The ANMF, together with its Job Reps and members, have a legal process that we are all required to follow in order to change and improve matters in an enterprise agreement.
As explained in ‘How ANMF negotiates an EBA’, there are also strict legal timeframes in which negotiations for better pay and conditions can occur.
Under the Fair Work laws, suggestions for improvements/changes are called ‘new claims’ and ANMF and employers cannot act upon them after an agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission. If it is not part of the original claims provided to the employer or the union at the start of the negotiations, the parties are prohibited from asking for new or extra claims.
Sending your suggestions to ANMF inboxes or posting them on Facebook is not the best way to achieve change. Don’t get us wrong: we want your ideas but they need to go through a more transparent and democratic process than a social media comment or an email from an individual at a particular workplace.
New asks need to form part of the log of claims. This is essentially a wish list of pay and condition improvements that our members want their employer to agree to. The log of claims (LOC) is based on many things, including:
- Resolutions passed at delegates conferences – see below
- previous claims not yet achieved
- workplace disputes, in case new wording in your agreement could resolve or prevent the issue
- consultation with members – which is why it is important to attend member meetings called by your Organiser.
In the private sector, logs of claim are also informed by the public sector agreement. This is why the public sector agreement should matter to private sector members.
Resolutions and motions
One of the most significant ways members can shape the log of claims is by resolutions passed by Job Reps and HSRs at delegates conferences.
Resolutions start out life as suggestions from members. If you have an idea, discuss it with your colleagues and take it to your Job Reps or HSRs. If it is supported by your ANMF member work colleagues, your Job Rep/HSR can then submit the suggestion as a motion for debate at the delegates conference, where Job Reps and HSRs from all over the state gather for this purpose.
If a majority of delegates attending conference vote in favour of a motion, it is passed and becomes a resolution: a formal statement of intent that will guide ANMF’s policy direction and may form part of your workplaces log of claims and negotiations with employers, and governments.
An example motion and resolution
An example of a motion is:
‘That this conference request that the ANMF (Vic Branch) include in the next public sector EBA log of claims pro rata long service leave at seven years.’
That motion passed at the 2019 conference, becoming a resolution; it was then included in the log of claims for the 2020–24 public sector EBA.
After putting that log of claims to the employer, ANMF successfully negotiated earlier access to long service leave in the current public sector agreement. The entitlement began being phased in from 2021, and by 2023 it was available at seven years instead of 10. This has also been achieved in many other agreements by ANMF and its members.
Job Reps and HSRs can submit motions for the 2024 Annual Delegates Conference until 5pm Friday 5 April.