Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
 
 
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What's at Stake? Your Future

Members have been telling us how they are concerned about the proposed agreements. Right across Qld we are hearing stories from members who have their own particular concerns.

Some are anxious that if the agreements got up, they would destroy any job security. Others say they will lose certainty over their rostering.

We have compiled a list of items most discussed so far. Itís not exhaustive but thereís enough there to make you question just why anyone would vote for such a set of proposals. For some items, itís not whatís proposed, itís what has been removed.

Members will soon commence voting. Itís crucial that everyone takes the time to understand just whatís at stake. After all, itís about your future.

Provision Current Agreement Aurizon Proposal
Rostering Most agreements have a consultative rostering arrangement.

You get fair notice of changes, normally with consultation except in the case of an emergency.
Minor consultation on rostering, but the employer can notify and then change the roster with no further input from employees
Hours of Work Different arrangements apply, tailored to specific parts of the business One size fits most.
Shifts of 6 minimum to 12 hours at ordinary rates of pay with no input into rosters.

No limitation of hours on shifts for Driver Only Operations
Policies that provide financial benefits for employees. Locked in and retained unless required to be changed by law or if there is agreement reached. Clause deleted Ė all policy controlled by management at their discretion
Provisions requiring fairness in the job advertisement process Fair rules that ensure transparency in the appointments to vacancies. Protections to give employees in transition a fair go. Deleted Ė all at management discretion
Commitment to anti-discrimination and equity A statement of shared values around treating people fairly, with dignity and not discriminating against people Deleted
Fitness for work Requires people to be fit for work but does not allow urine testing Ė instead limited to saliva testing. Some guidelines about how to manage people who are fail a test. Testing methodology has no restriction Ė all up to management
Incapacitated employee Protection and process for treating people who are no longer able to perform their duties for reasons not arising from misconduct. The company will attempt to redeploy people, especially important for those with significant health issues. Deleted
Annual Leave There are a range of clauses tailored to specific operations. Some provide arrangements that take into account the problems of shift work and allow people to have a decent break One size fits all annual leave clause Ė all but Traincrew paid at base rate with loading.
Shut Down No current clause like this. Aurizon can shut down any part of its business with 28 daysí notice. You are forced to take annual or long service leave up to 80 hours Ė if you donít have enough annual leave, they may allow you to go into a negative balance, and owe them into the future for it. This is in addition to the companyís ability to apply to Fair Work Australia to stand down employees in extreme circumstances.
Disputes process Where disputes are raised there is an orderly process for their resolution. The company must halt the introduction of proposed changes if thereís a dispute, until it can be resolved. The company must deal with disputes, but can implement their changes making disputes much harder to resolve. This is a significant and uneven shift in power to the employer
Consultation Protections which require genuine consultation with workers and their representatives. These protections were framed following the historic supreme court action against this company for itís comprehensive failure to consult. Weakened requirements Ė no longer a requirement to have a thought out proposal thatís able to be implemented and therefore able to be properly considered Ė just a requirement that management make a decision to do something.
Job Security Redundancy must be at your election, you canít be forced out. If you are surplus, you can be made an employee in transition, but not forced to take a package. Slightly higher redundancy payments, but no choice. If management deem your position to be redundant, you can be forced into unemployment. In the alternate they can transfer you to a lower paid position with no salary maintenance.
Aggregate and Full Flat Rates Some agreements provide for rolled up, aggregate or full flat rates. They all provide a loading in return for rolling up a different provision such as penalty rates.

These agreements have important protections about how people can be worked, and ensure there is fair value for the employee, and the company in the trade.

Changes to penalty payment, not Aggregate or full flat rate.

Rollingstock employees loss it over the life of the agreement on their rostered workings, loss it on their leave immediately.

Overtime and Callouts only paid at base rate rather than on the aggregate rate as is currently the case.

Rules around how any aggregate wage can be taken off Traincrew depots by changes to rosters.

Your base rate increase is capped at 4% for defined benefit superannuation purposes regardless of increases that come from broadbanding or other allowance increases.

Transfer to lower paid position

Currently there are protections for people who accept lower paid positions and salary maintenance applies when an employee elects to accept such an offer

Aurizon can initiate a restructure and with little notice reduce the base rate of pay of an employee. The company will offer a token amount of compensation at the rate of 3 weeks per year of service of the difference in the two rates of pay.

Shift worker definition Currently each agreement has a shiftworker definition where there is provision and requirement for shiftwork Confusing cross reference to two different documents to find out who is and isnít a shiftworker.
RDO

RDOs are dealt with in different ways across the agreements. They normally refer to Accrued days off or Leisure days off. They are distinct from the time off between the average 38 hour week.

Refer to the time off between the average 38 hour week. No specific provision for accrued days off.
Pay for derailments and breakdown Currently there is extra payment for attending breakdowns and derailments. Deleted
Annual Leave Aurizon can direct an employee with more than two years accrual to take up to 25% of their balance. Aurizon can direct you to take all leave with 28 daysí notice.
Long Service Leave

Employees can be directed to take long service leave so long as Aurizon hasnít refused a previous request from the employee, they havenít indicated a desire to retire in the next 12 months, or they can retain at least 170 hours of leave

Aurizon can give 3 monthsí notice to an employee to take their leave down to a balance of 170 Hours.
Rail Passes Eligible employees are entitled to a rail pass as per the QR Policy Current conditions remain until 30th April 2015. 25 year passes for long distance travel will remain for now but only apply to those who were entitled at the start of the agreement. No entitlement to a rail pass if you agree to receive a gift which isnít defined in the agreement.