Important Information for Bunnings Workers
Yesterday Bunnings advised they will be withdrawing the Bunnings Agreement which was voted up by Bunnings team members with a very strong yes vote last year.
The Agreement was in the Fair Work Commission for approval but will now no longer proceed. This process has been a frustrating one.
We are disappointed this Agreement will not be put in place as it would have provided certainty for team members about their pay and conditions for the next few years.
For now, you will continue to be covered by the current expired Bunnings Agreement.
Your pay and conditions will remain the same.
Existing over Agreement penalties and rates will continue to be paid.
We understand this is a frustrating decision in what is already a difficult and uncertain time for retail workers.
The SDA will continue to push for a new Agreement that will secure your pay and entitlements.
Rest assured, the SDA will continue to advocate for the best possible pay and conditions at Bunnings.
We will provide updates as more information comes to hand.
If you have any questions , please contact us.
New Bunnings Agreement voted up
Following a ballot of Bunnings employees, a majority voted yes in favour of the proposed Bunnings Agreement.
59.7% of eligible Bunnings employees voted in the ballot with a 76.7% yes vote.
The SDA believes that, notwithstanding the issues which were not agreed, (being a 2.5% cap on the CPI increase, the 12 week period for reconciliation and several outstanding BOOT issues) overall the proposed Agreement delivers a positive outcome for Bunnings team members.
Positive elements of the Bunnings Agreement include:
Removal of Bank of Hours
Improved penalty rates
Many hard-won SDA union conditions
The proposed Bunnings Agreement will now go to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for approval. The SDA will argue the several outstanding BOOT issues in the Fair Work Commission and the Commission may require enforceable undertakings from Bunnings.
The new Agreement will take effect from 7 October 2019 or 7 days after approval by the Fair Work Commission, whichever is the latter, and your conditions will remain the same until then.
The SDA worked hard throughout negotiations to ensure you receive fair pay and working conditions.
Thank you for voting to have your say and to protect and improve your pay and conditions at work.
We will keep you updated as this process progresses. If you have any questions, please contact the SDA.
Following extensive negotiations between Bunnings and the SDA the proposed Bunnings Warehouse & Smaller Format Stores Agreement is ready for you to consider.
The following is a summary of the proposed Agreement and changes from the Bunnings Warehouse / Small Format Stores Agreement 2013 (“the 2013 Agreement”) and/or provisions different to the General Retail Industry Award (“the Award”).
A full copy of the proposed Agreement is available in your store, or can be accessed here.
The proposed Agreement contains:
- Removal of the Bank of Hours system and replaces it with a more standard system of rosters and working hours more closely aligned with the Award. This includes consultation with you before any changes to your regular roster.
- Improved Penalty Rates
- Yearly pay rises to the minimum rates for each grade
- Yearly average performance based pay rises
- Improved classifications with a new grade, Grade 2A, and lifts trolley collectors and box packers from Grade 1 to Grade 2
- A higher duties allowance (to be introduced in September 2020)
- A reconciliation clause (“Better off at Bunnings”) to guarantee team members are paid better than the Award for all rosters or they will be paid a top up payment with interest. This also means if penalty rates in the Award are improved Bunnings will still have to pay more than the Award or pay a top up payment with interest
- Part-time team members can request an increase in your contract hours to the average hours you worked over a 12 month period
- A casual conversion clause for regular casual team members to become permanent
- Family and Domestic Violence leave
- Team members can complete paid training at work or be paid to do it at home
- Changes the way public holidays are treated
Bunnings is currently asking employees to complete an online form (Choices E-Form) to provide the company with an idea of what the potential new rostering pattern may look like if and when the proposed Enterprise Agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
It is important to remember that none of the options employees choose will take effect until the new Agreement is in operation and choices entered during this period (4 Nov- 1 Dec) are not final. The New Agreement is likely to start operation in early 2020.
