|Combined Unions Circular: Aurizon Bargaining|
|Rail Unions have continued to meet with Aurizon representatives over replacement Agreements for the soon to expire Enterprise |
A common question that arises at this point of negotiations is about what happens to the old agreements once they expire.
Itís a good question especially given they only have a few weeks to run.
The simple answer is that nothing happens. They might Ďexpireí on paper but they continue to have the full force of law until they are
replaced by a new Agreement.
That means that your conditions of employment remain intact with all of the benefits and entitlements regardless of them having
passed the Ďexpiryí date. Itís one of the safety net features.
Negotiation progress has been slow going. Itís not much of a surprise given that there is a large gap between what Aurizon has
proposed and the current entitlements.
Aurizon has tried to shop its two agreements around on the intranet and via telecasts. The company has also formed focus groups in
some areas to get the views of some people on what is wrong with their agreements.
Rail Unions arenít concerned about these processes because we continue to represent the view put to us by members. We get the same
feedback as management and that is that people donít want to go backwards. They want fair agreements with reasonable
Management seem to forget that the aim of Rail Unions is to get a fair agreement for Aurizon workers in line with membersí wishes Ė
nothing more and importantly, nothing less.
The resources spent on the games and tactics would be better invested in getting fair dinkum and negotiating sensibly on fair
We are still working with the Fair Work Commission to try to break the deadlock and they have been helpful in getting some of the
common clauses resolved. Despite this and our ongoing commitment to bargaining in good faith it has the potential to be a slow
Where to from here?
Not surprisingly and given itís the festive season negotiations will pause briefly in the coming weeks. There will be one more round of
negotiations this year and then they will recommence early in the new year.
Rail Unions are keen to get workplace representatives from across the operation to the table to add some perspective from
workplaces. Rail Unions have always been member driven and this is an important element of that philosophy. Management have
been resistant of this step but we are now at a stage of determining when and how rather than if.
We take this opportunity to wish you a safe and peaceful festive season and look forward to getting underway with bargaining straight
up in the new year.