ASU Delegates and officials met with Menzies management on 19th August 2014 for our 6th meeting about the passenger services agreements in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
We were able to feed back into the meeting the views expressed by a number of members at our recent meetings which helped us sort through exactly the response members have to the various propositions for the agreement that the company is suggesting.
We made some progress on a couple of issues in principle – like the roster committees including a bidding system for annual leave but there is some way to go on the money on offer and key claims around contractors.
The company has also tabled a draft Agreement with technical changes which we were able to talk through at our meeting – some are straight forward – others are not and we have undertaken to give the company a written response to each of their changes before our next meeting.
What else did we find out?
A key sticking point in these negotiations – apart from the poor money offer – is the rates of pay & companies that Menzies is using to employ staff either directly or through a labour hire/ contractor arrangement. At the moment Menzies uses 2 Menzies owned companies to employ staff – Menzies Aviation and Australian Air Support. The former company operates in Sydney International airport, Melbourne and Darwin employing passenger services staff and the latter – Australian Air Support – operates in Brisbane and at Sydney Domestic airport. The wage rates and conditions at Sydney domestic airport for passenger service staff are significantly less than at the international terminal and are covered by an agreement negotiated by another union. At the moment there is nothing stopping Menzies utilizing Australian Air Support staff at the international terminal.
Menzies has now advised us – after we asked a lot of questions, that they intend to negotiate an Australian Air Support agreement at Melbourne airport – exactly which positions would be covered by such an agreement is not clear, it may be only ramp type functions. We have asked Menzies to clarify their position on these negotiations and we are waiting for their response. We cannot see why the Menzies agreement does not cover all passenger service work at Melbourne airport as it has always done – to do otherwise is a direct threat to our wages and conditions.
While Brisbane does have an Australian air Support agreement already, there is nothing to stop the company trying to use the Menzies aviation company to undercut wages and conditions in Brisbane too – this is definitely an issue for all employees covered by the agreements under negotiation.
This is an important development in the negotiations.
What is next?
We expect to schedule our next meeting with the company in the week of 15th September – watch out for the exact details.
How do we get a better deal
You can help to ensure that we get a decent and fair outcome by becoming a Union member. By joining the Union and working together collectively we will achieve a better outcome.
If you’re not a member of the ASU, you can join online now at our secure form: www.asu.asn.au/asujoin