Forestry SA Enterprise Bargaining 2017 Brief No. 3

12 October 2017

There have been two further Enterprise Bargaining (EB) meetings held at Mt. Crawford HQ on Thursday 14 September 2017 and Thursday 5 October 2017.

There has been in-principle agreement to the development of a draft Enterprise Agreement (EA), which will be put before employees to vote on.

Pay Increase
The pay increase as stipulated by the government - capped at 1.5% per annum to be paid from the first full pay period on or after, 1 October 2017, 1 October 2018 and 1 October 2019 - was agreed to, subject to the commitment by management that if the other government employees employed under the South Australian Government Wages Parity (Salaried) EA achieve a higher salary then the Forestry SA wages schedule will be changed to reflect this, and it will be backdated to 1 October 2017.

On-Call Allowances
Forestry SA agreed to increase this allowance to be the same as in the Wages Parity EA, and for the allowance to be increased annually by the same percentage as the salary increase at 1 October 2017, 1 October 2018 and 1 October 2019.

Other Allowances
The CPSU raised that other allowances e.g. Meal Allowance and First Aid Allowances in Schedule 2 of the Forestry SA EA 2015, had not been increased as they were required to when the award rates were increased through the annual State Wage Case increases. Management were to rectify this.

EA Currently Restricted
The unions were concerned that the Forestry SA EA was restricted to only those currently covered by it. No new staff were allowed to be employed under a EA, but were on individual contracts. The PSA wrote to the government stating that we thought this was unfair to all staff, as well as being against government policy and the intentions of the SA Fair Work Act. The Department for the Premier and Cabinet has since written to Forestry SA asking for an explanation of their policy.

At the meeting of 5 October 2017 the parties agreed to abide by whatever the decision of the government is about this issue.

Ballot Process
The CFMEU proposed that the draft EA be voted on by employees at meetings by show of hands.

The PSA usually has a secret postal ballot. The PSA stated that it would ask its Forestry SA members which method they would prefer. It was advised that if any PSA member wanted a secret ballot the PSA would be obliged to agree.

Please respond to PSA by email indicating if you want a secret ballot or to be involved in a show of hands decision at Forestry SA meetings.