Have we reached agreement?
We have agreed to send a draft Agreement to Industrial Relations Victoria (IRV). The State Government policy on wages and conditions applies to Water Authorities. The policy when we started negotiations set wage increases at 2%. Everything else had to be negotiated. We argued for an extra % increase and to improve conditions such as RDOs and fairer progression through the bands. The government announced in June that the policy will be changing to 1.5% effective January 2022. The means that we have to get the draft Agreement to IRV by 30th September 2021 for review.
What avenues have been explored?
We have tried many avenues to improve wages and conditions. We entered in a mediation with Retired Commissioner Julius Roe. Management rejected his recommendations. We applied to Fair Work (The Commission) for a conciliation conference. Deputy President Ian Masson provided advice and guidance. We did not reach agreement with management. This is really frustrating as we have met over twenty times to negotiate the deal. Union representatives presented this material.
IRV will decide if the draft meets the conditions of the State Government policy (https://www.vic.gov.au/wages-policy-and-enterprise-bargaining-framework). There will be a vote of all workers covered by the Agreement. If it is voted up then the document with 2% goes to Fair Work for review. If it is voted down then we resume negotiations under the 2022 Wages Policy with 1.5%. We thought it was responsible to take the steps towards your vote under the 2% Wages policy.
Whatever happens, the ASU is by your side. We will be a legal party to any Agreement you vote for.