COMMENCEMENT OF BARGAINING FOR A NEW ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT
We will shortly be commencing enterprise bargaining for a new enterprise agreement.
The Multi-Enterprise Agreement (MEA) has served us well over many years, but the time has come to commence the process of replacing it with a new Agreement.
There are some formal steps we will need to take before we start bargaining which are outlined below. This involves forming a bargaining committee to progress negotiations and ensure employees are represented at bargaining meetings.
Notice of Employee Representational Rights
Applicable employees will shortly receive, the Notice of Employee Representational Rights separately to this memo. This outlines your rights in relation to having a bargaining representative during the process.
Appointing a Bargaining Representative
You have the right to appoint a Bargaining Representative at any time during negotiations for an Enterprise Agreement. This is set out in the Notice of Employee Representational Rights.
In summary, your Bargaining Representative may be:
· a union representative if you are an eligible member; or
· any other person – this could include, but is not limited to, a work colleague.
If you are a member of a union, they are your default Bargaining Representative and will represent you unless you nominate someone else.
We will provide further information about the formation of the bargaining committee and the process for appointing bargaining representatives in the near future.
Good Faith Bargaining
All parties are bound to bargain in good faith as outlined in the Fair Work Act for the making of such Enterprise Agreements. Those responsible for negotiating an Enterprise Agreement are expected to do so in a manner consistent with various good faith bargaining principles. To satisfy these, a negotiating party, including management and employee representatives, will be required to:
§ attend and participate in all meetings at reasonable times;
§ disclose relevant information in a timely manner – although this does not require disclosure of confidential or commercially sensitive information;
§ respond to proposals made by other bargaining representatives in a timely manner;
§ give genuine consideration to the proposals of other representatives;
§ give reasons in support of any responses to those proposals; and
§ refrain from capricious or unfair conduct that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining.
These requirements do not compel a party to make concessions during bargaining, nor is a party required to reach agreement on the terms that are to be included in the Enterprise Agreement.
If you have any queries or wish to seek any clarification about this memo, your rights, the process for appointing an employee bargaining representative or any other matter with respect to the negotiations, please contact General Manager, Neal Rodwell on 0418 140 000].
Neal Rodwell — General Manager — North West Support Services — 0418 140 000