General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing


Peter Moss - Thursday, February 22, 2018
ETU and other union members have combined to vote down a misguided hybrid wages proposal at Centennial Coal’s Mandalong Mine, near Morisset.

On 20 February mine workers rejected by 192-93 an enterprise agreement that would have paid half of each annual pay rise as a flat dollar amount, with half being paid as a percentage.

This would have seen non-trades workers earning a higher hourly rate compared to trade-qualified workers by the end of the three-year agreement.

The hybrid pay system was developed by CFMEU Mining and Energy Division regional leaders but voted down by rank-and-file CFMEU Mining members combined with ETU, AMWU and Professionals Australia members.

Unions will now return to the negotiating table. The ETU expects that the next draft of the EBA will revert to percentage-based annual pay rises, in line with trade union values.

ETU delegate Jason Cowburn said the CFMEU Mining and Energy wages proposal was ‘a severe miscalculation’ that has been rightly binned.

‘The hybrid pay idea failed to take into account basic facts such as the different number of hours worked by groups of workers here at Mandalong,’ said Jason.

‘Any system that results in non-trades workers being paid more than tradespeople is unfair and contrary to long-established relativities based on skills and qualifications.’

Jason said that rank-and-file CFMEU Mining and Energy members had rejected the proposal because it discriminated against trade and professional workers.

‘It’s a victory for solidarity. We have word from Centennial’s mine at Myuna that union members there will also reject any hybrid pay proposal. Hopefully all concerned have learned from this episode and we can move on to improved agreements at both sites,’ said Jason.

Bluescope Combined Union EBA Update

Paul Lister - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Talks with BlueScope management continued this week. 

Discussions were held regarding the introduction of change/consultation clauses. Discussions were focused around the ‘interest’-based approach taken recently, as opposed to the “Letter 1, Letter 2” approach detailed in the current agreement.

The ‘interest’- based approach will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.

BlueScope management provided further information on the staff bonus (profit share plan) for consideration. This information will be reviewed in future meetings.

Discussions were also held on our claim for penalty rates on personal leave. The Negotiating Committee put forward a strong and forthright stance on this issue, reflecting our membership’s firmly-held desire for these rates. Penalty rates on personal leave will continued to be discussed.

BlueScope management continue to hold concerns surrounding absenteeism levels.

The Next Meeting

Discussion will continue on the matters mentioned above, along with our claim of Trade operator/ staff operator removal/boundaries and our claim for a Classification Structure review.

In Unity,
Brach Currey - ETU Organiser / 0431 838 852