Friday, 1 December 2017

CPSU NSW members vote NO

CPSU NSW members vote NO – December 2017 (PDF version)

As a democratic Union, CPSU NSW members collectively decide on the pay and conditions they want negotiated, and what will or won’t be acceptable for them. Before the union can agree or reject a final proposal by the employer, we survey our members to see if the membership is prepared to accept or reject any offer to change their pay and conditions.

Water NSW has put out a lot of information about its proposal, most of which is designed to highlight the positives and minimise the negative impacts. The CPSU NSW has also provided a wide range of information and feedback to our members to keep them informed of what is being negotiated, proposed and background information on the actual impact of the employer’s offer. You can find that on our website HERE.

This week the CPSU NSW has surveyed our members across the state, asking them if they endorse or reject the proposed enterprise agreement as offered by Water NSW. This survey has resulted in 87 per cent of CPSU NSW members reject the proposed enterprise agreement.

There are many reasons why CPSU NSW members are overwhelmingly VOTING NO on this proposal. A formal and detailed explanation has been provided to Water NSW which you can read by clicking HERE.

In summary, the following are some key issues that members felt strongly about and why members have reported they are voting no:

  • Increased weekly hours from 35 to 36 without any compensation. This negates some of the pay rises being offered
  • Redundancy provision that can be changed at any time by the NSW Government, and a reduction in the retention period from 12 months to three months
  • Flexible working arrangements to be subject to application and approval for all accrual and taking of flextime.
  • Unfair pay rises for hundreds of employees, at one per cent a year or zero per cent if they are on a performance improvement plan, or for those within bands or are new employees
  • Reductions in classifications as the Mercer CED Points allocated to each position has significantly changed, and often reduced below their previous assessment
  • Comparable positions within the NSW public service will continue to be paid more and more than at Water NSW
  • Management positions (those above the classification) are paid more than their counterparts in the NSW public service.

It is important to recognise there are some improvements

  • Some employees, but not all, will receive two per cent pay rises, but this can be removed for any on a performance improvement plan
  • Some employees will have progression through the “zones” within their Grade or Band, providing additional salary increases, however this is subject to performance measures
  • Sick leave is increased from 15 days to 20 days, to bring it into lines with former Sydney Catchment Authority employees
  • Maternity leave is now available for the primary carer, regardless of gender
  • Defence Force Reserves leave has additional leave available provided at the equivalent rate to the Commonwealth Government’s employer support payment scheme – meaning no cost to Water NSW.

CPSU NSW members encourage everyone to VOTE NO next week. If a majority of employees who vote reject the proposal, then negotiations will continue. Your current conditions remain as they are, with the State Water Corp Enterprise Agreement continuing, along with all the State Copied Awards.

It is important to also recognise that for employees on the State Copied Awards, the Fair Work Commission will be providing pay rises while there continues to be no changes to your conditions.

To find out more about the CPSU NSW application to the Fair Work Commission, to clarify the Decision to ensure the full 3.3 per cent pay rise is passed on effective from 1 July 2017 you can see the submissions from the CPSU, ACTU and ASU HERE.

The employer’s responses are due today, and CPSU NSW has a week to reply to any submissions. The Fair Work Commission will then make a decision “on the papers” meaning no formal hearing, and a fast decision can be provided. The CPSU NSW has a very strong argument that the full 3.3 per cent should be passed on.

Members have reported that Water NSW is committed to passing on the full 3.3 per cent (if/when the decision is made in the next few weeks) and that this will be the salary members transfer across with. The union does not have this commitment in writing nor have we been informed officially.

CPSU NSW believes a much better pay and classification system can be designed; one that reflects and rewards professionals, experts and technical staff in a way that maintains comparable salaries with the public service. This will enable employees to move between the department, other agencies and Water NSW without major losses to income, salaries and conditions.

With everyone working together we can show Water NSW that employees demand better protections of our conditions, and an improve pay and classification system provides fair and equal pay rises for all employees.


You can support this campaign by:

  • FORWARDING this email to all your colleagues
  • JOINING the CPSU NSW online HERE.
  • Asking your colleagues to DEMAND A BETTER AGREEMENT and