April is the ninth month of the negotiations between the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and its unions for a new enterprise agreement.
Like the negotiations with NBN Co – and all other Commonwealth departments and agencies – the stumbling block to reaching agreement is the federal government’s policy of trade-offs in return for below inflation wage rises i.e. real wage cuts.
To date the CWU and other unions involved have rejected ACMA proposals to reduce current working conditions or to make them unenforceable by putting them in policy rather than in the agreement.
However it is always possible that ACMA may soon simply bypass the negotiation process and make an “offer” to staff which is in line with the government’s policy.
Based on discussions to date and on bargaining in other Commonwealth employment areas, the unions estimate that any ACMA offer is likely to include:
The CWU will continue to consult with its members about the progress – or lack of progress – of these negotiations. Members should contact their state branches for further information.