Shortly your employer will be asking all staff to vote on a new enterprise agreement. Your enterprise agreement contains your wages and conditions at work, so it’s really important that everyone understands how the agreement will affect them and has a say in the vote.
The enterprise agreement will only be accepted if a majority of people who cast a vote vote ‘yes’. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide if this agreement is good enough.
The HSU has been negotiating with your employer’s representative about your wages and conditions and they are proposing some significant changes. Some of the key changes are:
1. Wage Offer
Management are proposing just a 2% wage increase per year, for three years. The first increase is payable from operative date of the agreement and then subsequent increases from the first full pay period on or after 1 July in 2022 and 1 July 2023.
During negotiations, the HSU said that this wage offer is far too low and does not respect the vital work that aged care employees do every day. We argued for a significantly higher wage increase, but management have not agreed. They say that this is all they can afford.
2. Removal of wage safety net
Management are proposing to remove the wage safety net, which guarantees your pay rates will be at least 2% above the relevant modern Award rate. Currently the safety net protects your wage rate to ensure that you will always be better than the modern Award. However, management want to get rid of this, which means your pay is no longer guarantee to be higher than the Award. The HSU has argued strongly that this is unfair and will leave members worse off.
3. Freezing of allowances
Management are proposing to freeze the uniform and laundry allowances, offering no further increases during the life of the agreement. Normally your allowances increase annually with your pay increase, however management are refusing to increase these allowances each year in this agreement. The HSU says this is unfair and means the value of your allowances will not keep up with rising cost of living.
Before voting opens, your employer must share a copy of the proposed agreement with you and provide details on all the proposed changes. Please review this information carefully and if you have any questions, get in contact with the HSU. The union will also be sending out further information about the proposal next week, to help members understand what is on offer.
The new agreement can only be accepted if a majority of staff who vote, vote ‘yes’. If you don’t like what is being offered and would like to keep negotiating, we encourage you to vote ‘no’.
Member Zoom Meetings
The HSU will be hosting online meetings for members to discuss this offer, next Wednesday 4 August at 5pm and Thursday 5 August at 5pm. We encourage all HSU members to attend one of these sessions. This is an opportunity to discuss what the offer means for your and to ask any questions you may have.