VA Update: JobKeeper payments commence and redundancy update

Posted on April 9, 2020

Your union has been making sure that Virgin Australia won’t go to compulsory redundancies before all other alternatives have been explored.

In our last update for members circulated on Friday, 3 April 2020 we informed you that through successful consultation with Virgin Australia, the Company would start a new round of expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies (‘the EOIs for VR’) at airports. This was because they didn’t get enough EOIs the first time around.

2 and 7 April EOI process

We made it clear to Virgin Australia that if they are serious about a VR process, they would need to consider allowing workers with higher payouts to take redundancy even if it means retraining or promoting other staff. This is just common sense!

EOIs were reopened for all Guest Services employees covered by the Virgin Australia Ground Crew Agreement 1018(‘the EBA’) and closed at 5.00pm last Tuesday, 7 April 2020. Employees who had put in for redundancy in the first round (due on 2 April) would also continue to be a priority for offers of redundancy.

VRs will be successful if you formally nominate today

The Company confirmed today that 137 employees applied for a VR by 2 April and a further 20 employees confirmed their interest by 7 April 2020.

Virgin Australia have confirmed this morning that they will pay the full notice period to those who nominate for VR. While they will not be able to generate new redundancy quotes by today’s 5pm deadline, this will be included in your final payment.

Virgin Australia announced this morning that they will be accepting ALL EOIs – should a team member who has expressed interest in a VR formally nominate for a redundancy your nomination will be successful – For 2 April EOIs, if you have not already formally nominated for your VR you must do so TODAY.

Given a number of team members have indicated they are anxious to know the outcome of their formal nominations already sent to Virgin Australia, the Company also intend to commence confirming nominations from today (9 April 2020).

JobKeeper Payments and forced redundancies

Union members at Virgin Australia have been taking action, by signing a petition to seek that Virgin Australia support their workers by:

  1. Providing the JobKeeper payment to all staff who you are proposing to make redundant and stopping forced redundancies.
  2. Re-crediting any annual leave or long service leave to your workers that team members have taken as a result of being stood down.

In conjunction with this strong member action, your union wrote to Virgin Australia about the JobKeeper payments earlier this week.

With over 500 people signing your petition, you have moved Virgin Australia to commit to the following:

  • commencing JobKeeper payments effective from the 30 March start date.
  • re-crediting any annual leave or long service leave that team members have taken since 30 March 2020 as a result of being stood down.

This is a huge win for union members, However you need to act now to make a change on forced redundancies.

The petition is working. Your union delegates are meeting again with the Company tomorrow morning and will continue to put pressure on the Company’s position on JobKeeper payments and whether further compulsory redundancies are really necessary right now.

Can you share the petition, to keep the pressure up? You have 24 hours to make a huge impact before tomorrow’s meeting.

If you have queries about redundancies or JobKeeper payments, please contact your Organiser Billy Colless on Airlines@together.org.au today to discuss your concerns.

Also we know this is a very stressful time, so please seek assistance if you need it. Organisations like Lifeline 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 are available if needed.

Remember your union is with you every step of the way during this very difficult time.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au