Bunnings employees will get another opportunity to complete the E-Form if the FWC approves the 2019 EBA, and prior to the EBA year commencing. Note that choices entered during this period (4 Nov- 1 Dec) are not final.
The Company’s current E-Form, that employees have been asked to fill out, will close on 1 December 2019.
The new Agreement provides the following:
If you work 3 out of 4 Sundays in a 4-week cycle, you must receive a full weekend off (clause 3.6(c)(i)). However, you can agree to work 4 Sundays in a 4-week cycle. You can revoke this agreement by providing 4 weeks’ notice (clause 3.6).
Consecutive Days Off
You must be rostered to have 2 consecutive days off each payroll week OR 3 consecutive days off in the rostered fortnight (clause 3.6(c)(ii)). However, you can agree to a roster where you don’t get 2 consecutive days off each payroll week or 3 consecutive days off each rostered fortnight. You can revoke this agreement by providing 4 weeks’ notice (clause 3.6).
A part time team member can give Bunnings written consent to work additional hours at the ordinary time rate (with applicable penalties) (clause 3.8). This agreement can be revoked at any time in writing. Where a team member agrees to work additional hours, they can choose to have the additional hours paid, or taken as Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) (clause 3.10). A decision on how additional hours are compensated (either pay or TOIL) must be made by a team member in advance of an EBA Year and the decision applies for the entire EBA Year. So it is important that you choose the option you want, as you will be locked in for 12 months. You can change your decision for each EBA Year, prior to the EBA Year.
Employees are still entitled to exercise a choice after 1 December, and any choices do not take effect until the 2019 EBA comes into operation.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your Organiser or call the SDA.
Bank of Hours is gone
The proposed Agreement abolishes the Bank of Hours system. Under the proposed Agreement permanent team members’ hours are set and averaged over a four week period. This is instead of being averaged over a 52 week period. This means that your set hours
and any agreed additional hours are worked over a 4 week roster period.
A full time team member cannot have their hours reduced below 152 hours over a four-week period but on a voluntary basis they can choose to work additional hours. Casual team members were not previously subject to the Bank of Hours and your arrangements only change slightly under the proposed Agreement. Wages will continue to be paid fortnightly, based on your contracted hours (plus any additional hours, penalty rates or overtime).
Contracted Number of Hours
Under the proposed Agreement, permanent team members contract hours will be:
If the proposed Agreement is accepted and approved, current team members will move to the new system based on your current weekly average hours.
The table below sets out the proposed roster rules around minimum and maximum hours of work and days of work compared to the current Agreement:
* Team members may be rostered to work one day of 10.5 hours per week
^ Under the Award team members may be rostered to work one day of 11 hours per week
** 30 hours per week for part timers with a weekly average of 20 hours or less
^^ Can be 21 where the team member agrees to work additional hours – see below
Under the proposed Agreement you are entitled to a roster with:
»» Two consecutive days off per week or three consecutive days off per fortnight
»» One full weekend off in four if you work 3 out of 4 Sundays
This is better than the 2013 Agreement that only entitles team members to two consecutive days off per fortnight. Rosters will be issued electronically for a 4-week period at least 2 weeks in advance.
In setting your roster Bunnings must use its best endeavours to accommodate your family responsibilities, significant commitments and
access to safe transport home. These provisions do not exist in the Award.
When changing a team member’s regular roster – including the roster of a casual team member who has been working a regular pattern of hours – Bunnings has to consult with you and provide information about the proposed change, and then give consideration to your issues (if any). While this provision does not prevent the Company from making roster changes, it does ensure team members can voice their concerns and have them considered.
Under the proposed Agreement, and consistent with the Award, part-time team members will be contracted for a set number of hours per four week cycle.
A part-time team member may agree to work additional hours offered by the Company. A part-time team member can provide standing consent to work such additional hours at the relevant ordinary time rate (plus any penalty rates). The standing consent does not oblige the team member to accept any particular additional hours offered, each time they can be accepted or rejected.
