Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Water NSW – Don’t believe the hype

Water NSW – Don’t believe the hype – November 2017 (PDF version)

Water NSW has put most of their material on the intranet, however, the CPSU NSW believes that much of this is misleading. Over the next few weeks, your union will be updating members on different aspects the proposal so members can see the possible pitfalls.

Some key things you should know about now is:

Around 150 employees will get 1% pay rise a year from 2018 on. If you’re getting a pay rise, is it fair that your colleagues are having their pay reduced in real terms? Pay rises below CPI reduces the spending power for these co-workers.

No redundancy within the agreement meaning the only enforceable redundancy is the national minimum: a maximum of 12 weeks for 10 or more years of service. Will Water NSW apply their redundancy policy correctly every time? In recent months, management have already ignored their redundancy/redeployment policy and the Commission found the union couldn’t enforce it.

All pay rises are subject to performance, after 2017

The Grade or Band may increase by 2% but your salary may not! The base increases of 2% is dependent on good performance. Progression through the Steps or Zones within each Grade or Band is also based on good or excellent performance.

Bigger pay rises are not what they seem. Water NSW is combining progression within the Grade or Band to claim larger pay rises. But progression is also based on performance and not guaranteed. The level of progression ‘may’ increase, and increase by a variable amount based on your manager’s view (or perhaps the budget). As there are no ‘steps’ within each Grade or Band, how much you progress to the next ‘zone’ could depend on how close to the next ‘zone’ you are, and how much your manager approves your progression.

The Bonus Scheme cannot be guaranteed either. The performance payments in State Water Corp agreement were largely stopped due to the budget! Why wouldn’t the same people do the same thing again?? They could easily make the goals harder during the life of the agreement, or simply not approve the bonus at all.

Conditions removed or reduced for all employees means that for everyone, there are losses to your employment conditions in addition to the optional 2% a year pay rise from 2018. Changes include maximum 3 months Long Service Leave before being required to reduce your balance; moving the right to be compensated for work related costs into policy; higher duties allowance optional with managers able to reallocate work to team members without higher duties. For former DPI Water members, many allowances are removed, and conditions ‘streamlined’.

Classification is moving to a ‘desktop’ system where HR will perform the evaluations. These changes can see your ‘Mercer points’ increase or decrease with some recently changing quite dramatically.

Without a union delegate part of the evaluation, the transparency and reliability of the system is questionable.

The decision to approve or reject is up to CPSU NSW members. Whatever members decide, your union will convey to management and promote to employees. Water NSW has indicated they will go to a vote of all staff, regardless if the union supports the agreement or not. When non-members have a say in whether to approve or reject the agreement, union members will need to work together to support each other and to campaign for the outcome members collectively decide on.

The CPSU NSW will be hold meetings around the state to discuss with members the proposal and to seek members’ feedback. A vote of union members will occur later this month to decide to support or reject the proposal. Whatever members collectively decide is what your union will promote. Through the collective power of members working together, we can influence the vote and the outcome based on what members want.

Keep an eye out for future updates with more details around the changes and proposals. You can support your union by:

  • sending this update to colleagues
  • talking to your colleagues about the proposal and what is good or bad about it; and
  • importantly, ask your co-workers to JOIN the CPSU NSW today.

Your CPSU NSW Bargaining Team – feedback can be provided to

  • CPSU NSW Delegates: Tim Budd, Andrew Harrison, Scott Butler, Richard Wheatley
  • CPSU NSW Industrial Staff: Thane Pearce, Senior Industrial Officer. Blake Stephens, Industrial Manager; Lisa Nelson, Senior Organiser; and
  • CPSU NSW Regional Organisers; Michelle Mackintosh (Riverina), Tony Heathwood (Illawarra); Belinda Pearce (Western); Steve Mears (New England); Asran Pugh. (North Coast) and Paul James (Hunter/Central Coast).