At our fourth EBA meeting on 14th April 2016 Qantas finally provided us with the issues they want to achieve out of this agreement negotiations.
The company provided us with details of most of their claims which can be summarised as follows:
1. 18 month wage freeze and 3% p.a. thereafter
(when they say it starts and whether a lump sum payment of 5% is on offer is not clear as yet).
2. Annual leave cashout
Any leave over 4 weeks could be cashed out – given the difficulty getting leave we are concerned about this claim.
3. Days in lieu cashout
We already have provisions to cashout DILs – again isn’t the point being able to take them?
4. 20th day cashout
This is a continuation of an existing provision.
5. Individual flexibility agreements
Qantas wants to replace our existing limited clause to give them the ability to negotiate with individuals about overtime rates, penalty rates, allowances, leave loadings, arrangements about when work is performed and taking up to 5 days annual leave in single days.
This claim significantly broadens the “individual” issues that can be negotiated and is akin to individual contracts and is to be resisted because of what it can lead to. Our agreement already provides for the ability to negotiate up to 10 days annual leave being taken in single days absences, yet Qantas wants to half that entitlement.
6. Hours of work averaged over longer period
Qantas wants to remove the involvement of the union in negotiations about the arrangement of work e.g. shift patterns of greater than 8 hours.
Qantas wants to have the average hours worked calculated over 84 days not the current 28 days. There has been little or no demand for this previously so we can’t see why this is necessary – we will be asking members for their input.
7. Extended shift agreements and roster consultation
The company wants to remove consultation with the ASU on shift lengths. They also want to put in a clause about roster consultation. We think roster consultation is important, but want them to go even further by putting our roster committees in the Agreement not just as side agreements.
Interestingly Qantas don’t want to be held to roster committees and prefer to have the details of them to the side of the EBA.
8. 12 hour break – Perth Airport
Every EBA the company wants to remove this condition for Perth Airport. It provides a 12 hour break between shifts not the standard 10 hours.
9. Changes for compliance and tropical district, overpayments and annual leave clauses
One of these changes reflects changes to the name of another instrument referred to in our EBA (see clause 26.3). The other changes to overpayments and annual leave may be more significant and we need to look at these more closely.
10. Other claims
Qantas has flagged they want to put some claims about part-time employment in coming meetings.
Our ASU Organisers and NNT have copies of the detailed claims from the company so if you want to see them all you have to do is ask your local reps.
We will be consulting members about the company claims so watch out how you can have your say on our response.
We also discussed some of our ASU claims at our meeting in particular some of the issues from EBA 10 that are in side letters. Our preference is to have these matters in our EBA where possible and we said this to the company reps.
Unfortunately they seem to be more concerned about what happens if committees are put in the EBA and they don’t convene the groups – will they be sued for breach? Our answer is simple – just comply with the agreement then you won’t be sued.
Next meeting we will be talking about the Senior Professional Group claims and possibly staff travel and we want to talk about Days in Lieu and access to annual leave among other things.
Our next meeting is on 28th April 2016.