CPSU bargaining representatives have met with the ABC to progress discussions about our respective claims.
The CPSU emphasised our desire to progress discussions on respective claims faster. We have also indicated that we would like to increase the frequency of negotiation meetings in coming weeks. The parties have agreed to progress minor drafting matters (i.e., Fair Work Act changes and inclusive language amendments) in between meetings where possible. CPSU members will be fully consulted on these matters as they are progressed.
What was discussed?
- Pay: The joint union claim is a 6% per annum pay rise for 3 years. The unions’ reasons for seeking this claim are well understood by the ABC management and union members (i.e., rising inflation, cost of living pressures, interest rates, etc.). Unions have also pointed out that 6% is a restrained pay claim in the current climate and may not necessarily be enough to stop ABC employees’ wages from going backwards over the life of the new Agreement. It will be some weeks before the ABC is ready to advise its position on pay. CPSU members may also be interested to learn the Australia Post just announced it would be matching inflation and giving its employees a 6.1% pay increase this year.
- Meal Allowance: CPSU is seeking an increase to the Meal Allowance rate. The rate is currently $20, it has not been adjusted since the 2013 EA and it is below both media and public sector rates. We are also seeking the insertion of an additional Meal Allowance clause for employees to claim a Meal Allowance retrospectively when they have not been provided with a suitable meal.
- District Allowance: CPSU is seeking increases to the District Allowance rates. A separate meeting invitation will be sent to CPSU members working in regional ABC offices to discuss this claim further.
- Superannuation: CPSU is seeking the insertion of a superannuation clause into the new EA. The clause does not create new employee entitlement, it simply reflects the current superannuation requirements in the ABC and it the logical place that employees seek out this information. We are also seeking a new entitlement that the ABC to pay 15.4% superannuation to all employees in accumulative funds, not just those who choose the ABC’s preferred fund the PSSap. Choice of fund is the norm in workplaces and the ABC’s current position is a notable exception.
- Band Progression: Various concerns were discussed but key points are that CPSU fully support the MEAA’s claim to remove artificial band barriers for employees. The CPSU is also keen to address progression and pay concerns that are specific to the ABC’s multiskilled operators.
- Higher Duties: Unions are seeking for Higher Duties Allowance to be paid to employees in circumstances other than when acting up for five consecutive days which is the current agreement entitlement.
What's still outstanding?
- Reasonable Workloads: The CPSU has sent our proposed Reasonable Workloads clause to the ABC for further consideration.
- Rate B: The CPSU now has the necessary details from the ABC management to be able to accurately report back on the Rate B proposal.
- Data: We are currently waiting on the ABC to provide data on reclassifications and E-ratings to inform Band Progression discussions.