Success for Water Corporation employees

On the 30th January 2018 we reached an in-principle agreement with Water Corporation.

Six Unions were involved in the bargaining process and initial negotiations were tough with Water Corporation seeking 39 changes to the 2014 Agreement. These changes would have seen members lose up to $40K worth of entitlements annually. Listed below are some of the key changes requested and rejected during negotiations -

  • Two (2) year term of agreement.

  • Public Sector Wages Policy - offer was to apply $1000 bonus payment.

  • Removal of Trades Table 2 within the agreement - this would take away the 25% all-purpose allowance.

  • Change to spread of hours from 6am-6pm to 6am-7pm.

  • Remove reference to 9 day fortnight practices.

  • Changes to shift work arrangements.

  • Changes to traveling for work outside ordinary hours. Currently get 1.5 x for these hours including Saturday, Sundays & Public Holidays. Proposed 1:1 at TOIL.

  • Removal of incidentals allowance.

  • Removal of inconvenience allowance.

  • Removal of leading hand allowance.

After six full days of bargaining, with no agreement being reached, the Unions caucused and put forward a new “Without Prejudice Offer”, below, to move negotiations forward:-

  • Three (3) year term of Agreement

  • Wage increases of 1.5% per year or CPI whichever is greater in years two & three.

  • Increases from 1st April 2018.

  • No loss of existing conditions.

  • Minor updates to current 2014 EA as already agreed.

  • Super co-contribution inserted into the new EA (3% salary sacrificed matched with 2% by Water Corporation).

This was rejected by Water Corporation on the 14th December 2017. They countered with an offer to insert our claim for the super co-contribution if we traded off our conditions, which we were not prepared to do. As bargaining was at a standstill, the six Unions caucused and put a counter offer back to Water Corporation with the backing of the other involved Unions.

On the 30th January 2018 the joint Unions and Water Corporation reached an in principle agreement with the below offer:-

  • An acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people clause.

  • Three (3) year term of Agreement.

  • Wage increases of $1000 to all employees’ on to base salary. (Accepting the Government Wages Policy)

  • Increases from 1st April each year.

  • All allowances to increase in line with CPI or ATO rates.

  • Super co-contribution scheme written into the new EA and expands to all superannuation funds (Excludes defined benefit funds (e.g. Gold State GESB).

All of the other changes listed above are to remain the same as the 2014 Enterprise Agreement. There were 26 clauses that we agreed to re-word to make the new Agreement easier to understand.

Negotiations can be a difficult, drawn out process for all involved and sometimes companies can lose sight of the bigger picture. Looking after their workers increases job satisfaction, good will and productivity, which is good for business.

Overall this is a roll-over Agreement which holds on to some hard fought for conditions for our membership.

- Andy Giddens | Organiser

Metals, Manufacturing & Engineering

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