The Union bargaining team (Phil Harrison, Stephen Ball, Carol Clarke, Jim Kelso, Larissa Robinson, Kathryn Arkoudis and myself) have been meeting with the ESTA bargaining team which varies and is dependent on who hasn’t exited, since 2nd February 2021.
We have had 7 bargaining meetings – 4 in February and only monthly since then. The Union team have had to explain their log of claims repeatedly, including the rationale of the new salary structure at least 3-4 times which has not been a constructive use of time.
ESTA provided us their costings for all monetary claims except the classification structure on 23rd Feb. Since then, there has been very little progress.
There has been some general acceptance of some mutual claims, mostly administrative with no cost attributed as they are a copy/paste from the VPS Agreement.
There have been commitments from ESTA to provide documentation of draft clauses, and also some questions from the ESTA EBA Steering Committee – but none of this has occurred. There has no explanation or correspondence to our team regarding this. I have invited the Steering Committee to attend bargaining numerous times, to no avail.
At the last meeting on Tuesday 18th May, we were asked again to explain the rationale behind our proposed salary structure. It went unavoidably downhill from there. Notwithstanding ESTA have expressed a desire for an improved structure as it is acknowledged the current one is flawed, they have not provided any costings or expressed any counter offer.
In essence there has been no bargaining because the no. 1 priority has not been responded to by ESTA, – and the Agreement expires in 6 weeks! Time is running out and you will inevitably have your say on this.
I will hold member meetings to discuss this and our next steps. The first one will be Wed 26th May at 12:30pm via zoom. Link will be sent via calendar invite as in previous meetings. Looking forward to seeing you all then.
|Communication Workers Union is the Communications Division of the CEPU|