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Aurizon EA Negotiation Update No 2 – Day 3 and 4 of meetings

A second 2-day bargaining meeting to negotiate a replacement agreement for the Aurizon NSW Coal  Operations EA 2018 was due to be held on Wednesday 4, Thursday 5 August 2021. Discussions on the first  day were productive, however, the second day had to be postponed due to issues associated with the  escalating Covid-19 situation. 

These days were intended to discuss the following LEAVE Provisions. 

Clause 38. Annual Leave Conditions.  

These discussions have been parked until further work is done on proposed rostering principles. Clause 42. Personal / Carers Leave. 

Discussions were held and the following changes were proposed.

42.1 Entitlement 

  • 42.1.1 adding the words Accrue to now read as “Full time employees are entitled to accrue 13 days Personal / Carers leave per year (pro rata for part-time employees) Agreed

42.4 Unused Personal / Carers Leave will not be paid out upon termination of Employment. 

RTBU has proposed “On cessation of Employment with Aurizon (i.e., Terminated, Retired, Resignation or Redundancy), Employees will be paid their balance of Personal / Carers Leave included in the Termination payment. This will be paid at the Employee’s ordinary rate of pay at the date of termination of employment”. Further discussion is required. 

42.6 Taking paid Personal/ Carers Leave. 

  •  42.6.2 Because the employee is not fit to work because of a Personal Illness, Personal injury or Medical Procedure affecting the Employee; or 
  • 42.6.3 To provide care or support to a member of the employee’s Immediate Family or a member of the employee’s Household, who requires care or support because of a personal illness, personal  injury, or a medical procedure affecting the member; or an unexpected emergency affecting the  member. Words “medical procedure” included. Agreed 

Propose to Insert the below amended clause 42.10 in an attempt to improve access to Personal / Carer’s Leave by removing onerous requirement to provide evidence unless an absence exceeds 3 consecutive working days. In doing so this will allow an employee to take as many single or double personal / carer’s leave days as they may require without having to provide a certificate. As it currently stands, if the total equals 5 days in any year of service you are required to provide evidence. We are also questioning the use of appendix A & B forms being issued on the current status. 

42.10. Evidence Requirements  

  • 42.10.1. An employee must, if required by the Company, provide evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that the absence from work is for a reason specified in clause 42.6, only for absences which exceed three consecutive working days. 

42.10.2. When medical certificates are not required: 

  • (i) An employee shall not be required to furnish a medical certificate/statutory declaration in respect of any period whilst an in-patient at a registered hospital; or,
  • (ii) Where the employers medical examination of an employee indicates unfitness for duty following that medical examination. 

43 Compassionate Leave & 44 Trauma Leave  

RTBU have requested raising the entitlement from 2 Days to 5 Days. More discussions required

Feedback from Member surveys call out the current entitlements as insufficient. 

46 Military Leave 

RTBU Locomotive Division have requested inclusion of a provision to allow a member of the defence forces to utilise their Anzac Day Public Holiday to attend the Anzac Day Service without having to attempt a RDO Swap or utilising other leave provisions. Aurizon considering our proposal. 

A small token of recognition of service to community. 

48 Parental Leave 

Changes tabled to recognise cesarian section births and also improve provisions for partners to have more time with newborn and birth parent. 

49 Domestic and Family Violence Leave 

Proposal to enshrine 10 days paid leave within the agreement instead of referring to policy which may be changed at any time. 

At this point in time, it would seem we are on track to have a replacement Enterprise Agreement ready to go  by the time the current Agreement expires. Whilst effective and timely bargaining is important to all Members,  we must continue to focus on safety in response to the escalating Covid-19 situation. Bargaining remotely,  as opposed to face to face, is a tough proposition but your Locomotive Division negotiating team have done  and will continue to do an excellent job in these trying circumstances. 

If you have any questions or need anything clarified please do not hesitate to contact your local rep or your  Locomotive Division organiser via mobile or email.