A fifth meeting of the bargaining committee took place by teleconference on Monday, 12th January 2018.
Since negotiations commenced last December, two versions of Bupa’s proposed Agreement have been put to the bargaining committee. Once the detail of Bupa’s proposed Agreement was explained, Unions and employee representatives put forward their concerns.
Whilst Bupa has responded to those concerns, the ASU is not satisfied with the proposed Agreement. Primarily Bupa are not offering much in the way of improvements to your terms and conditions in this Agreement.
Changes to Redundancies
The most alarming and concerning thing is that Bupa is proposing to reduce the notice period on redundancies from 8 to 4 weeks.
Bupa’s redundancy provisions are already very basic in comparison to other redundancy provisions in the sector. Bupa also has an obligation to investigate whether they can offer you suitable alternative employment. Properly meeting this obligation should not be at your expense.
The ASU have said that Bupa should restore the entitlement to an 8 weeks’ notice period before putting the Agreement to a ballot.
No Fixed Wage increases!
Keeping in mind that Bupa do not guarantee any annual fixed rate increases, performance based outcomes remain out of your control. They are affected by senior management decisions and policy. The employer holds all the cards and may set targets that are not achievable in order to restrict access to performance pay.
If you perform to a satisfactory standard, your wages will only ever increase by 1.5% p.a. These are the rates reserved for the lower end of the pool.
If you are lucky enough to be rewarded with the maximum salary pool rates of [2.5%, 2.8% and 3%] for [April 2018, 2019 and 2020] it still won’t be enough to ensure that your wages keep up with actual cost of living.
Members have told us that the practice of linking salary pool increases in the Agreement to performance reviews has a negative impact on your ability to predict future earnings to meet cost of living pressures. The negative impact does not end there. The compounding value of your Superannuation and capacity to prepare for times when you are out of work is also put at risk by the unpredictability of salary increases.
What will you and your colleagues choose to do about Bupa’s offer?
You now have a choice - Vote ‘Yes’ or Vote ‘No’:
1. If the majority of staff vote ‘Yes’ to the Agreement, the Agreement will be submitted to the Fair Work Commission for approval and that will be your wages and conditions for the next 3 years.
2. If the majority of staff vote ‘No’ then you will need to have a strong union that is prepared to take action! A strong union is where the majority of staff are members of their union and are prepared to take action! Workers have not achieved wage increases, leave entitlements and the likes by sitting at a negotiation table! They have been achieved by workers sticking together in numbers and being prepared to do an activity to show their employer why they are worth more!
Subject to any final amendments to the process by Bupa, voting on the proposed agreement will commence 1 March 2018. Bupa have said they will conduct a ballot through an external provider (Australian Election Company). The votes would then be counted when the ballot closes at the proposed time of 3 p.m. on Monday, 5 March 2015.
It’s important to us to hear your views about the EBA. If you’re not a member of the ASU, you can join online now at our secure form: www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
You have any questions about any of the above, contact your local organiser (download the full bulletin below for details)