WIN: In-principle agreement for a better EA at BOQ

We have great news! Your FSU Bargaining Representatives have reached an in-principle agreement with BOQ on a better Enterprise Agreement (EA) at BOQ Group.

This result was only possible because you and your colleagues stood together and fought for a better deal. 

At the end of last year, we achieved a massive 65% NO vote and resoundingly rejected BOQ’s insulting deal. Because of this, and the continued pressure from our union members to push for a better deal at the negotiating table, BOQ has improved their offer significantly.

The new in-principle agreement – which is supported by your FSU Reps – will now be put to a vote of all workers.

We believe this represents the best outcome that can be achieved through negotiations with BOQ.

What did we achieve by sticking together?

Your voice in voting against a bad deal has secured a better outcome for you and your colleagues. Here’s what you’ve improved since a majority of staff voted No against BOQ’s proposal last year:

Better pay increases for more employees

  • Year 1 Pay Increase (under $120k)
    4.75% backdated to 1 September 2022.
    The previous offer was 4% and BOQ’s initial proposal this year was to only backdate increases to January 2023.
  • Guaranteed pay increases for employees earning $120k-$150k
    Now employees will receive guaranteed increases of 2%, 1.5% and 1% across the 3 years of the agreement, plus a remuneration review each year.
    The previous offer included no guaranteed increases.

Redundancy and retrenchment

  • All staff – including current Heritage ME staff – keep their current redundancy entitlements.
    The previous BOQ offer proposed cutting the maximum cap of redundancies for ME Bank staff from 79 weeks to 72 weeks. 

Additional hours reconciliation for staff not eligible for overtime

  • For staff not eligible for overtime, additional hours without approval will be capped at 45 hours a week. If you work more than 45 hours a week, you will be paid overtime at the Award Rate.
    BOQ’s previous proposal was that this provision would kick in at 50 hours.

Working from home

  • BOQ have agreed to the union’s proposal and draft wording for a right to request a working from home arrangement in your EA.

Long service leave

  • BOQ have dropped their proposal to be able to force people to take their LSL once they become eligible.

Paid parental leave

  • We were able to get a commitment from BOQ to review their parental leave arrangements with a Joint Consultative Committee.
    The review will include removing the distinction between primary/secondary carers.

Rest breaks for phone-based workers

  • BOQ have included a 15 min rest break, an improvement on the previous proposal of a 10 min rest break.

Workload rights

  • Workload/staffing provisions are more clearly identified in a stand-alone clause.

Union rights

  • Better access for FSU Representatives and Officials to talk to BOQ Group employees about their rights and entitlements at work.

Annual leave loading rolled into base pay

  • Annual leave loading will be paid as a percentage on top of your fortnightly base salary, not as a lump sum.

This is on top of all the conditions we were able to win before last year’s No vote. These include preserving current working hours arrangements, and winning progressive leave entitlements including Gender Affirmation Leave, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leave and Cultural Leave.

What next?

BOQ will provide a full copy of the proposed EA in due course. It will then go to an all-staff ballot, with dates to be confirmed.

At that time our FSU will hold information sessions to answer all our questions about the new EA and discuss next steps.

Following a successful vote, BOQ intend to implement backdated pay increases as soon as possible before the end of the financial year.

What can you do?

This fantastic result shows us that when we stand together with our colleagues, we build better workplaces.

Winning a better deal in your Enterprise Agreement is just the start – much more can be achieved at BOQ with strong, active union members.

So today is the best time to join if you’re not already a member or ask a colleague to join!

In Unity
Your FSU Team

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary