...but it's with a heavy sense of déjà vu after a series of flip-flops on Anglicare’s part.
After members voted their new agreement up, it went to the Fair Work Commission where Anglicare were told they’d need to make changes to have it approved- but they decided not to - and then later said they did want to make the changes and get it finalised... and now they’ve changed their minds again.
We were so close to having this done, but now, over two years after the staff agreement expired, it’s almost like we’re back where we started and Anglicare came to the negotiating table with a whole new list of things they want, including cuts to workers' rights and conditions.
Most concerning of all are these changes:
• Notice of resignation is currently 1-2 weeks. They want to increase this to up to 4 weeks.
• Review of contracted hours no longer Anglicare’s responsibility. Currently they have to review this every 6 months to see if contracted hours matches up with hours worked.
• Minimum engagement and payment for a day. This is a real worry. We’ve asked for more details, but they’ve previously said in roster discussions that having a minimum engagement of 2 hours is ‘a significant financial impact on the business’ and that ‘some clients may only need support for a period of 20 minutes’. Depending on how your read it, this could mean as long as someone works 2 hours total over the course of a whole day then Anglicare only need to pay it as though it’s one shift - That means someone could do six 20 mins shifts, each 1 hour apart, and Anglicare will just pay them for 2 hours! We certainly hope that’s not what they're trying to do!
Some of what they’re after is making updates in light of legal developments, which aren’t such a big deal, but there are plenty of other things to be worried about, like the above issues as well as performance management and the first aid allowance, which they want to take out of the staff agreement and put into policy – this is a worry because policy can change at the drop of a hat, allowing them to move the goal posts to suit themselves.
The devil is in the detail and that’s why we’ve asked for it.
We won’t be accepting outrageous cuts to members' conditions - Anglicare should stick to the plan.