Actu demands maintenance of present award conditions

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Actu demands maintenance of present award conditions

The ACTU has commenced its campaign to serve letters of demand on employers requiring that they agree to maintain present award conditions.

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The ACTU has commenced its campaign to serve letters of demand on employers requiring that they agree to maintain present award conditions. The demand reflects the union movements’ concerns about the federal Government’s proposed changes to the federal legislation, and in particular, the effect those changes may have on award conditions.

There are apparently a number of variations (approximately six) of the letter. The letters vary according to the particular employer or industry. However, the document which is reproduced below is understood to represent the substance of what the various letters are demanding.

The Chamber advises that members should be wary of signing such a document. The union movement is clearly attempting to maintain present award conditions. But of more import, the demand would appear to be designed to circumvent future enterprise bargaining talks and for that reason is highly problematic.

The Chamber recommends that members contact their relevant Chamber advocate before acting on this matter.

"TO: EMPLOYERS AS ADDRESSED

LETTER OF DEMAND

Dear Sir/Madam,

The union is concerned about the possibility of our members wages and conditions of employment being undermined as a result of proposed changes to the Industrial Relations Act (the IR Act).

In order to avoid any negative consequences of these proposed changes the union makes the following claims upon your Company for and on behalf of your employees who are or who are eligible to be members of the union:

  1. That the Company shall agree to retain and provide the following conditions of employment currently provided either by the award and/or agreement:
    a) Maximum number of ordinary hours to be worked in any day;
    b) Length of shift arrangements and minimum breaks between shifts;
    c) Existing arrangements for Superannuation including choice of fund arrangement;
    d) Rostered Days off;
    e) Meal breaks and rest periods;
    f) Termination, Change and Redundancy entitlements;
    g) Training and study leave including trade union training leave;
    h) Time and wages records;
    i) Union right of entry;
    j) Annual Leave for shift workers;
    k) Classification structures and increments;
    l) Existing Casual and Part-time protections including minimum and maximum hours of work.
  2. That the Company shall agree to retain all existing award protections either by award or agreement and only vary these conditions by mutual agreement of the Company and the union or by independent arbitration.
  3. If any award governing wages and conditions of your employees exist that is of a paid rates nature, that the Company shall agree to maintain any such awards by means of a formal agreement.
  4. That the Company shall agree to implement workplace agreements through a process of collective bargaining involving the union.
  5. That the Company shall not offer individual contracts or Australian Workplace Agreements to its employees.
  6. That a process of dispute resolution shall be maintained between the Company and the Union enabling all matters that currently can be referred to the AIRC for arbitration being referred to a mutually agreed independent arbitrator.
  7. That the Company is committed to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value and shall not allow gender inequity to occur in the workplace either in an award, agreement or overaward context. Any dispute between the parties on this issue shall be handled in the manner described in Claim 6 above.
  8. That unless otherwise agreed the Company shall accept the AIRC as the independent arbitrator performing private arbitration functions.

These claims are in addition to and do not derogate from pre-existing claims made by the union upon your company.

You are required to respond in writing to these demands within 7 days of the date of this letter. Should you fail to agree to these demands in full, the union shall take such action as it considers necessary to resolve the issues in dispute.

Yours faithfully,

UNION OFFICIAL"

 

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