Thursday, 5 October 2017

Coal Services bargaining update

Coal Services bargaining update – October 2017 (PDF version)

Union officials from the CPSU NSW and the Nurses and Midwives Association met with Coal Services management last Friday 29 September 2017.

Coal Services advised that they have reached a final position around their offer to workers. The following offer was tabled by the employer:

  • Wage increase of 2.5% per annum for a 2-year enterprise agreement (5% pay increase over 2 years) – this has increased from the 2.1% offer at the last bargaining as a result of industrial pressure from the unions. The CPSU NSW has requested that this offer be amended to 2.5% or CPI whichever is higher
  • Pay will be backdated to the expiry date of the last agreement (30 June 2017) to be paid from the full pay period after the agreement has been made
  • Paid Parental Leave of 12 weeks on full pay or 24 weeks half pay. This will apply to women who are currently pregnant
  • The full Paid Parental Leave entitlement applies to situations involving stillbirth
  • 3 weeks’ Paid Partner Leave or 6 weeks at half pay
  • 8 days’ Domestic Violence Leave plus Special Leave where more leave is required (NSW Nurses and Midwives Association claim)
  • Flex expanded to all staff except Manager Level A
  • The ability to take Annual Leave at half pay included in the enterprise agreement
  • The issue of classification progression and workload will be dealt with through a Committee with the unions to resolve in the first 12 months of the agreement
  • Payment for professional fees of up to $750 per year professional allowance to pay for qualifications or certification required to perform the role in which the staff member is employed (pro-rata for part time, does not apply to casuals)
  • Agreement coverage remains the same – Coal Services also advised they want to talk about removing the General Management Team (GMT) at the next agreement but that this issue is off the table at this bargaining round.

CPSU NSW comments on this offer:


  • The CPSU NSW appreciates that the pay offer is below the 3% per annum that members have in the current agreement, but it is a decent deal considering that the ABS has recorded wage growth to be at a record low with seasonally adjusted, private sector wages at 1.8 per cent through the year to the June quarter 2017
  • Coal Services also advised that they anticipate that they will be in better financial shape after raising premiums and making other improvements and anticipate that they will be able to give us a better deal at the next agreement. This is the reason that the agreement term is lower at 2 years, to enable the financial performance of Coal Services to improve
  • Getting back pay is an achievement, the CPSU was on the front foot and sought agreement on this at the first bargaining meeting. There are employers that do not pay back pay and try to capitalise on delays in bargaining

Conditions of Employment:

  • The unions have negotiated the pay deal up from an initial offer of 2.1% per annum to 2.5% per annum. This is a 0.4% pay increase as a result of our negotiation efforts proving that union pressure at the bargaining table makes a big difference
  • There are improvements in conditions of employment – the expansion of Flex Leave to all staff except Manager Level A is a big win, giving better work/life balance to staff
  • Improvements for working families: Paid Parental Leave has gone up by 3 weeks from 9 weeks and Paid Partner Leave and Partner Leave has gone up by a week
  • This is the first time in the history of Coal Services that they have had a clause in their enterprise agreement relating to Domestic Violence Leave
  • Apart from the drop in pay by 0.5% there are no other losses in entitlements or rights.

Agreement coverage:

The only bargaining claim that Coal Services had was to remove the General Management Team from agreement coverage. After some correspondence was exchanged and difficult questions asked by CPSU NSW Industrial staff they dropped this claim. This means that the enterprise agreement will continue to cover every worker at Coal Services, except the CEO.

Tell us what you think – member meetings have been arranged

The CPSU NSW acts on your behalf. That means what you think about this deal matters and if you are unhappy with the offer above please let your Organiser or Industrial Officer know.

Your CPSU NSW Organiser Ian Braithwaite will be visiting work sites and speaking to members about the latest offer.

The following meeting rooms have been booked across the regions for member meetings:

  • Sydney (9th) at 10.30am – Longwall Meeting room
  • Woonona (11th) at 10.30am – Woonona Board and Video Conference Room
  • Singleton (12th) at 10:30am – Singleton CMI Meeting Room
  • Speers Point (12th) at 1:30pm – Speers Point CMI Meeting Room

Your CPSU NSW Contacts – email us if you can’t make the meetings

If you are unable to attend the above meeting times, you can contact your union officials Ian or Vera by emailing the following:

Sign up members/join your union

This is a member only communication. However, if you have non-members around you, please ask them to join either the CPSU NSW or the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association if they are a nurse. If this deal is accepted we will need to work together to build membership up so that we are even stronger at the next round of bargaining.

What happens next?

The unions will be meeting with Coal Services on 12 October 2017 to discuss member feedback and go through the agreement once again. We will determine whether the agreement is ready to go to ballot at that meeting so please get in touch so that your voice can be heard.