On 18th August 2014 ASU delegates and officials met with Virgin Australia airport and contact centre management for one of our regular meetings to talk about the implementation of our Agreement and about issues that have been in progress since our last meeting – here is a summary of what was discussed:
As many members will be aware Virgin announced that they were engaging independent auditors Deloitte to examine their payroll system and records after an update in the system earlier this year deducted annual leave from a number of ground and contact centre staff balances. Virgin payroll is also conducting their own review and we received an update on the results so far.
There is work still to be done and there are further discussions to be had, but it seems that over a long period there have been a number of errors to annual leave and possibly other leave and potentially associated payments. Your ASU reps have asked for more details about these faults and we are scheduled to have another meeting with the company on 18th September 2014. When we have more specific details we will consult with members about what our response should be – stay tuned for more information.
The company is reviewing the operation of jobshare in all locations and wants to convene a national group to work on the parameters and operation of jobshare to discuss such issues as availability, duration, operation and rules for jobsharers as well as how and to whom jobshare can be offered. We know that the majority of jobsharers covered by our agreement work in passenger services and we know there are a lot of people who want to work a jobshare roster and cannot.
The ASU delegates have told the company that we want to be involved in the national group and to make sure we can participate properly and represent our members’ views we are putting together a survey about jobshare that we will be asking you shortly to complete for us. The ASU has many jobshare agreements in the airline industry and Virgin management has agreed that they want to put in place the best practice they can – your delegates and officials look forward to working on the group as we know that jobshare can be a great way to work if it is managed properly – watch out for more details on our survey & feel free to contact your local ASU delegate or organiser to talk over your thoughts on the issue.
Ground Ops leave and attendance policy
Management intends to no longer require personal leave forms to be completed for personal leave and they intend to introduce an absence entry system to capture basic details of absence (e.g. Does the absence relate to a team member’s application for sick leave, carer’s leave, compassionate leave etc. and when is the expected return to work date is) which will be administered by on shift DOPs and will remove the need for forms to be filled out by a team member. The presumption will be that the required documentation like certificates & statutory declarations will be provided so the leave will be paid and only reversed if the paperwork is not received as expected.
This is a change in policy we had been lobbying for during the agreement negotiations as all too often the paperwork had been misplaced and we had had reports of members having to wait a long time for the payment of these types of leave. This is a great development which comes from working together to get practical change.
Virgin lounges and coordinators positions
We gave the company the feedback we had been receiving from members about how the recruitment for the virgin lounges and coordinators’ positions had been conducted. A number of your concerns are being investigated and if you have raised matters with us about this talk to your local ASU delegate or organiser about next steps – we are urging staff who feel aggrieved to utilize the internal Virgin grievance procedure and talk to your local union reps.
Our next meeting is scheduled for 18th September in Brisbane – at that time we expect more briefings on the payroll situation and we will report back after that time. Join the ASU today and let’s continue to improve your working lives together – you can join online https://www.asu.asn.au/asujoin