The dispute was over TNT’s refusal to recognize the long standing arrangements of the bonus scheme put in place by the Union back in 2001. TNT senior management were not prepared to honor the 2001 bonus scheme and were fighting for a new bonus scheme of 2009 which was never entered into by the Union members.
In an embarrassing result for senior managers at TNT, FWA ordered TNT to recognize the bonus scheme of 2001 in its meetings schedule and deeming provision with the agreed revisions to the KPIs and targets.
In a 3 day hearing at Fair Work Australia (FWA) on 4 – 6 November 2011, FWA upheld the employees’ bonus scheme in attachments 2 and 3 of the TNT Express Victoria Metro Enterprise Agreement 2001 (The Agreement).
TNT was represented at the hearing by Blake Dawson solicitors and barrister James McDougall. TNT Senior Managers Bob McKenzie and Rod Barnes gave evidence for TNT. Union delegates Kevin Hoey and Neil Cockerell with John Englehart and Branch Senior Organiser Chris Fennell gave evidence for the TWU. The Union was represented by Bill Baarini, General Counsel.
Despite arguments to the contrary by TNT, Deputy President Ives in his decision of 8 November 2011 found in favour of the TWU in that:
- He held that Attachment 2 of the Agreement continued to apply in its original form and binds the parties
- The bonus scheme in the Agreement continues to apply with revision in so far as it provides for particular KPIs and targets
- Attachment 3 Operations Standard in the Agreement retains as binding upon the parties the requirements for meetings of the KPI committee on the first and third Tuesday of each month
- The deeming provision in Attachment 3 remained, in that; there remain consequences for failure to hold such meeting or meetings in that period
- ‘That period’ in Attachment 3 means the period in which the meeting was not held.
Interestingly, Deputy President Ives in his decision found (transcript edited extract):
At paragraph 8: When one considers the potentially or apparently differing requirements placed upon the review committee alluded to in the 2 November [TNT memo] memo as opposed to the requirements placed upon the KPI committee referred to in attachment 3 there is no basis for any finding that the 2 November memo requirements necessarily displace the requirements placed on the KPI committee in attachment 3.
At paragraph 9: I am fortified in this finding by the evidence generally but in particular by… that of Mr. Barnes. Mr. Barnes confirmed that at no stage, to his recollection, was it raised with the delegates or employees by the respondent that acceptance of the revised bonus scheme would have the effect of replacing the meeting schedule in Attachment 3 with that provided for in Mr. Mackenzie’s memo. (emphasis added)
What does the decision mean for TWU Union members?
- Attachments 2 Bonus Scheme of the 2001 Agreement continues to apply
- Attachment 3 Operations Standard of the 2001 Agreement continues to apply with revised KPIs and targets agreed to by the KPI Committee
- KPI Committee meetings must be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month
- A failure to hold any meeting will result in those targets as having been achieved for that meeting period.
Members should ensure that agreements with TNT are being properly honored by the company. This decision shows that TNT cannot unilaterally change arrangements without proper consultation and agreement of the Union
For enquiries about this matter or any other Union matter contact Union Organisers Dissio Markos on 0411 221 611 and Steve Nash on 0402 039 194.
Branch Assistant Secretary