Enterprise Agreement bargaining update

Professionals Australia attended the Fair Work Commission last Tuesday 2 February with the ASU and Sydney Water to try and work out a way forward in relation to the Enterprise Agreement.

You would be aware that the bargaining had reached an impasse, particularly around pay.

The Fair Work commission has put forward a recommendation which, if accepted by members of PA and ASU, would allow a memorandum of understanding between the parties, it requires the current industrial action cease and instructs bargaining to recommence from April 2021 for a new agreement.

Members are asked to vote on the recommendation of the Fair Work Commission. PA believes that the recommendation presents some positive change, particularly the engineering allowance.

1. The Unions and members refrain from engaging in industrial action prior to 1 July 2021

2. Sydney Water provides employees with a 0.3% payrise backdated to 1 July 2020 and immediately makes a number of improvements to current conditions including:

  • Parental Leave will be paid in addition to Government benefits to those employees on paid parental leave on or after 1 July 2020. Paid partner leave for an employee who is a partner of a birth mother will be increased from 6 to 8 weeks. These conditions will be in the next enterprise agreement.
  • Sydney Water will increase the stand-by allowance for Civil Maintenance Production Employees and Field Supervisors by one hour on Weekends and Public holidays.
  • Employees who take 20 or more annual leave days in any one calendar year will be provided with an additional annual leave day to be taken at any time by agreement. Employees who take 40 or more annual leave days in any one calendar year, will be provided with an additional two annual leave days to be taken at any time by agreement. These entitlements will be provided on a pro-rata basis for part-time employees.
  • Sydney Water will work closely with any employee potentially impacted by redundancy to assist them to identify and move into another role and receive training and support to be successful. ‘Mix and Match’ arrangements will also be considered wherever appropriate.
  • Employees redeployed after restructures will receive future increases and won't be ‘red circled’ unless agreed by the impacted employee.

However, these changes do not offset the poor pay offer, nor mitigate the difficulties in future bargaining regarding Sydney Water’s view of the state wages policy, but they do present an opportunity to reset and plan for a new round of bargaining commencing in April. The recommendation from the commission can be read here.

Sydney Water have announced paid time meetings to discuss the proposed MOU, and for you to have time with your union to vote to decide if PA will sign the MOU. The meetings will be at a variety of locations and online.

Please attend one of these meetings over the next 2 weeks:

Wed 10/2
Rear of Depot 
8.00 - 10.00
 Local Networks & Nearby treatment (Kamay, Bondi)
West Ryde - BBQ Area
 2.00 - 4.00 
Lab Staff 
Local Networks

Thurs 11/2
Orchard Hills WFP
 Education BBQ area 8.00 - 10.00

Treatment (Inland) Potts Hill - Training Ctr
1.30 - 3.30 
Reg O&M & Field Ops

Mon 15/2
North Head - East of admin 
8.00 - 10.00 
Nearby treatment 
Local Networks
12.00 - 2.00

Tue 16/2
 9.00 - 11.00
MS Teams 
12.00 - 2.00 
All staff
MS Teams 
4.00 - 6.00 
All staff

Wed 17/2
 7.30 - 9.30 
Potts Hill - Training Ctr 
1.00 - 3.00 Field Ops & Reg O&M

Note that Sydney Water will also be surveying staff in relation to the MOU following the union endorsement process outlined in the scheduled above. Please note you will need to attend a meeting to have your say and hear what your colleagues are saying. The Sydney Water Survey is for non Union members.

PA will be canvassing members covered by the EA to find out if members accept the MOU.