The CWU is pushing back against an Enterprise Agreement clause which would require employees in Mirait Technologies Australia (MTA) to work a 40 hour week.
Under the existing Mirait agreement, which was made without CWU involvement, employees may be required to work an additional two hours a week over and above the standard 38 hours without being paid overtime.
Mirait argues that as long as the agreement as a whole meets the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) by providing wages and other entitlements above those in the relevant award, the 2 hour give will not be a problem for the Fair Work Commission.
The CWU disagrees and has told the company that it believes the 40 hour requirement contravenes the legal maximum 38 hours set by the National Employment Standard.
Mirait is a NSW-based company whose employees work largely in telecommunications installation and maintenance. Members may recall that last year the CWU successfully appealed against the certification of a proposed Mirait Enterprise Agreement.
In that case the agreement had not been properly processed. But now that a fresh agreement is being negotiated, the sticking points relate to the conditions being proposed by the company.
Some good progress has been made in some areas to date, with the CWU successfully negotiating the inclusion in the EA of community emergency service, meal allowance and minimum notice periods for project arrangements as well as an increase to the minimum wage increases.
We are also still hoping to improve clauses relating to respite, travel time and recall.
Obviously, though, the 40 hour week has the potential to be an agreement-breaker. The CWU is expecting to hear further from Mirait on this matter in the coming days.