On Wednesday bargaining representatives from 3 PSS sites (Essendon, Bacchus Marsh and Parkwood Green) met with Management to commence negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement.
The meeting mainly focussed on process and the need for the bargaining representatives to access relevant information so that they can develop a responsible and sustainable claim.
Specifically bargaining representatives have requested information about the range of actual pay rates (rates paid to staff, not just those in the agreements) as well as information about when hours are worked (Weekdays vs Weekends) and any relevant financial information that would give some insight to bargaining representatives regarding the financial position of the business.
The next step of the process is for bargaining representative to speak with staff about developing a list of key issues that people want to see fixed. Some of the issues already raised with the bargaining representatives include:
- A wage increase - people feel that given the high prices that PSS charge to students (some of the highest in the industry) that wages should reflect industry standards. The Union has been conducting research and has found swim instructor rates of pay throughout the industry at closer to $30 per hour (not counting that these workers also receive penalty rates for weekend work).
- Weekend Penalties - the reintroduction of weekend penalties (1.25 for Saturday and 1.5 for Sunday as per the Award as a minimum) to compensate workers for working unsociable hours.
- Youth Wages - youth wages allow the company to pay people less based on their age. This means that a 19 year old is paid 85% of that of a 20 year old for doing exactly the same work. A 16 year old is paid only 55% of a 20 year old. Many employees have said that this is not fair. That is ok one thing to pay an employee who is just starting out a bit less, but when they are deemed competent they should be paid the same.
- Seasonal Part Time - Many have complained about the way this came about and the fact that employees appear to be treated much like they were as casuals except now they do not receive the 25% casual loading. There is no provision for a seasonal part time employment category under the Award and it is concerning the way this operates.
- Classification structure - employees have raised concerns that the classification structure is different to the Award in two ways. Firstly, swim instructors, including trainees, are supposed to be classified as Level 2 under the Award whereas at PSS they are classified as Level 1. Secondly some of the duties of more Senior deck supervisors may fall into the Level 5 or even 6 of the Award where as with PSS they are only paid Level 4.
These are just some of the issues that employees have raised. The SIA will be inviting all employees to complete a survey so that we can ensure that all of the issues that people want to see resolved are dealt with.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Executive Team Member or contact Liam O'Brien on 0405 609 278.