Aurora Energy Again Refuses to Move on its Wages Offer

Following an even stronger No Vote (63.4%), we have been back to the bargaining table another 2 times to attempt to negotiate a suitable outcome.

We have repeatedly provided feedback to the Business that the wages offer needs to increase in order to keep in line with the cost of living.  Aurora employees are tired of continually going backwards.  The Business maintains it cannot increase the offer!

The ASU believes there is clear evidence to show that the Business is able to achieve an increase in their offer. At the Legislative Council Government Business Scrutiny Committee meeting on 4 December 2018, the CEO stated “when you look at the financial outlook, we are still on a sound financial footing over the next four years and are confident we can continue to provide reasonable returns to government over that period.” .  The Business made a $13.2 million, after tax, profit while still delivering $23.3 million on an accrual basis in returns to the government. Again, exceeding the financial targets for this year”.  Yet the Business won’t move from their offer of 2.3%, 2.2% and 2.2%.

At the latest bargaining meeting held on 18 December 2018, items discussed included:

  • Management’s proposal of a “sign on payment” in lieu of back pay on approval of the Enterprise Agreement
  • inclusion of one or 2 “wellbeing days” to be incorporated into the special leave clause
  • inclusion of a commitment statement, (as a reserved matter), into the Enterprise Agreement that Aurora Energy will implement framework to transition employees, who’s roles are considered ongoing in nature, onto permanent contracts during the life of the EA.

Given previous experience we are doubtful that the Business will come back to the table with any type of improvement to the offer. The ASU is concerned by the lack of movement in the negotiations and that Management has drawn out these negotiations for far too long.  The next course of action, which the ASU is considering, is to lodge a Bargaining Dispute with the Fair Work Commission for arbitration.

The ASU is keen to hear your thoughts on these discussions and what is important to you! Prior to our next bargaining meeting, scheduled for mid January 2019, the ASU will send out a survey to seek your feedback, as well as hold member meetings in early January 2019.  Stay tuned for dates!  Alternatively feel free to contact ASU Organiser Karen Tantari on 0472 512 484 or via ktantari@asuvictas.com.au to provide your feedback.

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