Tuesday, 24 January 2023

CPSU NSW update: Mercer Administrative Services Enterprise Agreement 2023

Enterprise Bargaining Commences

The CPSU NSW and delegates met with Mercer and other bargaining representatives on 18 January 2023 for the first bargaining meeting.
The meeting was scheduled for a full day to accelerate the process where parties could speak to their claims and positions.

The CPSU NSW has tabled some 42 claims for discussion with the intention to amend and significantly enhance the current Enterprise Agreement.

Significant amongst the CPSU NSW’s claims include, but are not limited to:

  • Increases in salary rises
  • Increases in redundancy entitlements and a reformulation of pro-rata entitlements calculations
  •  Increases in allowances
  • Changes to salary reviews
  • Increases to annual leave
  • Retaining the union picnic day – the concession day
  • The inclusion of an Income Protection scheme
  • A new Health and Wellbeing clause to provide for eyecare to all professional staff under the Agreement
  • Numerous changes to consultation clauses to enhance transparency and opportunities for genuine feedback from employees
  • The Right to Disconnect from work when not working
  • Gender Affirmation Leave entitlement
  • Increase to Domestic Violence Leave above the inadequate National Employment Standards (NES)
  • The right to request a remote work arrangement beyond the NES scope of an Individual Flexibility Arrangement

The claims from all parties have been categorized into four broad areas:

  1. Pay outcomes;
  2. Tidying up of existing wording;
  3. Aligning clauses with Mercer’s wider policies where applicable; and
  4. The duration of the agreement.

The meeting was positive and productive, however it was stressed to Mercer that under no circumstances would the CPSU NSW or its members accept Mercer’s intention to remove rights from clauses such as parental leave and domestic violence leave from the new Agreement in favour of referencing policies.

Discussions on pay increases, including redundancy outcomes/offers, will commence as soon as Mercer presents their financial position and offers.

Every “YES” from Mercer brings us closer to agreement in record time.

The next meeting is schedule for 31 January 2023 where the CPSU NSW intends to talk to tabled clauses and wording. The CPSU NSW expressed the desire for the next meeting to take place sooner for the purpose of expediting the process. Mercer was unable to commit to this due to their internal stakeholder process.

Importantly, the CPSU NSW is aware and conscious of the nominal expiration date of the current EA and the alignment with redundancies in Mercer.

On this basis we are expediting negotiations and are confident that time will continue to be cut down with every “YES” response from Mercer to our claims.

Please note, the current EA does not cease to operate upon reaching the nominal expiration date. It will continue to operate until it is replaced or an application is made to the Fair Work Commission to terminate it.

For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact your delegates or the CPSU NSW.

Your Mercer CPSU NSW Team

Erinna Madge
Kylee Bell
Bart McKenzie – CPSU NSW Organiser
Shane Elliot – CPSU NSW Organiser
Michael Cope – CPSU NSW Industrial Officer

Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)