Enterprise bargaining at North East Water has hit an impasse, with Management and the ASU unable to agree on two remaining item:

  • The wages offer remains at 3%, and on instruction from members, your union representatives at the table made it clear that this was not acceptable. The standard across the state is 3.25%, and we’ve heard no good reason why North East Water workers deserve less than their colleagues in other Water Authorities.
  • The other matter is the 9 day fortnight – all we are seeking is a right to apply to work a 9 day fortnight, and that such applications will not be unreasonably refused. Management have steadfastly refused to afford you this right.

 

In order to break the deadlock, ASU are lodging a protected action ballot application with the Fair Work Commission.

 

This will mean that ASU members will soon be voting on a number of proposed actions, including work stoppages, and bans on overtime, call outs, emails, and answering phone calls.

 

To be clear, this does not mean we will be commencing these bans straight away. A ‘yes’ vote simply means that we are legally allowed to implement them should we choose. Bans will only be implemented after consultation with members – you will choose which bans will happen and when.

 

But a ‘yes’ vote will send a strong message to Management that they need to put a better offer on the table.

 

In order to discuss this, members meetings will be held next week as follows:

 

DATE: Tuesday 20 November
TIME: 10.30am
VENUE: Benalla

DATE: Tuesday 20 November
TIME: 12.30pm
VENUE: Yarrawonga

DATE: Tuesday 20 November
TIME: 2.30pm
VENUE: Wangaratta

DATE: Wednesday 21 November
TIME: 12.00pm
VENUE: Wodonga

 

ASU have also become aware that a bargaining representative is spreading misinformation about the agreement, and seeking to run an unauthorised poll of staff on the basis of this misinformation.

This was never discussed in bargaining, and we are concerned that this action is inconsistent with State Government policy, as well as the good faith bargaining obligations set out in the Fair Work Act. As such, we have written to the parties and are seeking to have this ballot cancelled. Failing that, we will lodge an application to the Fair Work Commission to resolve this matter.

 

If you cannot attend these meetings and would like to provide feedback, please contact Organiser Matt Price at mprice@asuvictas.com.au

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