Last week’s meeting focused on the main bones of contention, with several other items to be addressed in future negotiations.
DSPL proposed that meal breaks remain paid but unless you physically work the whole meal break, it won’t reflect time accrued at work. This would snowball onto entitlements such as leave accumulation and wages and the number of days at work to accrue the same hours of work, and there’d be disagreements about whether a break was worked and proof of that. We said members want the current arrangements to remain so HACSU will run a 'vote no' campaign if there are any variations.
The annual leave calculation for shift workers varied from their original proposal but still had perimeters. It’s more palatable for required weekend shifts but wasn't clear on staff who work nights but not weekends, so we need more info and asked them to identify everyone who’ll be worse off.
Travel payment discussions continue around when they’re paid, what’s paid, working away from your usual workplace and distances that initiate payment. Wording is still being exchanged around this.
HACSU proposes increased compassionate/bereavement leave but DSPL resist and want them as individual entitlements in the agreement. We provided several legitimate scenarios where that wouldn't work so they must review this proposal.
The redundancy cap will disadvantage several long-term staff, particularly pre-April 2008 staff, yet DSPL have constantly said redundancies aren’t being considered. So why the cap? We’ve only had vague answers to this simple question, which is a concern, and HACSU won’t support such a change.
The opportunity to continue bargaining stemmed from your recent voting down of the agreement as it proved you won’t be walked over, and you will fight for a fair agreement. Negotiating power comes from you all being united, so urge your colleagues to join HACSU and join the fight to achieve more. We’ll keep you updated as meetings progress.