Virgin Australia Ground Crew Agreement 2018 Member Update


The FWC has advised Virgin Australia of 12 items requiring clarification in relation to the Virgin Australia Ground Crew Agreement 2018.

Virgin have been asked to make submissions on the queries from the FWC and are expected to respond by today, June 22nd 2018.

The Agreement has been being assessed by the FWC for some months now.  We now know that the matter is being actively dealt with by the FWC.

It is likely there will be some consideration given by the FWC to Virgin’s response prior to the Agreement being approved.

Unfortunately we are unable to give an estimate on the time until approval, however we will keep you updated as more information comes to us.

Below are the issues the FWC has asked Virgin to clarify for your information.  It seems that the FWC will be happy with undertakings from Virgin, or other immediate remedies available to it.

The matters seem to be of a largely technical nature and should be easily remedied.

As soon as the TWU hears more we will update all members.

Issue Raised
  1. Dispute settlement term

Clause 14 provides a dispute settlement term which operates in relation to ‘all issues  (including those relating to the NES)’. The Commissioner is of the view that this does not comply with the requirements of section 186 (6) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’) which states that an enterprise agreement must provide a dispute resolution term which applies in relation to ‘any matters arising under the agreement’. You are invited to provide an undertaking to address this concern.

  • Flexibility term

The Flexibility term does not set out the matters which can be varied as required by the Act, but rather, it just refers to ‘the terms of this agreement’. The Deputy President is of the view that this does not meet the requirements of s 203 of the Act. As such the Deputy President has indicated that the model flexibility term will be inserted into the agreement. Please note you are not required to take any action in relation to this.

  • Consultation term

The Consultation term does not make provision for changes to regular roster/ordinary hours of work. The Deputy President is of the view that this does not meet the requirements of s 205 of the Act.
As such the Deputy President has indicated that the consultation term will be inserted into the agreement. Please note you are not required to take any action in relation to this.

  • Ordinary hours of work

Clause 19.1(c) appears to allow for 40 ordinary hours to be worked. As you may be aware, section 62 provides that ordinary hours must not be more than 38 ordinary hours plus reasonable additional hours. As such the Deputy President invites you to provide an undertaking that for the purposes of clause 19.1(c) employees may work 38 ordinary hours plus two reasonable additional hours.

  • Parental leave (adoption leave)

In relation to adoption leave clause 45.3 states that in order to be eligible for adoption leave the child must be under 5 years of age. We note s 68 of the Act provides the child must be younger than 16 years of age and therefore the agreement provision is more restrictive than the NES. As such the Deputy President invites you to provide an undertaking clause 45.3 will operate subject to the NES.



  • Compassionate leave

Clause 50 appears to exclude casual employees from receiving compassionate leave entitlements. The Deputy President notes that such an exclusion is not provided for under the NES (section 104 of the Act). As such the Deputy President invites you to provide an undertaking to address this concern.

 

  • Redundancy

The Deputy President notes that the redundancy provisions under clause 31.2 of the agreement appear to allow for reduced redundancy to be paid to employees where adequate alternative employment has been found. Please note that in order to reduce the amount of redundancy payable to employees the employer must apply to the Fair Work Commission who will determine the matter in accordance with section 120 of the Act. The Deputy President therefore invites you to provide an undertaking that employees will not receive any less redundancy pay than they would be entitled to under the NES and further that clause 31.2 of the agreement will be subject to the employer complying with section 120 of the Act.



  1. Better off overall test (‘BOOT’)

Test time rates
In relation to clause 32.2, the agreement does not technically contain test time rates as the agreement refers to year 1 (commencement) rates which appear to apply on commencement of the agreement. As such the Deputy President asks that an undertaking is provided that the year 1 (commencement rates) are the test time rates. 

If the year 1 (commencement rates) are not the test time rates, the Deputy President asks that you provide a copy of the test time rates so that the better off overall test can be conducted based on those rates.

  • ‘Trainer’ classification

We note that the classification matching in the Form F17 refers to ‘Trainer’ classification and provides relevant annual wages at clause 32.2 however it does not appear that the hourly rates for this classification are contained in Appendix 1 of the agreement. The Deputy President asks that you provide further information as to why the Trainer classification rates have been omitted from Appendix 1 of the agreement.

  •  Part time employees

The agreement does not provide that employees are entitled to overtime for work in excess of the ordinary daily hours mutually arranged (or in excess off rostered daily hours if shiftworkers) as per the Award. The agreement provides part time employees receive overtime for work in excess of 8 hours (Airport team members) or 9.5 hours per day (GCC Agents). As such the Deputy President is of the view that part time employees may not be better off overall. You are invited to provide undertakings in relation to these concerns.

  •  

Job share arrangements

The Deputy President notes that clause 19.17 provides for job share arrangements however given it is unclear how these arrangements will operate, the Commission cannot be sure that employees will be better off overall under such arrangements. You are invited to provide undertakings in order to address this concern.

  •   Sunday work – minimum engagement period

    The Deputy President notes that the agreement does not provide a minimum engagement for Sunday work whereas the Award provides a minimum payment of 4 hours for Sunday work. Given that the rates of pay appear to be between 1.29% to 19.37% above the equivalent Award rates, it does not appear that employees will be better off under the agreement if not provided with a minimum engagement for Sunday work. You are invited to provide an undertaking in relation to this concern.

 

Share This

Contact Us Today

TWU Update

Sign up to the TWU QLD Newsletter to receive regular campaign and new updates.

JOIN TWU TODAY

JOIN TWU TODAY