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Federal Court Union Win – Ex-IRA Backpay Case

Oct 22, 2020Employer News QUBE

Ex-Independent Rail (IRA) Train Crew had a big win in the Federal Court today, with the court finding that workers who worked at IRA during the period from the expiry of their 2011 EA up to approval of the first QUBE Train Crew EA were entitled to two wage increases of 3% each in 2014 and 2015.

The long running case turned on what the phrase “in the absent of re-negotiation” meant. It was the Union’s position, which was accepted, that it meant the completion of the “negotiation process” and the successful “re-negotiation” of an agreement replacing the existing Independent Railways of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011. The Court rejected QUBE’s contention, among other things, that “re-negotiation” simply meant any initiation of negotiations to replace the Agreement.

Whilst the Company may appeal the decision, the decision should it stand means QUBE will now be required to pay impacted ex-IRA members/employees their back dated pay increases including interest. Our claim on behalf of members was substantial and whilst the decision did not include our claim for superannuation, we still expect the total claim paid to be substantial when the final figure is resolved again before the Court.

“All of the Independent Rail employees are very thankful that through perseverance together a just resolution was attained. It took many people working very hard behind the scenes to make this happen, and it goes to show the strength that employees hold when you all stand up collectively for what is right.” said Locomotive Division Delegate Cameron Wood.

The judgment has now been posted on the Court’s website and can be viewed here.