Negotiations for a new agreement at BUPA
Firstly, congratulations on being a part of the process thus far and for getting Bupa to commit to negotiate with you with the support and guidance of your union office.
The Bupa Australia Enterprise Agreement 2014 (the current Agreement) passed its nominal Expiry date on 24 March 2014. Once any enterprise agreement expires, the terms and conditions of employment continue and parties can bargain to replace their Agreement.
Your Union had been meeting with Bupa to commence negotiations for a new Agreement. It was Bupa’s preference to commence bargaining later in 2017; however, all parties were keen to ensure staff covered by the agreement would receive a base salary increase from January 2017. The compromise was a variation to the current Agreement. This delivered a base salary increase of 2.5% from 1 January 2017 and extended the nominal expiry date of the Agreement to 31 December 2017.
31 December is fast approaching and if workers are not ready and negotiations do not commence there will be no planned pay increase for next year.
You have come this far which is wonderful. However, it is important to touch on how the negotiations are likely to play out:
- Workers collate their issues (wages and conditions you would like to see improved)
- Members endorse the list of issues
- Your union provides the log of claims to Bupa
- Negotiations begin!
During negotiations it is very common for employers to say 'no' to items from your list of issues – especially those that cost money! So, how do workers turn a 'no' into a 'yes'? By having power in your workplace! You don’t need power if your employer is going to say ‘yes’ to everything but that rarely happens. It takes a strong union to show any employer how important a wage increase or improvement to conditions are; and Bupa are no different. So, what can you do to be strong and show Bupa that you are serious?
From our experience strength comes from the workers. When the majority of workers are union members, are talking to each other and their union and are prepared to do activities an employer is more inclined to listen.
You too can achieve improvements in your workplace, but it is going to take all of you to commit to be involved. You can start today by joining other members at Bupa here!
It is important that your union has a contingent of workers at each negotiation – who to better to explain some of the issues then those that are impacted by them! Having workers in attendance also ensures transparency throughout the whole process. Of course, union office staff will be in attendance with you and will guide and support you all the way.
You can still have your say about what you would like to see improved and maintained by emailing your comments to the email address below. Be sure to include your name, job title, and phone number.
If you have any questions about being union or about your negotiations, please do not hesitate to contact your union office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 1800 177 244.