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Proposed New Coles Group Retail Enterprise Agreement 2024

Following meetings of SDA Delegates from across Australia which authorised an agreement to be reached, the SDA and Coles have now concluded negotiations for the Coles Group Retail Enterprise Agreement 2024.

It is now ready for Coles Supermarkets and Coles Liquor workers to consider.

No new Agreement can take effect until it’s supported by a majority yes vote of workers and then approved by the Fair Work Commission.

The proposed new Agreement for the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement includes the following:

Better wages
  • Pay rises won by the SDA in the Annual Wage Review from 1 July each year
  • Allowance increases
  • Sign on bonus in the form of a digital Gift Card
Fairer rostering and more hours
  • Right to care clause
  • Part-time minimum contract hours increased from 9 to 12 hours
  • Opportunity to increase contract hours when roster changes Voluntary multi-work site incorporated into the Agreement
  • Voluntary additional shifts to secure more hours
More time off with pay
  • Part-timers regularly doing more than contract hours can take annual leave at actual hours
  • Compassionate leave for parent, child or partner doubled from 5 days to 10 days if required
  • Compassionate leave of 3 paid shifts for stillbirth/miscarriage
  • Cash out of accrued annual leave more accessible
Parental leave improved by:
  • Superannuation payments on unpaid leave for permanent team members
  • Access to pre-natal leave for pre-adoption and pre-foster leave
  • Option to return from parental leave on reduced hours up to school age
Your hard-won SDA Union conditions:
  • Protecting current Coles Supermarket conditions

Below is a summary of the differences between the current Coles Supermarket Enterprise Agreement 2017 and the proposed Agreement.

Copies of documents of a final Agreement team members are being asked to consider will be available on myColes. Click here to view it now.

Please read this information carefully and if you have any questions, please speak to your SDA Delegate, SDA Organiser or call the SDA. Make sure you have your say.

The proposed increases to wages over the life of a new Agreement are as follows:

  • Pay rises each year from 1 July (from 2024 to 2027 inclusive).
  • Pay rises will be the percentage pay rise the SDA wins for the Level 1 rate of pay in the Retail Award in the Annual Wage Review (AWR).

 

 

 

 

Current base rate of pay

 

 

Allowance increases 

Under the proposal Agreement allowances will be in line with and increased with the General Retail Industry Award (GRIA).

Top Up Payment ending – cash out

The proposal is that for those team members still eligible Top Up Payments will continue up until the commencement of operation of a new Agreement, being the later of 7 October 2024 or 7 days after the Agreement is approved by the FWC.

An eligible team member who receives Top Up Payments in July, August or September 2024 will be entitled to a Top Up Payment cash out. The Top Up Payment cash out will be a lump sum equal to the total amount of Top Up Payments received in the July, August and September 2024 period. This cash out will be paid no later than 1 December 2024.

Sign-on Bonus: One-off digital gift card

In addition to the increase in pay by the percentage pay rise the SDA wins at the Fair Work Commission in the Annual Wage Review, it is proposed that a one-off payment in the form of a digital Coles Group Gift Card will be issued to eligible team members:

  • Full-time team members $600
  • Part-time team members $250
  • Casual team members $150

Eligible team members are those covered by the Agreement employed at the date of the vote, who worked or were on approved leave for at least 5 of the previous 8 pay weeks before a successful vote on the Agreement and are employed when its approved.

The one-off card would be provided from the later of 30 April 2024 or the date the Fair Work Commission approves the Agreement.

Right to Care

Based on an extensive survey conducted by the SDA on the work and care responsibilities of retail workers, the SDA made a claim for the inclusion of a Right to Care provision. As a result, the proposal contains a Right to Care clause.

The clause contains several Work and Care principles including that Coles recognises:

  • The challenges that team members face when balancing their work and caring commitments.
  • That team members have commitments outside work and different caring responsibilities; one should not be penalised or disadvantaged for having care responsibilities.
  • That there are benefits for both team members and Coles when caring responsibilities are accommodated.
  • The benefits of meaningful hours of work as well as secure, predictable and stable working hours.

Increase in part-time minimum hours
The current Agreement provides for a minimum of 9 hours per week (no less than 36 hours in a 4 week cycle).

Under the proposal, the minimum number of contract hours for part-time team members will be an average of 12 hours per week (48 hours per 4 week cycle) effective from 25 March 2025. Existing part-time team members may elect to remain on 9 hours per week or less than 12 hours per week when a Roster Choice selection is made.

