Enterprise Agreements are Not a ‘Pick & Mix’!

Thursday 07 Sep 2017

The Union receives a myriad of phone calls and emails every day on topics ranging from workplace assaults to social media faux pas!
We categorise the issues you raise so we can detect emerging trends early and respond.  One of the issues we have noticed, is an increasing tendency of management to attempt take a ‘pick and mix’ approach to applying the benefits, terms and conditions in your Agreement.
These hard-fought for entitlements are not generally discretionary – that is, your line manager or supervisor doesn’t get to say ‘oh that part of the Agreement doesn’t apply to you’ and do you out of a benefit or right to which you would otherwise have been entitled.   There will be times when there is a good and sensible operational or business reason for a management decision but blanket exclusions should always be questioned.
Examples we’ve heard recently include: whole departments being told they are not allowed to access flexible working arrangements because it is ‘policy’; managers allocating shifts based on a ‘captain’s pick’ approach rather than following the agreement; and all members at one site being told they are not allowed to use trade union training leave because they are not delegates.

If you’ve heard that response in your workplace, here are some key points to help you respond:

  • Ask questions!  If there is a good reason why you cannot benefit from something contained in your Agreement, your manager should be able to explain it to you.

  • Know your EBA – read the relevant clause or section of the EBA yourself.  Sometimes these issues arise because there is a simple misunderstanding.  You can also enroll in union training.

  • Get Advice - Talk to your Union Rep to get help with understanding your Agreement or call the Union and ask for the Enquiries Service

The best Agreements are useless if management don’t follow them.  Members play a key role in ensuring that doesn’t happen – let us know if your manager wants to ‘pick and mix’!

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