Over 100 AMWU members at Sensis, in five separate offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, have voted to support a ballot for protected industrial action if Sensis doesn’t come to the table with a serious offer at the next enterprise bargaining negotiations scheduled for April 18.

The union has grown, picking up new members, new locations, and new delegates (three in the last two weeks) as part of the bargaining campaign.

Sensis initiated the bargaining process in August last year, to try and head off union momentum, knowing the union was getting close to representing a majority on site. Sensis and the AMWU have been formally meeting since December last year, yet Sensis still says it is not ready to discuss what pay rise will be on offer. Nor will it give a definite answer to the AMWU’s long standing claim to expand the agreement to cover wrongly classified production workers.

But members have had enough, and want to let Sensis know they are serious about securing a new agreement.

They also know Sensis has so far said no to maintaining workers’ say on targets, no to equal pay (plus casual loading) for labour hire temps, no to the Graphic Arts Award 2000, is insisting on “grandfathering” of RDO’s (effectively phasing them out in the long term), and wants to introduce new provisions for staff to be able to “cash out” annual leave.

Management are currently trying to reduce some important “Average Handling Times” through a spurious Time and Motion study. Members passed a motion of no confidence in the study, and after union representations, management have backed down on some, but not all, of their new measures.

There is a clause in the current agreement saying, “Specific benchmarks will be confirmed by the parties”. The AMWU say it means agreement by both parties must be reached on targets.

_Sensis disagrees with this interpretation, yet have negotiated with the union over targets as a result. Sensis want this clause removed from a new agreement, AMWU members want it strengthened.

Making sure any new targets have to be agreed to by the union will be a central issue for a new agreement.

By a Sensis worker

 

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