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Bolton Clarke members say no to unfair EBA

Bolton Clarke members say no to unfair EBA

Bolton Clarke nurses and community carers last month voted no to their employer’s proposed unfair enterprise agreement.

More than half of Bolton Clarke’s employees across Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales participated in the ballot with the majority voting no.

ANMF has invited Bolton Clarke to resume negotiations. At the time of publication Bolton Clarke had not yet responded.

ANMF Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said: ‘Congratulations to our Bolton Clarke members for standing together and rejecting this disrespectful agreement.

‘ANMF is looking forward to negotiating fair wages and conditions for all Bolton Clarke nurses and carers.’

The proposed agreement would have cemented an unfair, two-tiered system of wages and conditions resulting from Queensland’s RSL Care’s takeover of the Victorian Royal District Nursing Service in 2015. The new entity, Bolton Clarke, employs nurses and carers in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

While former RDNS nurses and carers remained on the wages and conditions of their pre-takeover enterprise agreement, all new Bolton Clarke nurses and carers employed in Victoria are paid less and have fewer entitlements under its inferior Queensland agreement.

The RDNS agreement expired in July 2018.

Bolton Clarke pulled out of negotiations for a new national agreement in March this year. Management then decided to ballot its proposed agreement following the Fair Work Commission’s decision on 12 July to reject the ANMF (Vic Branch) application for a Victoria-only agreement, known as a scope application.

The unfair proposed agreement provided different wages and entitlements, for the same work, depending on whether you were a former employee of Victoria’s Royal District Nursing Service.

The rejected Bolton Clarke proposal included:

If you were employed under the
Victorian RDNS agreement
New employees under the RSL agreement
No wage rise unless the Victorian rate falls below the Queensland rate. The last pay rise was in mid-2017. Annual wage increases of: 2.5%, 2.25%, 2.25% and 2.25%. No back dating, no specified pay rise dates.
Qualification allowance between 4-7.5% No entitlement
26 weeks LSL at 15 years’ service
accessible at seven years
13 weeks LSL at 15 years’ service
accessible at seven years
Entitlement to a disciplinary process providing a stepped and fair approach to warnings or dismissal No entitlement
Entitlement to status quo in the event of a dispute (an employer can’t change work practices where these are disputed) No entitlement
Provision of an 8-week redeployment period to enable redeployment options to be explored No entitlement
Relocation allowance where a significant financial loss is suffered due to relocation No entitlement
52 weeks’ income maintenance in context of organisational change No entitlement
Fixed term employment limited to genuine fixed term arrangements No limitation
Five days professional development leave No entitlement
Personal leave of 12 days in the first year of service, 13 in the second, third and fourth years of service and 19 thereafter Personal leave of 10 days
Five weeks’ annual leave for all nurses and carers (six weeks for shift workers) Five weeks annual leave for nurses, four weeks annual leave for carers
Leave loading of 17.5% or projected roster whichever is greater Leave loading of 17.5% only
Shift allowances payable in addition to public holiday and weekend penalty rates Shift penalties paid instead of public holidays and weekend penalty rates
Redundancy pay of two weeks per year of service capped at 20 weeks Up to 16 weeks’ pay
Performance improvement processes that provide an entitlement to a fair process of support to achieve performance standards No entitlement
All overtime worked on Saturday and Sunday paid at 200% First two hours of overtime worked on Saturday paid at 150% and double time thereafter
Travel allowance $0.91 – $1.11 Travel allowance $0.78
20 days domestic and family violence leave 20 days domestic and family violence leave

ANMF members are encouraged to invite their colleagues to join their union and support the campaign for better wages and conditions.

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