The ASU has been bargaining with Aero-Care since February 2012 after Fair Work Australia refused to approve the original agreement lodged by Aero-Care. The ASU's sole intent has been to bargain to get the best Agreement for our members. The minimum conditions the Aero-Care Agreement should include is the terms and conditions in the Airline Operations Ground Staff Award 2012 as well as the National Employment Standards that are in the Fair Work Act.
When Aero-Care has altered the draft Agreements in response to ASU bargaining, it has been hard fought and usually to meet Aero-Care's base legal obligations. This is why there has been a delay in getting a new Agreement. The ASU believes that Aero-Care should respect the work done by employees and reward that work with better, much better, pay and conditions. Not only is that fairer for employees, it will allow Fair Work Australia to approve the Agreement and give employees the reward and the certainty that they deserve.
We want a fair agreement
The ASU wants an Agreement that is fair for all employees, this is what we have been arguing over the last eight months. It is why we took Aero-Care to Fair Work Australia, to make sure that if Aero-Care circulates an Agreement and asks employees to vote for it, that it is the best Agreement that can be negotiated. If the ASU does not think it is the best Agreement that Aero-Care employees can get then the ASU will say so.
The Agreement that has been circulated in the last two to three weeks has some minor improvements but it is a long way short of an Agreement that can be endorsed. A good start to improve the Agreement is to increase rates for Saturday and Sunday work. The minimum engagement for a shift should be at least four hours the same as in the Award, not three hours. And employees should not have to work split shifts.
It is not difficult for Aero-Care to improve the Agreement before asking employees to vote on it. Yes, it will cost Aero-Care some money, but this is money from the revenue generated by the hard work of employees. It is only fair that employees are properly rewarded for the work that they do for the company.
Before Aero-Care can ask employees to vote on an Agreement Aero-Care have to give seven days notice. We have been advised this notice period has just begun the ASU do not believe this agreement is fair and we doubt it will pass the minimum legal standards.
What if I have more questions?
You can always contact the ASU organiser in your state, (download the full bulletin to see contacts). They have a lot of experience in the airline industry, they have dealt with other ground handling companies, and they can tell you what is fair and reasonable wages and conditions for the work that you do.