New EBA, Site Visits and Voting

In mid-2016 employees from a number of PSS centres contacted the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) to seek support in negotiating a fairer deal for staff and fixing some serious pay issues.

Together with the AWU we formed the Swim Instructors Association (SIA) and over the following months worked with many other committed swim teachers to significantly improve the pay and conditions for PSS staff as well fight for a large amount of back pay for breaches of the current enterprise agreement.

Today we are pleased to present a new Enterprise Agreement which will see the average swim teacher earn in excess of 20% more for doing the same hours. This, along with a range of other benefits and significant back pay, which will be administered to staff later this year, has come because a number of employees stuck together, formed a union, and negotiated a better deal for themselves and their workmates.

The following summary is presented to help employees understand their new working conditions. It is important that you read both this document and the actual enterprise agreement carefully. 

We have included the following links:

EBA Summary and rates sheet - An overview of the agreement, what it means, what you will earn and how it works here
 - This is the full legal document and can be found here
 the SIA here

The SIA and management representatives will be holding meetings at as many site meetings as possible to update employees and answer questions. 

The dates and times for these meetings are listed below:

19/4/17            Laverton (7pm) and Melton (7:15pm)                         

20/4/17            Essendon (7pm) and Rowville (6:45pm)                        

21/4/17            Bendigo (6:45pm) and Narre Warren (7:15pm)

26/4/17            Hoppers Crossing (7:45pm), Taylor’s Lakes (7:15pm) and Riverside Gardens

            Braybrook (7:15pm) and Parkwood Green (7pm)

            Bacchus Marsh (7:15pm) and Carrum Downs (6:45pm)

As you will see this deal was only made possible because employees stuck together, formed a union and negotiated with management to reach a better deal. The only way we can ensure that these hard won working conditions are maintained is to stay united, and build an even stronger union in the future.

If you have any questions about this agreement, the back pay or getting involved with the Swim Instructors Association on other issues such as occupational health and safety or better training please contact me or the following workplace representatives.

Bacchus Marsh         Darren Tucker  0425 040 959                                                  

Essendon                  Guy Stephens 0433 070 419

Bendigo                     Jane Brits 0478 175 597                                                         

Parkwood Green       Catherine Hinton 0459 387 777

Braybrook                  Jacsen 0451 244 223 and Thanh 0424 463 374                    

Taylor’s Lakes           Mitch Hughes 0413 792 178

If you are at a site not listed above please contact Michael O’Connor on 0488 024 955 for more information or to discuss how to get involved with the SIA.




Current Agreement[1]

Company Offer[2]

Final Position



Penalty Rates









Payment of 1.25 x base rate for Saturday and 1.5 x base rate for Sunday. See rates table below to find out your rates


Job Security


Seasonal Part Time


Seasonal Part Time



Part Time, Full Time or Casual



No more seasonal engagement. Employees will be offered Part Time, Full Time or Casual Positions (casual gets a 25% loading)


Wage Increases



Min Wage Increase[3]



Min Wage Increase


2.5% or CPI[4] whichever is greater


All wages (including your actual rate if it is higher than what is listed in the table below) will go up by at least 2.5% or CPI whichever is greater. With the introduction of penalty rates it is estimated that most staff will see their wage increase by over 25% in the first few months of the agreement.



Youth Wages



Industry Minimum



Industry Minimum



Improved wage for young employees


Employees who have completed 600hrs of teaching will get adult wage





Employee Pay


Employee Pay


Company pay for renewals and additional qualifications



The company will pay for all renewals and additional qualifications (including Auswim, First Aid, CPR) – Not working with children


Transfer of Employees to other sites






Not Allowed without the employee agreement


The company will not be able to transfer you to another site unless you agree to the transfer



Reception Career Progression


Capped at Level 3



Capped at Level 3


New Level 3.1


Reception staff will now have the opportunity to progress to Level 3.1 which has a higher pay rate


Individual Flexibility Agreements / IFAs (Individual Contracts)


Wide ranging – can reduce penalties and other provisions


Wide ranging – can reduce penalties and other provisions


Limited Use – important entitlements such as penalties PROTECTED


The current IFAs saw important provisions such as minimum call out and some penalties removed from staff. This will not be allowed to happen in the future




Monday to Friday Wage Rates





30 April '17

1 Jul ‘17

1 Jul ‘18

1 Jul ‘19



30 April '17

1 Jul ‘17

1 Jul ‘18

1 Jul ‘19

Level 1






Deck 2 p/hr





Level 2






Deck 1 p/hr





Level 3






Broken shift





Level 3.1






First aid p/day





Level 4.0






Meal allowance





Level 4.1






Level 4.2






Level 4.3






Level 5






Weekend Penalty Rates






30 April '17

1 Jul ‘17

1 Jul ‘18

1 Jul ‘19

30 April '17

1 Jul ‘17

1 Jul ‘18

1 Jul ‘19


Level 1










Level 2










Level 3










Level 3.1










Level 4.0










Level 4.1










Level 4.2










Level 4.3










Level 5












As many employees are aware the Union made an application to the Fair Work Commission earlier this year as it believed that there were a number of breaches of the current agreement occurring. The Union estimated these breaches could amount to a further $1 million that needed to be back paid to staff.

These breaches included the following:

1.    The removal of minimum shift requirements (Employees must be provided with at least three hour shifts)

2.    Not providing a 15 min paid rest break for every shift of 4 hours or more

3.    Unpaid Pre-Brief and Feedback

Following this there were several appearances before the Fair Work Commission where the Union and the company debated the various claims of underpayment.

The result of these proceeding and the work of bargaining representatives means that there will be another round of back pay to be conducted.

The Union and the company have agreed on a gross amount that will be distributed to staff later this year. This amount will vary from site to site (based on size and exposure to the above issues) and representatives will be able to communicate the details of this at upcoming meetings.

If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Michael O’Connor on 0488 024 955 or



18 April 2017                                The Agreement will be circulated to staff to read and review

19 April – 28 April 2017                The SIA and management will be holding site meetings to answer questions and give feedback – see dates above

Early May                                         Over the course of 7 days employees will be able to vote (electronically). If a majority of the employees who vote, vote yes, then the agreement must be signed and submitted to Fair Work for review.

Mid May                                            The Agreement must be submitted to Fair Work to review

Up to 6 weeks later                        The Agreement should be approved providing that it meets the minimum requirements.

Back pay of the NEW agreement rates and penalties will be made back to the 30th of April

[1] Current Enterprise Agreement 2013-2016

[2] Based on Company Draft Agreement distributed at the commencement of the bargaining in 2016

[3] The company’s original position was that wages would increase by the minimum increase awarded by the Fair Work Commission

[4] CPI – Consumer Price Index (often referred to as the rate of inflation or cost of living).