Following months of tough negotiations and agreed workplace consultations, the TWU Toll Negotiating Committee and Toll have reached an agreement endorsed resoundingly by members in yards across Australia.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Assistant Secretary Chris Fennell, who was on the negotiating committee, congratulated members who, through solidarity and unity, maintained pressure on management to ensure members both secured an increase in conditions and wages and preserved existing protections on working hours, penalty rates and dispute resolution clauses.
Toll had opened negotiations with a story of struggle for the company’s fortunes and made it clear it would not be in a position to provide a pay or superannuation increase for the life of the agreement being negotiated. However, the new agreement will enhance superannuation payments to 14.45-per-cent by 2019 and boost pay by 5-per-cent to 2019. It will also include job security protections and casual permanent conversion.
“This result is a perfect illustration as to why we need to keep sticking together, because only together can we deliver a better future for workers – after stonewalling and stand-offs a breakthrough finally came after five rounds of negotiations and looming protected action,” Chris said.
“In the end members worked together to negotiate a great deal which includes new wage increases, more overtime, higher superannuation, job security for casual employees and a strong commitment from the company to consult with workers.
“Importantly, Toll workers wanted an efficient, well-run company that is successful and able to provide secure, quality jobs and this agreement lays the foundations for that by ensuring an efficient and well-trained staff, further protections and benefits for the company and staff into the future and better utilisation of the existing workforce.”
Our Port Melbourne office has been bustling with activity as members, delegates and officials work their way through the 50-odd EBA’s the Branch will begin this year, a situation replicated to some degree in TWU offices Australia-wide given the number of national agreements on the table.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said the union attempts to get agreements squared away as quickly as possible to give our members certainty going forward.
“But we would never accept a sub-standard deal just to tie an agreement off and this is why some EA’s – in the most extreme cases – have taken years to reach,” John said.
“Unfortunately, most companies needlessly drag out the enterprise bargaining process and achieving improvements normally requires a lot of guts, hard-work and negotiation by member-led EBA committees, union officials and delegates. It goes without saying though that those yards with higher membership density usually secure better EA outcomes.”