The agreement also delivers industry first penalty rates for part time workers and annual reviews to identify further full time work opportunities.
“Workers at QGS stood together and engaged in tough bargaining with Qantas’s top-level management and secured a brighter future. We will now build on this achievement to rebuild good quality, full time jobs across the aviation industry,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The Transport Workers’ Union member led negotiating team secured a package in three parts – the Agreement providing for improved conditions and two 3% pay increases; the Qantas Group discretionary bonuses and; 32 full time positions with ongoing annual reviews to deliver further full time work opportunities to the 1500 strong entirely part time workforce.
The package of wins include:
- Two bonuses – of 5% of ordinary time earnings, and a further $2,500 for all workers;
- Annual pay increases of 3% payable in September 2017 and September 2018;
- Consistent rostering patterns to assist in balancing work and family commitments;
- Ongoing reviews to identify further full-time job opportunities;
- Amendment of clauses to ensure all training is in paid company time, authorized leave is counted as time worked for calculation of overtime and stand alone penalties for part timers required to work additional hours on any given day;
- Superannuation to be paid at the rate of 10% rather than the government guaranteed 9.5% and;
- Domestic and family violence leave of up to 10 days per annum
“Negotiations to secure a deal were tough but we were clear we wanted to see full time jobs brought into QGS and for change to begin in what the future holds for aviation workers,” said Vaughn Crawford, a TWU delegate and QGS baggage handler at Sydney airport.
Negotiations for a new agreement at QGS started in November 2015. The 1500 strong QGS workforce is entirely part time and guaranteed just 20 hours per week. The improvements together with the commitment to look for full time work opportunities are a significant breakthrough in an increasingly outsourced industry.
The industry trend towards low hour, low wage part time work places many aviation workers below the poverty line and force employees to struggle to pay bills, take out bank loans or support their families.
Almost 70% of aviation employees surveyed* said their pay does not allow them to meet their costs while over three-quarters say they cannot afford to retire at 65.
A recent international report** on conditions for aviation workers shows that a low wages is leading to a high turnover of staff which is creating security risks and safety hazards. It highlights Sydney airport where “at any one time there are hundreds of workers with a temporary pass, those who have not yet had background security checks”.
* Click here for TWU survey: The Qantas effect: the changing nature of aviation employment.
** Click here for International Transport Workers’ Federation report: Record profits for airlines; airport workers under pressure