December 6, 2016

Workers at Qantas Ground Services have overwhelmingly endorsed a new agreement and package securing increased superannuation payments, domestic violence leave and 32 full time positions.

The TWU-endorsed Agreement received a 96% yes vote. Negotiations for the new agreement at QGS started in November 2015.

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, and

– 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%

– 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.

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 forces employees to struggle to pay bills, take out bank loans or support their families.

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