Apr 10, 2017

Water NSW members’ update

Water NSW members’ update – April 2017 (PDF version)

Friday 6 April the PSA (CPSU) Bargaining Team met with Water NSW representatives and the other unions, the AWU, Professionals Australia and the ASU. A small number of individual bargaining representatives also turned up.

This meeting was primarily procedural, and focused on establishing negotiations protocols, resources for the bargaining teams and initial expectations on how negotiations would proceed.

Water NSW reported it wanted to take an ‘interest-based bargaining’ approach to the negotiations. This is a new process the Fair Work Commission is promoting to help assist employers and unions in resolving difficult situations. It also requires all sides to keep an open mind and to be flexible in the outcomes they are looking for.

The evidence so far from Water NSW is it has a clear set of claims it wants to achieve through this process. This is contrary to how ‘interest-based bargaining’ is designed and without the facilitation by the Commission, will not be workable.

The PSA (CPSU) asked if Water NSW had a full draft agreement already set up with all its claims, and this was not denied. The unions also know some of what Water NSW is looking for, including:

  • stripping some conditions down to the minimum standard in the Water Industry modern Award
  • setting up ‘performance pay’ for many employees where annual salary can go up or down based on the local managers budget (or alleged perception of performance)
  • limiting the coverage of the enterprise agreement to employees who may earn up to $152,000.

The PSA (CPSU) and other unions have developed a joint Log of Claims for our members. This Log of Claims is based on an earlier survey your union conducted and ongoing discussion with your local Delegates, members elected to represent you from both former DPI and State Water Corp. A Log of Claims is a set of broad principles the union will fight for on behalf of our members. These are not detailed proposed clauses but broad outcomes the union is looking for.

Consultation

All union members are encouraged to review the Log of Claims, and provide feedback. If there are any areas you strongly disagree with, or key issues you feel are missing, please let your Bargaining Team know by emailing watereb@psa.asn.au.

All unions will be holding members’ meetings over the coming weeks to endorse the Log of Claims and members are strongly encouraged to attend. Any proposed changes will be taken on board by the four unions, so please respond as soon as possible.

Next bargaining meeting

The unions sought to commence negotiations over matters that members have reported they care about such as weekly hours of work, Flexible Working arrangements, RDOs, overtime and similar issues. The union needs input from members on these issues before the next meeting, scheduled for May.

Please respond to the survey which you can find here. Your responses will directly influence what the PSA (CPSU) fights for members in relation to weekly hours of work, flextime arrangements, overtime and similar issues.

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