Outcomes From Fair Work Commission Hearing
Over the past two weeks the Fair Work Commission (“the Commission”) has facilitated a conciliation hearing between the Combined Rail Unions (CRU) and the rail entities over a dispute about bargaining. As a result of the conciliation the following two outcomes have been reached:
1. Ensuring Certainty for Conditions of Employment
The following wording has been agreed by the parties to give certainty to the conditions of employment for all employees once the current EA expires on 31 March 2014:
“The parties agree to continue applying all clauses, including those expressed to be “for the life of the agreement,” beyond 31 March 2014 as provided for by the Fair Work Act.”
2. Process for Moving Negotiations Forward
As part of the conciliation the Commission has made a recommendation that the negotiations between the parties should be for two agreements:
- One agreement for NSW Trains and its employees; and
- One agreement to cover Sydney Trains and its employees and all employees of RailCorp (including those assigned to Transport Cleaning Services).
The CRU has advised the Commission and rail entities it cannot accept the recommendation prior to consulting with the membership. As a result the following process has been organised by the CRU:
(i) The rail entities have agreed to release delegates to attend a delegate’s conference at Unions NSW on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 to consider the recommendation.
(ii) The CRU will then hold workplace meetings with members from Wednesday, 26 March – Friday, 4 April 2014 regarding the Commission’s recommendation. The CRU will confirm meeting times, dates and locations in the coming days.
(iii) The rail entities will also consult their stakeholders regarding the recommendation.
(iv) Once consultation is finished all parties are to provide their response to the recommendation to the Commission and to each other by 7 April 2014.
(v) If all parties agree to the recommendation the parties will meet to commence negotiations starting with the core conditions on 8 April 2014.
- The CRU will issue a bulletin in the coming days confirming meeting times, dates and locations.
- Members will be briefed on the recommendation and discussions over the last two weeks.
- Members will vote on the way forward at the various membership meetings.