Yesterday, the union and union delegates met with Serco to recommence negotiations after having taken protected industrial action twice over the past couple of weeks.
At the meeting, your union once again reiterated that union members at CLA were not going to accept anything less than $30. Serco advised that it couldn’t move to $30 and gave varied reasons as to why, including contractual arrangements and affordability. Serco was pushed on this point, and finally acknowledged that it wasn’t the case that it can’t afford the pay rise that members asked for but were choosing not to pay it.
Despite this, Serco informed the union that it would talk to people on their end (presumably those in head office) and let the union know whether it can offer more than the pittance that is already on the table. We will be meeting once again with Serco next week, where they will advise whether they think they can come to the table on wages or not.
It is the view of your union that Serco’s approach to yesterday’s meeting was disappointing but not unexpected. Union members have taken part in industrial action because they know that the value of their labour is worth so much more than what Serco wants to pay for it. Serco, on the other hand, is still labouring under the misapprehension that putting profits before people is a good business model and believes that it should not have to pay you what you’re worth.
We will update all members as soon as we hear from Serco, be that at next week’s meeting or beforehand. However, it is our view that, should Serco tell us next week that all they can offer is $28 per hour, the union will have no choice but to notify Serco of another stoppage – this time for 48 hours.