General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing


Peter Moss - Thursday, February 22, 2018
ETU and other union members have combined to vote down a misguided hybrid wages proposal at Centennial Coal’s Mandalong Mine, near Morisset.

On 20 February mine workers rejected by 192-93 an enterprise agreement that would have paid half of each annual pay rise as a flat dollar amount, with half being paid as a percentage.

This would have seen non-trades workers earning a higher hourly rate compared to trade-qualified workers by the end of the three-year agreement.

The hybrid pay system was developed by CFMEU Mining and Energy Division regional leaders but voted down by rank-and-file CFMEU Mining members combined with ETU, AMWU and Professionals Australia members.

Unions will now return to the negotiating table. The ETU expects that the next draft of the EBA will revert to percentage-based annual pay rises, in line with trade union values.

ETU delegate Jason Cowburn said the CFMEU Mining and Energy wages proposal was ‘a severe miscalculation’ that has been rightly binned.

‘The hybrid pay idea failed to take into account basic facts such as the different number of hours worked by groups of workers here at Mandalong,’ said Jason.

‘Any system that results in non-trades workers being paid more than tradespeople is unfair and contrary to long-established relativities based on skills and qualifications.’

Jason said that rank-and-file CFMEU Mining and Energy members had rejected the proposal because it discriminated against trade and professional workers.

‘It’s a victory for solidarity. We have word from Centennial’s mine at Myuna that union members there will also reject any hybrid pay proposal. Hopefully all concerned have learned from this episode and we can move on to improved agreements at both sites,’ said Jason.