SBS members

Welcome to our new CPSU members who have joined us recently!

Last Wednesday, your CPSU bargaining reps, MEAA and SBS met to discuss:

  1. Your pay offer;
  2. Outstanding clauses under the SBS draft enterprise agreement; and
  3. Next steps.

Further details below.

With the nominal expiry date of your agreement fast approaching and no offer of backpay, we need to move bargaining along quickly. Please send your feedback on latest developments no later than midday this Tuesday 12 November. We want to know your views on SBS’s decision not to include a casual conversion clause, retention of the 24-hour rule, and individual consultation on the on-call allowance and meal breaks.

Your pay offer: SBS have met our claim part of the way and is offering 2% per year for the three year life of the new agreement. (Ie 2% + 2% + 2% per annum). SBS considers this offer to be (i) fair and reasonable in that it was comparable with what is being offered in the APS and in other parts of the television broadcasting industry; and (ii) affordable for SBS. While SBS chooses to follow the APS Bargaining policy, we also know that this is the highest pay offer that it can make under the Workplace Bargaining Policy.

Back pay: The nominal expiry date for the current SBS agreement is 6 December 2019. In accordance with the Workplace Bargaining Policy, SBS is not making any offer of backpay. However, SBS have offered an additional one off payment in the event that approval of the agreement is delayed in the Fair Work Commission by more than twelve weeks.

Outstanding clauses:

Parental Leave: Although not meeting CPSU’s Parental Leave claim in its entirety (CPSU’s claim is for 26 weeks paid parental leave ), SBS is not proposing any cuts to your parental leave entitlement. SBS is proposing the new agreement will retain your current entitlements to paid parental leave, which are (i) 16 weeks for primary carers and (ii) 2 weeks for secondary carers. Employees would also retain your right to access unpaid leave entitlement under the National Employment Standard (NES). Employees are also able to access paid parental leave in the event of the birth, adoption or fostering of a child, and in circumstances where a child is born by surrogacy arrangements.

Conversion of non-ongoing employees: SBS have met our CPSU claim and has incorporated our CPSU clauses with respect to conversion of specified task and specified period of employees. However, SBS have not met our CPSU claim with regard to a casual conversion clause. CPSU are continuing to pursue the inclusion of this clause with SBS.

Public holidays: SBS have agreed to include a MEAA claim around providing employees with seven days’ notice when they are not required to work on public holidays.

Family Violence Leave: SBS have met us part of the way in relation to our claim on a separate bank of paid leave to address Family Violence. Although, SBS have agreed to a separate bank of unpaid leave in your new enterprise agreement, they have not included an entitlement to paid family violence leave.Instead SBS have made an offer of paid family violence leave to be granted at SBS’s discretion which will be captured in policy.

SBS has said that it wants to afford employees with paid family violence leave and that it will be developing a policy by the end of the year to provide for this and will consult CPSU on this. While CPSU welcomes SBS intention to afford employees paid family violence leave at its discretion, we will continue to pursue a clause in the new enterprise agreement that reflects SBS intention as above.

On-Call Allowance: SBS have agreed to our CPSU claim for clauses relating to on-call allowance provide for employees to be consulted prior to be placed on an on-call arrangement. The clause as drafted provides for SBS to consult with the employee’s work area – CPSU have asked that it refer to the requirement for consultation with the actual employee. SBS is considering this.

Travel Allowance: SBS have met our CPSU claim on travel allowance to include a clause providing for allowances as set under its policy are not to fall under the relevant ATO guidelines.

Flex Time: SBS have agreed to our CPSU request to put this clause back into the new agreement. So employees covered by this clause will retain their existing access to flex time.

Overtime: SBS have included a clause in the new agreement providing for casual employees to receive overtime when they have worked for more than 12 hours in a day or shift, or more than 38 hours in a week.

Buy-out and Composite Pay: SBS have included clauses in the new agreement to provide that rates of buy-out and composite pay will not go below the amount to which the employee would otherwise be entitled were they not on a buy-out or composite pay arrangement. This is another improvement and comes as a result of CPSU reps advocacy at the bargaining table.

Redundancy: SBS have met our CPSU claim to retain the clause in the agreement requiring pre-decision consultation on redundancy, but has added additional wording which makes the obligation around when to consult ambiguous. CPSU have asked SBS to retain the former wording, which it is considering.

Individual Flexibility Agreements: SBS have agreed to our CPSU claim to include the model flexibility clause in the new enterprise agreement. CPSU have also raised member concerns in relation to the use of IFAs (i.e. employees are unclear as to whether they are on an IFA or contract, that they feel unable to negotiate the terms of the IFA and that they are concerned about their ability to refuse to be on an IFA). SBS have agreed to seek feedback and clarification from the CPSU on the use of their IFA template.

Meal breaks: SBS have rejected our CPSU proposal that employees be paid penalties for time worked after a meal break falls due but is not taken. However, SBS is considering our CPSU claim for employees to be consulted where an alternate meal break pattern is being proposed.

24 hour rule: SBS wants to maintain the 24 hour rule, insisting that (i) its survey of staff indicated that staff wanted this retained and (ii) the requirement for workers to have an 11 hour break between shifts mitigated any risk of an employee being excessively fatigued by working more than one shift in a 24 hour period. CPSU reiterated member feedback and our concerns around the work health and safety (WHS) implications for an employee who is working two shifts in a 24 hour period. SBS have invited further consultation from the CPSU on measures to mitigate this.

Classification Review: SBS have heard CPSU and MEAA member concerns on classification and career progression and is considering an MEAA claim to commit to undertake a classification review, prior to the commencement of bargaining for the next agreement. SBS acknowledges that its current classification structure is out-of-date and requires review. SBS has said that current classification disputes can be brought to it now.

Next steps

Please provide your feedback to by midday Tuesday 12 November. Ask a colleague to join you in the CPSU today as every new member who joins us helps make a difference to the bargaining outcome. If you have questions or other concerns, please talk to your CPSU delegates, Leigh Iffland, Susan Bell, Ritesh Prasad or CPSU organiser Pierce Tyson in Melbourne or Judy.

Our next bargaining meeting is tentatively scheduled for either Thursday 14 November or Friday 15 November.