The second full bargaining meeting between the CWU and Silcar Communications (now part of Visionstream) was held in Parramatta, NSW, on 28 July.
It was attended by CWU officers together with a number of other employee representatives, both members and non-members.
As reported in earlier Bulletins, these negotiations are likely to be particularly difficult as management wants to use them to create a “glide path” to a combined Silcar and Visionstream field workforce agreement in 2018.
At present, however, Silcar employees have significantly better conditions than those on the Visionstream EA and are naturally keen to retain them. So the question is whether i Silcar can offer enough incentives to persuade employees to move closer to the Visionstream employment terms.
The recent meeting focussed primarily on what Silcar has identified as being, from its point of view, the big ticket items ie ordinary hours of work (36 ¾ vs 38), overtime rates, the Silcar redundancy trust fund (MERT etc) and the salary base on which superannuation is paid (inclusion of overtime or not).
Discussions basically involved the parties sounding one another out on these issues and attempting to establish the dollar value of current entitlements. No agreement was reached, however, on any one of the items.
The parties have agreed to meet again on the 8th and 9th of August with the aim of being able to hold further nation-wide employee consultations soon afterwards. Members will be kept informed of progress.