The ASU said no to senior management’s proposal for a special pay rate for fundraisers, because it would be below the legal minimum wage. The ASU has asked senior management to pay the SCHDS award rate appropriate to an employee’s skill, duties and experience.
Senior management broke off negotiations and said it would try and force through a vote on an agreement that excludes fundraisers. This will force fundraisers onto individual contracts.
Senior management wants to lock in below award pay for fundraisers. This is against the law and could do substantial damage to Amnesty’s reputation.
Why can’t we agree to this?
Most occupations and industries in Australia are covered by a ‘modern award’. Amnesty International is covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 (‘SCHDS Award’). This covers every worker in the social and community sector, including everyone at Amnesty International.
The SCHDS Award sets the minimum safety net of wages and conditions for that industry. The award is the bare legal minimum that anyone can be paid in your industry.
Workers can negotiate better terms and conditions with their employer through an enterprise agreement. This enterprise agreement has to provide terms and conditions that make workers ‘better off overall’ than if they were still covered by the Award. An agreement that leaves workers worse off cannot be approved by the Fair Work Commission.
We don’t know what the fundraising jobs will look like, (senior management doesn’t even have position descriptions for the roles yet!) so we cannot agree to specific rates of pay. It’s best to say that workers will be paid the appropriate SCHDS Award rate.
Can’t we just let the Fair Work Commission sort this out?
No. The Fair Work Commission can’t be used to test an agreement we aren’t sure about. When we put an agreement to the Commission we need to be sure that it meets all legal requirements.
Senior management are trying to put members in a position where they have to choose between their rights and the rights of new workers'. This isn’t fair or in line with Amnesty International Values. Our fundraisers will be young volunteers and activists – we need to do right by them.
Amnesty International has a reputation for integrity that we need to protect. We can’t solve the problem of exploitation by bringing exploitation in-house.
We need a fair enterprise agreement that protects all Amnesty International employees. We need it as soon as possible. We want you to call on management to come to the table and negotiate a fair deal.
For more information, please get in touch with the relevant contact below.
If you’re not a member of the ASU, you can join online now at our secure form: https://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)