The ASU has today notified EPIC’s negotiating team that we believe that we have reached an impasse in negotiations for your new enterprise agreement.

As a result we have proposed that the agreement as negotiated goes out to a vote of all employees to be covered by it to see if employees agree with the offer being made by management.

We are unfortunately unable to recommend the agreement to our members.  We do not believe that management have genuinely looked at many of your claims and have not agreed to continue negotiating around many items where it was clear that the impact of the claims were not inherently negative for the employer. In many cases EPIC already do what we are asking but they are unwilling to lock it into the agreement.

In relation to your log of claims, here’s an update on what management have agreed and disagreed with:

  1. A three year agreement
    Not agreed – Management want a 4 year agreement.
  1. Consultation after an ‘in-principle decision’
    Not agreed – Management want to make a final decision before consulting.
  1. Disputes clause encompassing all work-related matters
    Not agreed – Management want to restrict access to external review of decisions which are in dispute.
  1. Protection of the status quo during a dispute
    Not agreed – No change to current practice.
  1. Required changes to the flexibility clause
    Agreed – They had to agree to the changes proposed to ensure agreement approval was possible.
  1. Wage increase in line with Fair Work minimum wage increase or CPI, whichever is higher
    Partially agreed – Wages will increase in line with the minimum wage increase each year but won’t have a CPI safety net included.
  1. Ability to accrue time off instead of overtime
    Agreed – TOIL is now written into the agreement and the choice to take this is the employee’s choice to make.
  1. Increase time off accrual rates in line with Award
    Agreed – Management had to take a serious look at this claim to avoid issues with the agreement being approved.
  1. Clarified wording regarding availability of additional superannuation payments
    Agreed – No change to entitlement. Just inserted clearer clause.
  1. 2 additional days of compassionate leave if travel required
    Not agreed – Maintained minimum entitlement. No change agreed.
  1. 10 days paid family violence leave
    Not agreed – Management only willing to offer 5 days of unpaid leave as per the Award.
  1. Include references to relevant long service leave legislation
    Agreed – No change to entitlement. Simply advises employees where to look for entitlements.
  1. Ability to purchase 2 weeks of additional annual leave
    Partially agreed – Management agreed to allow 1 week of purchased leave per year, with restrictions.
  1. Personal leave bonus scheme for non-use of available leave each year
    Not agreed – Management were unwilling to even consider this claim.

 

Given the above outcomes,  we cannot recommend a yes vote and we urge ASU members to VOTE NO in the upcoming ballot.

Having said that, we must be realistic and understand that our members are all in Tasmania and none of the other states had union representation at the table during negotiation. As such it is unlikely that the agreement will be voted down. We believe that the proposed agreement meets the minimum requirements to be approved by the Fair Work Commission in that every employee is likely to be better off under the agreement than they would be if the underlying modern award applied.

We will provide further updates when we hear from management about their plans for any vote to occur.

For further information please contact:
ASU Organiser Aaron De La Torre | 0427 813 821 | adelatorre@asuvictas.com.au

 

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