By now members will be aware that Delta Electricity withdrew their proposed enterprise agreement just 30 minutes prior to the voting process commencing on 27 January 2015.
This occurred after our combined unions meeting off site on 22 January in which members were advised that the unions did not consider bargaining was at an end and did not agree with the document circulated for vote.
An all staff message cited a decision to amend the redundancy clause, over which Delta had flatly refused to continue any discussions with the bargaining representatives.
The PSA and other unions wrote to Delta demanding that proper bargaining process be observed and calling upon Delta to meet with the bargaining reps again to discuss any changes they may propose to the EA. As a result a meeting was held yesterday.
At that meeting Delta advised that they were prepared to include wording to make the voluntary redundancy clause apply also in circumstances of forced redundancy.
The PSA again advised that it had always been our position that forced redundancy provisions should be greater than those of voluntary redundancies.
Two other unions again stated that their preferred position was to properly negotiate the total package which would apply in the circumstances of forced redundancy in order to have that included in the EA.
At that point management withdrew from the meeting to consider their position.
The bargaining reps also spoke together and confirmed that collectively our preferred position remained to meet with members at large to discuss your views regarding redundancy, given that there has been no sale of Vales Point and therefore no employment guarantee applies.
When management returned they indicated a preparedness to make further minor amendments to the redundancy clause.
The PSA advised that the unions still had a difficulty in that we needed to check back with our membership for further instructions regarding redundancy provisions, as circumstances had now changed.
We asked for a report back meeting on 17 February, to allow time for discussions regarding the operators’ arrangements to make further progress.
It was also the first occasion all the officials could be present for a meeting.
Delta advised that our proposed timeframe was too long.
They maintained that Delta needed to finalise a new agreement before the current one expires on 11 March 2015 and stated the government had a ‘no back pay’ policy.
The unions pointed out that the value of the redundancy provisions was far greater than the value of the pay rise which could be delayed by a week or two.
Delta did not agree to schedule a mass meeting as requested.
As a result the PSA has sent a letter to Delta management.
Read the letter HERE.
Largely identical letters have been sent by other unions.
This has been a disappointing and disagreeable bargaining process during which Delta has repeatedly refused to discuss issues or provide reasons for their refusals, only to then reverse themselves and negotiate further.
We need to collectively keep our heads and demand a proper good faith bargaining process which achieves the best possible outcomes for members in these uncertain times.