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Combined Unions Recommend All Employees ‘VOTE NO’ to the ARTC NSW Enterprise Agreement 2016

Aug 11, 2016News

Is it a reduced offer?

ARTC has reduced their offer (compared with the EA voted down in December 2015) as follows:

  1. More employees are being removed from the EA
  2. There is no back-pay
  3. The current consultation clause has been reduced.

 

Why would I vote in favour of a reduced offer?

ARTC has suggested that employees should vote in favour of the EA because it is the best offer that ARTC can make under the Federal Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy (WBP). The issue of whether ARTC is covered by the WBP is a matter that is before the courts. Even if ARTC is covered by the WBP, it can still negotiate to improve employment conditions, payments and allowances.

 

Are other GBEs getting a better deal?

Employees at the Australian Synchrotron, including members of Professionals Australia, have just voted up their EA with an improved deal being reached after industrial action. The Australian Synchrotron is another Government Business Enterprise (GBE) that used the WBP, and while there are some special circumstances at the Australian Synchrotron due to its merger with ANSTO, members’ action achieved improvements to conditions including:

  • an increase in superannuation to 15.4%pa
  • Reduced working hours – to a 36¾ hour week with no loss of pay
  • Individual pay increases due to changes in the classification structure and salary bands in the EA
  • Preserving a range of conditions including purchased leave and phased retirement in the EA
  • flexitime arrangements (and ‘managed time’ for senior employees)
  • improvement to on-call arrangements.

The outcome achieved at the Australian Synchrotron indicates that there is a great deal more flexibility in the WBP than ARTC suggests.

 

Will ARTC be privatised?

The Federal Government has commissioned two reports on the privatisaton of ARTC, the most recent being by Macquarie Bank. Some industry analysts believed the injection of $594 million in Federal Government equity in the 2016 Budget was an effort to “fatten the cow”, and to make ARTC more attractive to potential buyers. It is estimated that selling ARTC would raise about $4 billion for the Federal Government.

In short, we believe that ARTC is being prepared for sale in the near future.

What are we fighting for?

Union members are taking protected and lawful industrial action to pressure ARTC to genuinely negotiate to reach a fair and reasonable outcome on the EA. The Combined Unions have given ARTC a range of options they can utilise to settle the EA, many of which are zero cost, including:

  1. Protections in the event of privatisation and/or the closure of regional centres including:
    1. Protecting policy-based entitlements in the EA: eg current sick leave entitlements, because policy-based entitlements are removed or changed when companies are privatised
    2. Improved redundancy and redeployment protections
  2. Protect employees who want to stay on the EA
  3. Address safety issues:
    1. Reasonable access to meal and toilet breaks for Network Controllers Guaranteed 10 hour minimum break between finishing and starting work to manage fatigue
  4. A better pay deal, including back pay
  5. Improve on, don’t reduce, consultation provisions
  6. Fair processes in the EA – like those seen in hundreds of other EAs both within the public and private sectors, in rail and in other industries:
    1. Fair rostering principles
    2. Improved dispute resolution and consultation provisions
  7. Equity in allowances and penalty rates:
    1. Equity between EAs within ARTC and equity with industry standards
    2. Fair access to payment for on call, call backs and payment for overtime worked (remove/reduce caps)

 

It is vitally important that you participate in the vote.

Failing to vote may result in the EA being voted up.

WE URGE YOU TO VOTE NO!

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