After viewing the recent “Enterprise Bargaining Updates #1, #2 & #3” put out by Diagnostic Services, we were bemused that the age-old approach of dividing a workforce was coming into play.
DSPL’s comment, “It is really important to start the conversation and get clarity on the issues of importance to you – and not let others determine what they may be”, serves no other purpose than to create division among work colleagues. This is ironic given that DSPL want you to be a team player when they need you to go above and beyond. Pitting worker against worker only results in one winner – the employer.
Here are some of the facts and fiction in DSPL’s update:
- Your representatives told DSPL that 3 years is a maximum we’ll consider for the life of the agreement. This is because we want the wage offer to keep up with the CPI increases. We cannot see that the cost of living will go down anytime soon. In fact, all indicators point to it keeping going up. Clearly DSPL have no intention to match current CPI levels, so to have a 4-year agreement would see the gap between wage increases and the cost of living get even bigger.
- On your behalf, we’ve said we want paid meal breaks to count as time worked. Obviously, DSPL want paid meal breaks gone. They have come up with a couple of options to remove them, and now they want you to work the additional time. That is, if you actually get your breaks paid, you will need to provide evidence of when you worked them. Moreover, you will need to work the entire break for it to be paid, and you won’t be paid if you only work part of it. The idea of a paid meal break is standard in the industry – if your boss requires you to be available to work ad hoc during your meal break, it is to count as time worked. If your break is not paid, you have no obligation to stay on site. What DSPL want you to do is not the case for a paid break.
- DSPL’s comments about their original annual leave offers and their aim to “deliver a fair and equitable outcome for everyone” are quite amusing. If they genuinely wanted a “fair and equitable outcome”, they would’ve increased the provisions for those who don’t currently receive them to match those who do.
- DSPL claimed that your bargaining representatives said maintaining leave provisions is more important than a pay increase – this is not true. We’ve never said that, and our position is that you maintain current annual leave rights and receive a genuine wage increase. Remember Diagnostics have made record profits over the past 18 months, and it was you who did the work. Now it’s their time to give a bit back.
We understand that you may feel intimidated and offended by some of the correspondence DSPL have been putting out. That’s why we need to stick together and not be misled. Now that we are getting to the contentious stage of negotiations, we want everyone on board. Talk to your colleagues about joining the fight while protecting themselves by joining the union. The only way to achieve favourable outcomes is to stand united and fight as one.