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Calling time: Unions and Bargaining Representatives say it's time to ask employees to vote on Emirates' offer

22 January 2020 By ASU

At 2 meetings in December and January, the bargaining committee agreed that Emirates and staff were a long way apart on many issues and discussions have not significantly improved Emirates’ remuneration package. So now it’s time for staff to make their views clear to the Company.

The ASU, ALAEA and bargaining representatives have been meeting with Emirates since July 2019. When we last updated you in October, we notified you of Emirates’ remuneration offer. Since that time, we have exchanged and refined a number of draft clauses improving some terms and conditions of the agreement.

Improvements to your current agreement that have been agreed in principle are, as follows:

  • Improved the Shift Worker clause so that it will comply with minimum standards in the Airline Operations Ground Staff award;
  • Improved the Annual Leave clause so that it will comply with minimum standards in the Airline Operations Ground Staff award;
  • Improved the required Dispute Resolution clause so that it is compliant with the Fair Work Act 2009 (“the Act”);
  • Improved the Notice of Termination clause so that it will comply with minimum standards in the Airline Operations Ground Staff award, as well as the National Employment Standards;
  • Updating the Family Domestic Violence Leave clause to state that Statutory Declarations are an acceptable evidence requirement because they are the minimum standard as set by the Act for taking personal leave; and,
  • A new, explicit Flexible Work Arrangements provision that makes clear how managers, employees and the Company should handle requests so that the Company is compliant with anti-discrimination legislation and the Act.

The bargaining committee is pleased parties could reach agreement on the above mentioned list of improvements but we also caution staff that for the most part, the above improvements only bring your agreement up to date with current workplace relations standards.

Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed

Emirates brought 2 proposals to the table during this round of bargaining that will significantly reduce your salary and conditions of employment. In spite of feedback from staff, Emirates continue to propose to flip your salary conditions so that the greater proportion of your annual increase will be made-up from the variable increases. This is a step towards removing guaranteed annual increases for all staff.

At the last annual performance review (“the PM review”) before bargaining commenced, 149 of 182 staff covered by the agreement received a GOOD rating – Most employees tend to receive a GOOD rating year on year following their PM review. For those staff Emirates is offering a total salary increase of 1.25% p.a. This would be calculated by taking the 0.5% guaranteed annual increase on offer and adding a variable increase of 0.75%. 

Total remuneration offer

For the period of the agreement Emirates is only offering a guaranteed salary increase of 0.5% p.a. to staff who have not reached the top of their scale. The full salary offer is broken down for you in the following table:

Guaranteed annual increase   PM Review Ratings   Possible range for PM review increases   Potential total annual increase
0.50%   Developing   0.0 - 0.70%   1.20%
0.50%   Good   0.75 - 1.50%   1.25 - 2.00%
0.50%   Very Good   1.50 - 3.00%   2.00 - 3.50%
0.50%   Excellent   3.00 - 4.50%   3.50 - 5.00%

For now Emirates is also offering 2 separate improvements to the redundancy cap. Firstly, an increase of the cap to 46 weeks for employees who have completed 13 years but less than 18 years’ service. An additional cap of 48 weeks for employees with 18 years’ service and above is also on offer.

Based on your feedback, the bargaining committee has responded to the Company’s tiered approach to improvements of the redundancy provisions by highlighting employees with 14, 15, 16 and 17 years’ service should also see the benefit. Why not increase the cap to 48 weeks for employees with 14 years’ service and above?

Feedback about Emirates’ salary proposal has been generally unfavourable and many remarks would be unsuitable for publication. The bargaining committee has notified Emirates of your concerns.

The ASU, ALAEA and bargaining representatives all agree that we cannot recommend the total remuneration offer to you. The Company’s proposal does nothing to address your concerns that the PM review isn’t working, staff at the top of the salary scales have not seen salary increases for several years and nor does it assist staff who want the current redundancy package to become more equivalent to other airlines operating in Australia today.

What’s next

The parties have come to a conclusion that only staff voting ‘NO’ to the remuneration proposal will convince Emirates that the other improvements to the agreement are not an incentive for staff to suddenly change their position on the remuneration and redundancy offers. Emirates has agreed to put a draft out to staff before the end of February. ASU, ALAEA and bargaining representatives will meet with Emirates on Thursday, 23 January 2020 to review the Company’s draft agreement and finalise a timeframes for a ballot process.

A better deal brought to you by ASU membership

If you are not already a member, it’s time to join the ASU! Join online at For more information please contact your local ASU organiser or delegate. Download the full bulletin here icon Emirates Bulletin #6 - 21 January 2020

Contact Details
Name: ASU National Office
Telephone: 03 9342 1400