Fair Work Commission publishes enterprise agreements on this website. The new agreement provides for above-average pay rates, overpaid leave, including paid leave for domestic violence, long-term service, compassionate care, transhumants, blood donors, emergency services, defence and natural disaster leave. I am pleased to announce to all members that our negotiations with Coles are over and that we have been able to meet all four priorities. The new “agreement in principle” guarantees wage increases for each worker and comes with a one-time payment of $475 for full-time workers and proportional payments for part-time and casual workers. At the time of the letter, meetings are held in stores to explain the proposed agreement to the staff of the SDA organizers and stewards shop. Coles staff across Australia will then vote on the agreement and, if we succeed, we will go to the FWC to approve the new agreement. I would like to thank all of our Coles Shop Stewards and members for their patience and understanding over the past 20 months. If you have searched and fail to reach an agreement: the company refused and put a position of 2% or if the consumer price index is higher, then an increase of up to 2.5%. As a result, the parties have not reached agreement on this issue. It is important that the new agreement has a different salary structure, with a greater emphasis on late-night and weekend penalties. Current Coles employees receive a special “obligation” to protect their existing home-taken salaries. Enterprise agreements are collective agreements between employers and workers on employment conditions.
The Fair Labour Commission can provide information on the process of drafting enterprise agreements, evaluate and approve agreements. We can also deal with disputes over the terms of the agreements. Our members at Coles Supermarket are well aware that their enterprise agreement was initially approved by the FWC in 2014 and cancelled in 2016. In November 2016, we convened a meeting of Coles Shop Stewards, who heard a full report on the history of the Coles EBA negotiations. They then unanimously approved a resolution asking Coles to resume negotiations with the SDA to negotiate an EBA that complied with BOOT standards. In 2017, we negotiated with Coles a new EBA which indicated that it had to comply with the FWC`s new interpretation of BOOT. Three other meetings were held across Australia in 2017 with Coles Shop Stewards. They endorsed four key principles that we demonstrated in the negotiations with Coles. The agreement also includes voluntary work on public holidays and flexible hours, to take into account family and education obligations and safe home transport. You must have 2 consecutive days off each week of pay or 3 consecutive days off within the 14 days provided (clause 3.6 (c) (ii)). However, you can accept a rollout table in which you do not receive 2 consecutive days per pay week or 3 consecutive days off from each rollover table. You can revoke this contract with a period of 4 weeks (point 3.6).
The SDA strongly supports the new agreement because we have delivered on all fronts. All members benefit from the agreement and no one loses. The alternative to the proposed agreement is for Coles employees to return to the General Retail Industry Award. That would be disastrous because members would be reduced in their salaries and their conditions would be reduced. As with any new business agreement, there will be some start-up difficulties. Members can be assured that the union is fully committed to addressing members` concerns through the complaint procedure with the company, if necessary.