Friday, 17 May 2019

Australian Unity offer payrise: Enterprise bargaining meeting 10 May 2019

Australian Unity offer payrise – Enterprise bargaining meeting 10 May 2019 (PDF version)

Bargaining with Australian Unity has continued as we wait for a decision from the Fair Work Commission about the scope of the agreement. Your CPSU NSW bargaining team met on 10 May with Australian Unity to continue negotiations.

The primary issue discussed was the pay rates and rise that Australian Unity would offer:

  • The pay rates will not be lowered. After requests from the CPSU NSW, Australian Unity has stated that those who are contracted above 35 hours a week, their pay rates will reflect that, as they will get paid for those hours.

The pay rise offered is as follows:

  • July 2019 the minimum wage increase as set by the Fair Work Commission. Australian Unity is required to increase your pay by this amount until an enterprise agreement is made.
  • July 2020 1.5 per cent. The consumer price index for the current financial year was, on average 1.6 per cent. Therefore, it is possible with an increase similar to what has been offered by Australian Unity it would in effect not be a pay rise.
  • There will be an increase in the salary of Allocations Coordinators. They were not able to say what this increase is, when we get a schedule of the pay rates that has been requested, we will know more.

Australian Unity has expressed its belief that negotiations are coming to a close with little left it views as requiring further negotiation.

As such, it would be looking to have an agreement out to staff to vote on soon. Though it has assured that this will not occur until the Fair Work Commission has made a decision on the scope of the agreement.

The CPSU NSW has successfully managed to maintain transferred staff conditions of employment. However, there are still some issues which remain contentious:

Hours of work

The position has been from the beginning that employees doing the same role should be on the same contracted hours. As CPSU NSW members had expressed, they did not wish to increase their hours and Australian Unity was not willing to reduce the hours of staff. Australian Unity determined it would have staff on differing hours.

Flex time

The majority of the copied State award provisions have been carried over pretty much identical to the copied State Award. There have been slight changes regarding the accrual and debit of the hours:

  • You will no longer be able to go into debit. Australian Unity has said it does not want staff going into debit as this then means it is unable to control the makeup of those hours.
  • The accrual of the hours is now “subject to review by your manager to ensure the additional hours worked by you are necessary, and the WHS is considered”. Australian Unity has remained firm on keeping this part of the clause, despite the CPSU NSW assertion that it has changed access to flex and that WHS always overrides an agreement whether stated or not.

Your bargaining representatives have been throughout, highlighting the workloads of administrative staff and the number of hours lost and that we would like to try and mitigate the loss of these hours.

Last meeting Australian Unity advised it would be open to allowing administrative staff accrue overtime when they work above the 14 hours and within the bandwidth. The CPSU NSW will look to draft a clause. You can let your bargaining team know your thoughts.


Australian Unity is maintaining its stance on having only the forced redundancy provisions apply, reducing your entitlements.

On call

After discussions with your bargaining team, Australian Unity conceded to add a clause which means it needs to consider your work health and safety if they request you to do on call. Note, Australian Unity has indicated it will be outsourcing the on-call so their staff will not be asked to participate.


The CPSU NSW was seeking a clause which was going to hold Australian Unity to a higher standard when consulting. Australian Unity was somewhat receptive and altered what was their starting point.

This alteration means Australian Unity are required to consult before the change and is much clearer on what information they are to provide when change occurs.

The CPSU NSW has been able to successfully advocate for the addition of a clause for the management of unsatisfactory performance and misconduct. The clause will ensure greater protection for members if they find themselves in a position where there are allegations regarding their performance and misconduct.

The next meeting will be on 23 May 2019 where further discussions will be had regarding Australian Unity’s proposed pay rise and further on the clauses in the agreement.

We would ask you as members to get in contact with the bargaining team to let them know your opinion on these issues. Remember they are there representing members and therefore need to know what the membership wants. You can contact your bargaining team on the details below:

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.