In a staggering development Masonic Care have written to staff and to HACSU seeking to unilaterally withdraw from bargaining.
It's actually unlawful to agree to bargain, then commence bargaining and have several bargaining meetings and then just decide to pull the pin because it all seems too hard!
It’s simply not good enough, and Members haven’t had a negotiated wage increase since 2018 – over two years ago!
Once bargaining has commenced it’s the law that the parties must continue to meet at reasonable times. We’ve emailed Masonic for months asking to meet and they’ve ducked and weaved – always on leave, or sick, but never responding – and now we know why – because they simply don’t want to update the agreements and provide for decent wage increases. We will be enforcing the law and requiring Masonic to meet at least fortnightly.
WHAT’S MORE, IT APPEARS STAFF HAVEN’T BEEN PAID CORRECTLY.
Both the North and the South General Staff Agreements required wage increases of 3.3% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018 which had been bargained for and achieved. Members voted for those wage increases, but it appears Masonic didn’t pass them on. We’ve repeatedly asked Masonic to meet to discuss how they intend to address the alleged underpayments but again they just stuck their heads in the sand and hoped we'd go away.
Well, we're not going away. We'll be holding member meetings in the coming week to discuss these issues, and part of that discussion will involve what members are prepared to consider doing as part of industrial action so Masonic stops trying to play them.
Ultimately, the underpayments claim may end up before the Federal Circuit Court so it will be crucial for staff to register interest by meeting with their local HACSU organiser or calling HACSUassist on 1300 880 032.