No meetings were held over Easter and last week’s meeting was postponed at Bluescope management’s request.
The following is a summary of items discussed, some matters were positively progressed:
Classification Structure Review – Bluescope have provided words that we have indicated we are prepared to include in the final offer.
A review will be undertaken by a joint working group, made up of employee and company representatives. The review will take place during the life of the new agreement. From the unions’ side, the review will focus on establishing a reclassification process, access to higher levels and providing clear definitions and guidelines for each level. From Bluescope management’s perspective, the review will focus on maximising flexibility and efficiency, removing classifications no longer required or utilised and ensuring classifications reflect current and future work requirements.
Fixed Term Employment – Bluescope have provided a clause with the minimum 6-month and maximum 12-month engagement. The company have sought a 2-year maximum in certain circumstances. Once we have agreement for the 2-year option to be removed, we will have an agreed clause.
Part Time Employment – Bluescope are still pursuing part-time provisions in the agreement. We have been very clear that these provisions will not be agreed to by our membership. We have communicated that further pursuit of these provisions has the potential to derail discussions surrounding the agreement. The unions have communicated that we are only willing to explore job-sharing in context of employees who are transitioning to retirement. Further discussions will be held regarding job sharing and transition to retirement.
Bonus – Bluescope have talked through what a 7.5% PSP (Staff Bonus) would look like. When the PSP pays 100%, 67% of employees would be better off than on the current LSPS. When the PSP pays 150%, 93% of employees would be better off than on the current LSPS.
Our claim remains at 15%. We have asked for figures on the PSP at 10% rather than 7.5%. Discussions to continue.
Disputes procedure – the unions’ claim has been for a procedure that covers all workplace matters. To date Bluescope has refused to entertain this claim. Yesterday an alternative was tabled by Bluescope to cover all workplace matters, that being:
linking the “Fair and Just culture for all” policy to the agreement. This is a policy that provides a clear and transparent approach to incidents and investigations.
linking a “Fair Treatment System” to the agreement. This system will allow for disputed issues to be reviewed by the one-up manager. If either party is not satisfied with the outcome following that step, a review can be conducted with the General Manager of Manufacturing and/or a Review Panel.
Unions have also asked that Timeframes be placed on Warnings:
3 Months for Informal Warnings
6 months for Formal Warnings
12 months for Final Warnings
Bluescope are maintaining their position of one agreement for both sites. The combined unions will now seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission with this issue.
Other Claims still being discussed which have not yet been finalised:
Penalty rates on Personal Leave
The next negotiation meeting will be held on 26th April 2018.