We met with Uniting AgeWell management again to try to resolve the outstanding issues with your new agreement, but it was clear from the outset that they were not genuinely trying to negotiate, and it was their way or the highway.
Your HACSU negotiating team urged UAW to stop attempting to take away your paid meal breaks demonstrating that workers cannot afford a pay cut like that. We explained that we know members who will not be able to pay their bills or keep a roof above their heads if they lose their paid breaks.
UAW are being divisive by saying that many staff now don’t have the entitlement because a small group agreed to their meal break buy-out, and new staff have been denied it. Their strategy is to divide workers, but we have made it clear that all staff should get paid meal breaks.
At the same time as UAW are cutting your conditions, their pay offer remains to be a pay cut in real terms – the offer of 1.5% every six months from October this year is way below the increases to your cost of living. We know you cannot afford to have your wages go backwards, and you certainly can’t when they are also cutting your conditions.
While they didn’t have the decency to tell the truth, we believe these meetings were just to tick boxes and UAW intend to put the agreement out to vote shortly despite us being nowhere near agreement.
If this is the case, we expect they will spin it with propaganda and try to divide staff who currently have different entitlements. They did this 12 months ago, but you powerfully stood up to them twice and stopped them from cutting your conditions. We know we can do it again to protect your conditions and improve your wages.
HACSU organisers will be visiting your workplaces over the next couple of weeks to discuss this situation and talk to you about our next steps. If you have any questions, please contact us via HACSUassist.