Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Water NSW – Bargaining Update

Water NSW – Bargaining update – 10 October 2017 (PDF Version)

Dear members,

Your CPSU NSW bargaining team is meeting with Water NSW today and tomorrow to go through management’s proposal in more detail. The unions have asked for a lot of clarification around Water NSW’s proposal, which we have serious concerns about. Hopefully these will be clarified and we can update members about the proposal and what action we recommend.

The decision to accept or reject changes to pay and conditions is up to CPSU NSW members. Your bargaining team does its best to negotiate for members’ interests with the outcome put to members to vote on. This is very important as it is through having a voice with your union that you can collectively determine what pay and conditions are acceptable and which are not.

In the event Water NSW insists on proposals members find are unacceptable, they may need to help the union campaign for VOTE NO on an all staff ballot. Members may also need to support each other through possible industrial action to pressure the employer to back down on outcomes that are bad for members, bad for employees and bad for Water NSW. If your bargaining team feels it has come to this, we will be asking members to decide on whether to pursue industrial action, and if so what forms of industrial action. But we are not there yet – and hopefully management’s offer has some significant changes to benefit more employees.

Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review – 3.3 per cent update

The CPSU NSW has engaged our lawyers to apply to the Fair Work Commission to review the decision by Water NSW to not pass on the full 3.3 per cent pay rise to former DPI Water employees. An application is being made this week to the Commission to address this failure and to ensure that the full 3.3 per cent is required to be paid.

The advice we have been given by Counsel is that we have a very strong case with a high prospect of success. However, nothing is guaranteed and we will keep members updated as the matter progresses. ALL former DPI Water employees have the protection of at least five years of their conditions being maintained, and any pay rises provided by the Fair Work Commission. The past three pay rises have been, 3.3 per cent in 2017, 2.4 per cent in 2016 and 2.5 per cent in 2015.

After five years, the Copied State Award ceases to exist and employees move to the Modern Award. In this event, the CPSU NSW can apply to the Commission to maintain your take-home pay if the employer tries to reduce it. An order to maintain take-home pay includes allowances, shift penalties, overtime and similar. An order like this will only be made for members of the CPSU NSW and will continue as long as the Modern Award applies. This situation would not occur if there is an Enterprise Agreement made to cover all Water NSW employees.

If a new Enterprise Agreement is made and approved by a majority of all Water NSW employees, the consequence can be that some employees will have a reduction in their take home pay, either through the removal of allowances, overtime or a direct reduction in salary. Cuts to take home pay can also occur through the lack of pay rises where CPI increases without any annual salary increases.

Currently, Water NSW is proposing to cut the wages of many Water NSW employees, through increased weekly hours without any additional pay, through cuts to allowances or the implementation of allowances, and through zero or one percent increases to the annual salary, which is below CPI and therefore a reduction in real terms to your salary.

You can contact your CPSU NSW Bargaining Team by emailing

Your Bargaining Team is:

Tim Budd, Andrew Harrison, Scott Butler and Richard Wheatley

Supported by CPSU NSW staff Blake Stephens, Thane Pearce, Lisa Nelson and our six Regional Organisers across NSW.

Visit the CPSU NSW/PSA website to join the CPSU NSW.

To read all the CPSU NSW updates, please visit HERE.

Please note, CPSU NSW members are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body that resources and manages the CPSU NSW

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