The ASU office in Hobart is dealing with this matter on behalf of union members.
The ASU will keep you informed of progress in relation to these issues. In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns please speak with your local ASU Delegate or contact Imogen Sturni on 03 9342 3300.