Increasingly ASU members have been hearing first whispers, then murmurs and now seeing press reports that Qantas management is on the verge of announcing restructuring and redundancies in the Group. No specifics yet but the noise is increasing and as many of you know in Qantas “where there is smoke there is fire”.
While it is true that the current situation is unprecedented we must continue to urge Qantas management that these times must also mean that they do not automatically default to their favourite position of restructuring and redundancy. Your union strongly believes the country will bounce back, the industry will bounce back and Qantas, with one of the best balance sheets of any of the airlines in the world, will be well placed when the health crisis eases and the economy picks up and restrictions are eased and flying both domestically and internationally returns to more like normal. To do this Qantas has to have skilled staff and burning loyal staff will not be the best way to help the country to recover.
If Qantas does do what they always do, we must be committed to fighting for jobs and proposing innovative ways that members who want to keep their jobs but have no work currently can do that and can come back when things improve. Defaulting to only redundancy is short-sighted and damaging and we must urge Qantas to work with us on getting solutions and options that suit everyone and are not just methods from the past. That said if redundancy is the only solution in some areas then we must commit to minimising compulsory redundancies as the clauses in EBA 11 provide.
Time for the Federal Government to Act is NOW
A vital part of the recovery is going to be the support the aviation industry gets from the federal government. In particular, the continuation of Jobkeeper payments post-September 2020 will be vital for both the industry and workers survival as the recovery occurs. That is why in a mass meeting of hundreds of ASU aviation members on Thursday 18th June we launched a petition calling on the Federal government to establish an Aviation keeper package post-September to assist the industry. We cannot sit back and let this measure just finish and so it is imperative that the government knows that we want and need this for the industry….not just for Qantas but for everyone in our industry.
ASU members need to get involved with the campaign and you can start by signing the petition we have created and get all your workmates and friends and family to do it too. You can sign the petition: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/bring-in-aviationkeeper
The ASU and the TWU have written to Qantas asking them to join our campaign to extend job keeper/ aviation keeper and we have also reached out to them to seek discussions about how they see the airline ramping up and how it will affect ASU members across the many areas of our coverage in the Qantas Group so members can plan and understand options– we strongly believe this is the time to work together, no one thinks this will be easy of course but it is extremely important to try.
While we await the response from Qantas here is a snapshot of what else is happening:
Standowns/ Special leave without pay
We put to Qantas a while ago that they should amend their SLWOP policy to allow entitlements to continue to accrue on this leave when periods of longer than 30 days are taken. We understand this is under active consideration and we hope for a change in policy soon. We continue to try and get Qantas to be transparent on the rostering of staff at airports by showing members rosters so people can estimate when they will be stood up – we believe we have in-principle agreement on transparency but nothing has been enacted so far. We continue to press the company on this.
Senior Professional Group –PP& R
We are currently talking to ASU members in the SPG about the KPIs and PP& R process under the EBA and hope to have a resolution on this soon
Sick Leave while on Standdown
As previously reported a case was taken by some other unions about Qantas’ failure to pay people sick leave while stood down – that case was lost at the Federal court but we can report that an appeal has been lodged which we hope will be heard as early as July.
As always make sure you check your payslip and log issues and keep records in writing, errors are still being made
Keep Australia Flying
As always the ASU will be by your side during this difficult and uncertain time – we need to keep Australia Flying