DATE: Wednesday 19 December
TIME: 12 Midday
VENUE: West Wing Meeting Room

We are just waiting on confirmation from HR however please put this in your diaries now.

As you will be aware Paul Leary sent correspondence to the Staff on the 7th December (see attached) advising that Foundation House would not be passing on the ERO to any employees unless they were paid the current SCHADS base award or would be under the award after the ERO was applied.

Your previous Enterprise Agreement expired on the 26th January 2018.

Once an EBA expires, by default, the terms and conditions continue to apply until a new agreement supersedes it. Unfortunately, the wages clause in the expired EBA however, makes specific reference that this clause will cease to apply at the nominal expiry date. See below clause;

22.5 This sub-clause details the effect of the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) that applies to certain classification in the SCHCADS Award and is relevant to the classifications in this Agreement. On 1 December each year the ERO adjusts the wage rates for the classifications in the SCHCADS Award by a fixed dollar amount. On 1 December each year for the period covered by this Agreement per clause 4, an employee is entitled to the fixed dollar increase that is applied to his or her classification in the SCHCADS Award.
22.6 The arrangements detailed in this Wages clause will only apply from the commencement of this Agreement until the nominal expiry date of the Agreement as detailed in clause 4.

Whilst, under the letter of the law, they can do this, it does not make it morally right.

Not passing on the ERO and the lack of notification and consultation with employees until after their pays were calculated, sets  a low tone of how the employer values your work and demonstrates how they intend to behave during the new Enterprise Agreement negotiations.

Management’s log of claims attempts to remove hard-won benefits, undermining existing conditions and substituting them with minimum award conditions, effectively reducing your wages and conditions.

The management have effectively reduced your wages by failing to pass on the previously agreed fixed amount increases, not once but twice.

The ASU intends to petition the CEO and the Board to reconsider this decision.

We will be holding a members meeting on Wednesday 19th December 2018 at 12:00 midday, and asking you to attend and to sign a petition to the CEO and the Board requesting that they show recognition for your hard work and value to the organisation and reverse this decision.

A Message from Your Delegate, Bede Selleck
We look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it at the meeting next Wednesday, 19 December.

We are concerned that for the second time this year, management has taken advantage of the expiry of wage clauses in our Enterprise Agreement in order to limit increases in staff pay. In June, management passed on a 2.5% pay increase, rather than the 3.5% we would have received were the Enterprise Agreement still in force. Again this December, management have elected to limit the number of staff receiving the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) payment, something all staff were entitled to under our enterprise agreement. These decisions have been taken without consultation or adequate explanation to staff.

These limits in wage increases come on top of a log of claims presented in enterprise agreement negotiations that aims to wind back working conditions at Foundation House.

We need to come together to consider our response to these reductions in wages and attacks on our working conditions. For a long time Foundation House has paid its staff above Award wages in recognition of the impact of working in the trauma and torture space, and in a desire to ensure that our wages and conditions go to attracting the best staff to work with our clients. This approach now appears to be under attack.

Talk to you workmates and bring them along to the meeting on Wednesday the 19th to share your thoughts on this issue and help formulate a response to these cuts.

If you have any questions please contact:
ASU Organiser Karrie Bowe | 0400 917 845 | kbowe@asuvictas.com.au

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