Opportunity to increase hours when rosters change 

Under the proposal if Coles wants to change a part-time team member’s roster, they must also discuss opportunities to increase the team member’s minimum contract hours. This means if you have regularly been doing additional hours and are offered a roster change you will have an opportunity to increase your minimum contract hours given the additional hours you have been working. Coles must consider this as part of the roster change.

Voluntary additional shifts

You cannot be required to do more than one shift in a day. However, the proposal provides an opportunity for part-time and casual team members over 18 years to elect to be rostered to work a voluntary additional shift by agreement. Additional shifts cannot be a condition of employment.

The additional shift will be at least 3 hours and there must be a break of at least 2 hours between
shifts. The additional shift is paid at the base rate of pay plus penalty rates (if applicable). A team member can withdraw their agreement to work additional shifts with 28 days’ notice or less by agreement.

The recall allowance will not apply where team members voluntarily work additional shifts on the same day.

Voluntary multi-sites work

The proposal provides an opportunity for team members to work more hours at other Coles Supermarkets. Every team member will have a home store. The rostering provisions of the home store will apply.

Team members may elect to nominate other stores by nominating the stores in myColes. Working at multi-sites cannot be a condition of employment. The team member can withdraw their agreement to work in other stores or vary their nominated stores by providing 28 days’ notice.

Where a team member does not elect but is required by Coles to work in a store other than their home store or a nominated store they are entitled to the transport and travel time allowance.

Casual conversion to permanent employment

The proposal removes the current casual conversion clause and provides that casual conversion will be in accordance with the Fair Work Act.

From August 2024, casual workers will be able to apply to convert to permanent employment after 6 months, and every 6 months after that if they no longer meet the definition of casual employment.

The definition of casual employment has been updated to mean a worker who has no commitment to ongoing work.

Requests to convert can only be rejected on reasonable grounds and the Fair Work Commission can arbitrate a dispute.

Fixed (maximum) term contracts and secondments

The current Agreement contains a provision for limited tenure contracts. In the proposal this will be renamed to Fixed term contracts and Secondments.

The proposal includes a fixed (maximum) term contract clause which allows Coles to engage new team members on a fixed term full-time or part-time basis for a specific task or specific period of time with a minimum duration of 1 month and a maximum duration of 12 months (24 months for parental leave replacement).

The proposal also includes a clause on secondments which allows Coles to second existing team members to a different role by agreement, for a limited period of time, with a minimum length of 1 month and a maximum length of 12 months (24 months for parental leave replacement). After the period ends the team member returns to their previous position. This is similar to the current limited tenure provision.

Superannuation on parental leave

Permanent team members on parental leave will have superannuation paid on all parental leave up to 52 weeks, this includes on Coles paid parental leave, on the Government paid leave and on unpaid leave. Payments are based on a team member’s contracted hours.

Legislative changes

The proposal includes the new “stapling” provisions required by legislation. Superannuation contributions are made to a team members nominated fund. Where a fund is not nominated, then employer contributions are made into the team member’s existing fund (“stapled fund”). Where a team member does not have a stapled fund, Coles will make contributions into the REST fund (the “default fund”)

ANNUAL LEAVE
Part-time annual leave on actual hours worked

Part-time team members who work additional hours regularly above their contract hours may elect to take accrued annual leave based on these actual hours. For example, if a team member’s contract is 20 hours per week, but they work 30 hours regularly, they can apply to take annual leave based on 30 hours.

Cashing out annual leave

The proposal provides that team members can cash out more of their accrued annual leave if they need, provided a balance of four (4) weeks is retained. The current Agreement limits the amount of annual leave that can be cashed out to 2 weeks.

CARER’S LEAVE
Enduring medical evidence for long-term illness or disability

The proposal includes a provision to assist team members caring for a person with a long-term illness or disability. Evidence to take carer’s leave will only be required once every 6 months.

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE IMPROVEMENTS

The current Agreement provides for a maximum of up to 5 paid shifts of compassionate leave in certain circumstances. The proposal doubles the existing entitlement to a maximum of up to 10 paid shifts in the case of the death of a parent, child or partner.

3 paid shifts of compassionate leave is also
proposed when:

  • there is a stillbirth in a team member’s immediate family or household; or
  • a team member or their spouse has a miscarriage.
PARENTAL LEAVE
Returning to work from parental leave on reduced hours

The proposal provides for team members wishing to return to work from parental leave on reduced hours under a temporary part-time work agreement until the child is of school age. The current Agreement provides for this only until the child’s second birthday.

PRE-NATAL LEAVE EXTENDED TO PRE-ADOPTION OR PRE-FOSTERING

The proposal extends pre-natal leave entitlements to also apply to “pre-adopting” and “pre-fostering” arrangements. This will permit a team member who is about to adopt or foster a child access to the same leave entitlements as someone who is pregnant and accessing this leave for pre-natal reasons. A team member who is going to adopt or foster a child may access their personal/carers leave or unpaid leave for medical or other appointments.

FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE

The NES now provides 10 days of paid leave for Family and Domestic Violence Leave so the clause will be adjusted. Casuals can also receive this paid leave. Payment is at the full rate of pay including penalties and loadings.

The proposal will recognise various other additional family relationships – kinship relationships under Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander systems, a child under custody or care as a result of a Court order and “found” family.

The broader recognition will allow team members to utilise personal or compassionate leave for a wider range of close relations that aren’t currently recognised as ‘family’.

This includes circumstances where the team member is out of contact with a member or members of their immediate family, and another person with whom the team member has a genuine relationship of identifiable equivalent significance.

The proposal now provides for Easter Sunday as a public holiday for Tasmania.

Coles recognises the right of every team member to join the SDA.

The proposal includes an SDA union recognition clause which sees the current practices at Coles continue.

A new provision for SDA Delegates / Shop Stewards would introduce the new rights under the Fair Work Act including paid trade union training.

No new Agreement will be introduced without a majority yes vote of Coles workers.

When voting occurs, it will be via an online ballot. Check your emails from the SDA and on myColes for voting dates and details on how to vote.

Make sure you have your say.

Any new Agreement, once approved by a majority yes vote, will then be lodged with the Fair Work Commission for approval.

If you have any questions about the proposal, please speak to your SDA Delegate or Organiser, or click here to contact us.

The SDA has worked hard to deliver the best possible outcome for Coles workers.

Make sure you have your say!


Stay up to date with what's happening in bargaining

Bargaining for a new Coles Agreement is ongoing as the SDA and Coles continue to meet.

The SDA has an important and ambitious bargaining agenda, put together by our Coles Delegates and members across the country.

The SDA’s key focus in these upcoming negotiations is to secure:

Better wages
Fairer rostering – for your work/life balance
More time off with pay
Your hard-won SDA Union conditions
There is plenty of bargaining ahead of us over the coming months and the SDA will keep you up to date on any developments.

The SDA has also kicked off our campaign to win 5 weeks annual leave for Coles members. To read more and support the campaign click here now.

The SDA and Coles met again on Monday 4th December.

The SDA progressed discussions on multiple SDA claims including wages. The SDA claims were developed through member surveys and meetings with Delegates and are available on the SDA’s Coles negotiations website www.national.sda.com.au/coles.

Coles is a profitable company. In August 2023 Coles Group announced an annual profit of $1.1bn – a 4.8% increase on last year.

The SDA continues to press Coles for a fair and reasonable wages outcome in this round of bargaining.

The SDA’s key focus in these negotiations is to secure:

  • Better wages
  • Fairer rostering – for your work/life balance
  • More time off with pay
  • Protect your hard-won SDA Union conditions

More bargaining remains ahead of us and meetings will resume in 2024 – the SDA will keep you informed of developments.

SDA and Coles continue to meet for new Coles Supermarkets Agreement

The SDA and Coles met again on Thursday 12th of October.

The SDA progressed discussions on multiple SDA claims. The SDA claims were developed through member surveys and meetings with Delegates and are available below.

The SDA’s key focus in these upcoming negotiations is to secure:

  • Better wages
  • Fairer rostering – for your work/life balance
  • More time off with pay
  • Your hard-won SDA Union conditions

More bargaining remains ahead of us over the coming months and the SDA will keep you informed.

One of the claims the SDA is pursuing is to increase annual leave to 5 weeks for Coles members. To read more and support the campaign click here.

Update for Coles Supermarket Members: Coles Bargaining Begins

The SDA met with Coles on Tuesday and commenced negotiating for a new Coles Supermarket Agreement.

The SDA raised the key concerns of members in this first meeting and specifically addressed:

  • Cost of living pressures
  • Wage increases in a new Agreement
  • Rostering provisions
  • Work-life balance including a claim for 5 weeks annual leave

This is only the start of the bargaining process which is likely to continue for several months as the SDA pursues an agreement that improves the wages and conditions of members at Coles.

In future meetings the SDA will work through the specific claims raised by members and endorsed by workplace Delegates. Remember, no proposed Coles Agreement can be put in place without a majority ‘yes’ vote amongst all employees.

You will have the final say when it comes to any new Coles Agreement.

We will continue to update all members throughout negotiations.

After surveying SDA members across Australia and meeting with SDA Delegates and Shop Stewards, there is a comprehensive Log of Claims that sets out our priorities during negotiations.

You can read the log of claims here.

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