Negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) continue.
ACMA has now tabled a “streamlined” agreement which the CWU and other bargaining representatives are going through point by point. At this stage, no agreement has been reached on any of ACMA’s proposals. However, the CWU and other unions are continuing to bargain in good faith, despite the difficulties presented by the Abbott government’s policy approach.
As reported in earlier E-bulletins, the federal government has issued instructions that Commonwealth agencies and departments must not give employees pay rises unless they are “off-set” by productivity gains i.e. cuts to existing conditions.
In fact, it seems that even accepting a pay freeze is not enough to protect current entitlements. The government has already knocked back at least one proposed agreement that did just that. It contained no pay rise and no change to entitlements.
It is also open to the federal government, as the employer, to apply to have current agreements terminated. If it was successful, employees would fall back to the award “safety net”. So sitting tight may not be an option either.
This is not an environment that is favourable to fruitful negotiations. The CWU remains committed, however, to getting a fair outcome for its members.
To read more about the Governments bargaining policy "Click Here".