Money Fair Work Commission ticks off new Coles pay agreement

06:56  24 april  2018
06:56  24 april  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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Weekday workers will however only receive a pay raise that is half the annual minimum wage increase given by the Fair Work Commission each year. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the AMIEU, the dodgy deal cooked up between the corporate-loving SDA union and Coles was officially killed off on May 31

The union representing low- paid workers at Coles stores knew some might be worse off under a new agreement but did not tell its members, the Fair Work Commission has been told.

Josh Cullinan, the union official who exposed the dodgy deal between Coles and the SDA union.© Penny Stephens Josh Cullinan, the union official who exposed the dodgy deal between Coles and the SDA union.

A three-year dispute over pay and conditions for 80,000 Coles workers across the country has been finally settled with the Fair Work Commission's approval of a contentious new agreement with unions.

Commission deputy president Val Gostencnik on Monday approved the new agreement which the supermarket giant fast-tracked late last year as part of a settlement of a massive underpayment case against it. Coles workers voted to accept the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement in February.

The national secretary of the Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) Gerard Dwyer welcomed the commission's approval of the new agreement saying it would deliver pay rises for workers and improve penalty rates.

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Without a new Agreement Coles workers may revert to the Award with no take-home pay protections and all over-Award conditions lost. If there is a majority ‘yes’ vote, it the Agreement will then go to the Fair Work Commission for approval.

New Approaches. Industrial action. Awards & enterprise agreements disputes. fwc_home_carousel_fa_05.jpg. Welcome to the Commission .

“This is an excellent outcome," he said.  “With wage growth at historic lows across Australia, we’re pleased this new agreement has been approved and will deliver a July increase to Coles workers and pay rises for all over the life of the agreement.”

Shop Distributors Association National Secretary Gerard Dwyer.© Tamara Dean Shop Distributors Association National Secretary Gerard Dwyer.

Mr Dwyer said existing Coles employees will have a ‘top-up payment’ scheme to protect their take home pay and receive half of the yearly pay increase because they will be on higher ordinary time wage rates than new employees.

New Coles employees will receive the new agreement’s wage rates, which are higher than those in the award and they would receive the full pay percentage increase each year.

Mr Dwyer said the agreement would also lock in conditions including voluntary work on public holidays and flexible rostering provisions.

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Woolworths has already delayed negotiations on its new agreement , Sign the petition now. KFC workers ‘no worse off ’ in penalty along with supermarkets Coles and Woolworths. THOUSANDS of workers have had their weekend salary slashed as the Fair Work Commission announced they

Fair Work Commission rules Coles has been underpaying workers . The ruling handed down in Melbourne on Tuesday by the commission said Coles ' controversial pay agreement with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) failed to meet the 'better off overall' test - known

Casual employees would have the right to request to convert to full-time or part-time if they have worked a pattern of hours over 12 months, subject to some conditions, and two days of paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave would be introduced as part of the new agreement.

Coles has been embroiled in an underpayment scandal since mid-2015, after Fairfax Media revealed a union deal had collectively left workers tens of millions of dollars a year worse off.

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission found that the 2014 agreementfailed the "better off overall test". Evidence in that case showed that more than half the workforce was paid less in wages than the award.

The Fair Work Commission has approved a new pay agreement for Coles workers© Glenn Campbell The Fair Work Commission has approved a new pay agreement for Coles workers

Coles eventually agreed to a new draft workplace agreement that would pay award penalty rates and pay workers above the award.

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Coles operations director Andy Coleman said the new Store Team Agreement would deliver increased benefits including a 3 per cent basic wage rise to more than 75,000 staff. He said Coles had been happy to accommodate the changes requested by the Fair Work Commission .

For the Coles workers affected, the underpayment figure is substantial, totalling about million a year in lost wages. The Rudd Government’s Fair Work Act in 2009 specifically requires employees be better off than the award – the wages safety net – under any new agreement .

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union had opposed the new Coles deal arguing it traded away too many conditions and created a two-tiered structure between new and existing workers.

However, Secretary Josh Cullinan conceded it was positive that after three years from May, Coles workers would start receiving penalty rates and shift rates and other conditions "that had been denied them for decades".

"It has taken a long time but we are delighted that workers will start seeing the benefits of our campaign. We believe the agreement should have been better but there is substantial improvement," he said.

Mr Cullinan estimated 70 per cent of Coles workers would receive an average of $1500 extra per year under the new wage agreement.

Woolworths workers are now starting to negotiate a new agreement. Mr Cullinan said Woolworths workers are being paid even less than Coles workers had been before their new agreement was introduced.

Woolworths sales are outpacing Coles .
Woolworths posted a 4.7% increase to $9.6 billion in sales for the third quarter, keeping the supermarket group well ahead of rival Coles in terms of growth. Comparable sales rose by 4.4%, benefitting from the shift in the timing of Easter compared to the same quarter last year. Adjusted for Easter, Australian Food comparable sales growth was 4%. The numbers are running below the half year results posted in February when Australian food sales rose by 4.9% and comparable sales also rose by 4.9%. Coles last week posted headline food and liquor sales for the third quarter of $7.8 billion, up 1.9%.

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