This is an update on important developments that occurred at today’s EBA meeting with Cbus management.
Here’s a video explainer if you prefer that to a long update:
The key points are:
- We are very concerned that Cbus management are refusing to properly explain their proposal to remove the Investments team from the EBA and employ them on individual contracts.
- Management is starting to hold meetings with Investments and have so far refused to include the FSU in these meetings. In these meetings proposals are being put to employees that have not yet been put to us in bargaining, in spite of us asking directly. This is not bargaining in good faith.
- Management’s proposal would cause a major change in culture at Cbus, and yet there is no indication that management intends to consult with other non-Investments staff on their proposal.
The background to this is that we emailed Cbus management two weeks ago suggesting an agenda for today’s bargaining meeting. We wanted to talk about their proposal re the Investments team, RDOs, and Leave improvements.
We had an extremely productive meeting with FSU members on Tuesday this week where many of you contributed to developing a more detailed proposal to put to Cbus on our requests for better parental, reproductive health, cultural and other areas of leave.
But we were unable to discuss these positive suggestions because we found that Cbus management is not willing to consult with us over the threshold issue of individual contracts and whether all staff will continue to be covered by the EBA.
First, we don’t believe there is genuine widespread support from people in Investments to lose the rights and conditions they have in the EBA and be put onto an individual contract that they’ve not seen and have limited power to negotiate.
Second, we have said that we are prepared to discuss increased flexibility in the EBA for Investment staff provided this gives everyone a genuinely better outcome and maintains everyone’s rights under an EBA.
While Cbus have put forward their proposal to remove Investments staff from EBA coverage, they have not yet been able to highlight a single alteration to your conditions that couldn’t be accommodated within the EBA rather than via individual contracts.
Our strong view is that there is no need to change to individual contracts, except to hand the power over your working conditions to management.
The contracts might be acceptable this first time, but what about later? How will we negotiate or defend our conditions in the future if they’re individually determined, offered on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis at management’s discretion?
One of the benefits of an EBA is that it is an enforceable document. Once agreed by Cbus employees as a group, it cannot be changed without our collective consent.
This is not the case with Cbus management’s alternative proposal.
Once again, management are trying to implement a major change to the very culture of the organisation without properly consulting with the union and staff.
In our view, cutting us out of consultations over the proposal is not a demonstration of good faith bargaining.
We intend to raise these concerns and remind Cbus management of their obligations to bargain with your union in good faith.
We will meet with investments staff tomorrow to discuss this issue and plan to hold further meetings with you all soon.
In the meantime, please talk to your colleagues and encourage others to join the FSU.
Only by working together can we ensure management’s proposal for individual contracts is taken off the table and we can get these negotiations back on track.
Your FSU Reps
Bill Rue, Caroline Troup, Fiona Peck, Ian Wilson, Jennifer Glass