Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Australian Unity Enterprise Bargaining update

Australian Unity Enterprise Bargaining update – November 2018 (PDF version)

On 31 October 2018, your CPSU NSW Administrative Bargaining Team met with Australian Unity (AU) and the bargaining representatives to continue to negotiate your future pay and conditions. AU’s continuing theme is proposing to strip away your conditions of employment for nothing in return.


AU is insisting on slashing your redundancy payments to a maximum of 16 weeks (20 if you’re over 45). It is refusing to acknowledge an employee who is declared excess is actually an employee whose position has become redundant. The redundancy payment of three weeks per year of service up to 39 weeks and the eight-week incentive payment has been rejected by AU – unless you are a Care Worker.

AU is offering Care Workers up to 39 weeks’ redundancy, based on three weeks for every year of service. Its blatant discrimination against administrative workers in favour of Care Workers was vigorously opposed by the CPSU NSW.

This also ignores the obvious fact that it is AU who decides to make an employee’s position redundant.

Your CPSU NSW Administrative Bargaining Team adamantly opposed this, and the CPSU NSW demanded that AU keep your current redundancy entitlement of up to 39 weeks, plus the eight-week incentive payment, for Administrative staff as well as Care Workers.

Forced into lower-graded positions

AU has also proposed in its draft Agreement to be able to directly place an employee into a lower graded position, where the employee is paid less – without any redundancy payments.

The CPSU NSW believes forcing you into a lower grade, and lower-paid position, is completely unacceptable and that an employee should only be transferred to a lower-graded position where the employee themselves choose to. If an employee does not accept being transferred to a lower graded (and lower paid) position, the CPSU NSW believes that they are (and should continue to be) entitled to a redundancy payment as their position, at their current grade, no longer continues.


There have been many proposed changes to your leave entitlements, including;

  • the accrual of annual leave
  • random evidence requirements for sick leave
  • the way in which parental leave is paid.

The CPSU NSW standpoint has been your conditions should remain the same. If not, your conditions should only be improved. Your bargaining team has made claims for some improvements to your conditions.

The CPSU NSW has made claims for the inclusion of leave for your union representatives in the workplace when they are assisting members and attending union meetings. Along with a claim for parental leave for those parents having a child through a surrogate and for those parents who are not the primary care giver (usually the Father) to have two weeks of paid leave. The CPSU NSW also has a claim to allow you to apply to conserve your annual leave balance above eight weeks.

Higher duties

As expressed in our survey to members, there was concern that the clause that related to higher duties would see members being forced into higher duties without the ability to decline. AU has expressed that this is not its desire and will look to amend the clause.

Following up from previous CPSU NSW claims relating to your hours of work and flex time, the position that AU wants, being the removal of your flex time and changes to your ordinary hours, remains the same whilst it considers all CPSU NSW claims.

Employee classifications

The feedback received by members is that the Allocators classification was not reflective of the role as they were not the first point of contact. AU has taken that on board and admitted it was based on an old role description and it would be altering that classification in the agreement.

Also, there was some concern raised about the difference between a Branch Manager and Service Centre Manager and how they would progress. AU has advised it will look into that and respond later.

Australian Unity will be considering the feedback and claims made by the CPSU NSW on members’ behalf for our next meeting on 20 November 2018. In preparation for this meeting the CPSU NSW would like members to fill out a short survey HERE so we know your thoughts on the changes to your leave and your redundancy.

If you have any questions or require clarification, please do not hesitate to contact your CPSU NSW bargaining team:

Jessica Moore

Tania Shipman

Loretta Wilson

Administrative staff at Australian Unity will be stronger when working together to defend your wages and conditions. This week, it’s time to ask your colleagues to stand with you by JOINING CPSU NSW today.