Full-time team members can also agree to work up to eight additional hours at ordinary time (plus any applicable penalty rates) in each four week period. Where a full-time team member accepts additional hours they can work on 21 days in that four week
The maximum number of hours, including additional hours that you can do in a 4-week period is:
For the year ahead, you choose how you will be paid for your additional hours (if you choose to work them). You choose to either be paid each pay cycle for the additional hours, or to take the additional hours as time off in lieu (“TOIL”) . Once you choose how you want to be paid for additional hours you cannot change your choice until the following year.
TOIL is taken at the penalty rate equivalent. For example, if the team member works 4 additional hours on a Sunday, they accrue 4 hours x 150% equals 6 hours of TOIL. Alternatively, if the team member has 6 hours of TOIL accrued and takes such TOIL off on a Sunday, they would be able to take off 4 hours.
Under the proposed Agreement, overtime is payable for work outside of the roster rules including maximum hours, days and consecutive days of work, as well as in circumstances where the team member does not receive a 10 hour break between shifts.
Overtime is paid as 150% first 3 hours, 200% thereafter.
The proposed Agreement contains the same span of hours as the 2013 Agreement:
Monday to Sunday 5am-11pm (The Award span is 7am-11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-11pm on Sunday)
You cannot be rostered to work outside the span of hours, but you can agree to do so. If you agree, then the work is not overtime but is instead ordinary hours with penalty rates and you also accrue leave and superannuation on the hours.
The proposed Agreement makes the following changes to the grading structure:
1. Box packer and trolley collector move from Grade 1 to Grade 2.
2. A new grade, Grade 2A. Grade 2A applies to:
Forklift Operator — a Team Member who holds a valid forklift licence and is regularly required to operate a forklift.
Special Orders Team Member — a Team Member who is regularly required to, and works the majority of their shifts on, the
special orders desk.
Service Desk Team Member — a Team Member who is regularly required to, and works the majority of their shifts on,
the service desk.
Trade Desk Team Member — a Team Member who is regularly required to, and works the majority of their shifts on, the trade desk.
Expert Team Member — a Team Member who completes the required training, and who is appointed to the position of an Expert Team Member.
Team members who move into a higher grade as a result of these changes will be paid at least the minimum rate for the new grade. Team members who are already paid at a rate above the minimum rate for their new grade would not necessarily receive an increase based on the grade movement, but would still be subject to the performance pay system.
Effective from 1 September 2020, team members directed by the Company to perform higher graded duties for more than half of their rostered hours in a week will be paid at the rate of that higher grade for the entire week.
If a team member receives such a payment for a period of 8 consecutive weeks, they may request that the Company appoint them to the higher grade. The Company will grant such requests where it is consistent with its operational needs.
The proposed Agreement provides the following amounts for the minimum rate for each grade:
The performance pay system is unchanged from the system applying in the 2013 Agreement. The average increases under the proposed Agreement are as follows:
2019: at least 2%
2020 + 2021: at least 2%, or CPI (up to 2.5%), whichever is higher
CPI is the inflation rate. CPI is the June figure for the national Consumer Price Index published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The SDA wanted to ensure that your real wages were protected, and so our position was that the average increase should be 2% or CPI whichever is the higher.
The Company rejected this and have put a position of 2% or if CPI is higher then an increase of up to 2.5%. As a result, the parties could not reach agreement on this issue.
Previous Bunnings Agreements have used what is known as a “loaded rates” system, whereby higher base rates offset certain penalties being lower. In each case, the previous Agreements have been approved by the Fair Work Commission. Although other retailers have moved away from this model (to a model with lower base rates and higher penalties), Bunnings continued to advocate a loaded rates model. The SDA was very mindful of the high base rates at Bunnings and resolved to work with the Company to retain these rates, while ensuring the proposed Agreement will pass the Better Off Overall Test (“the BOOT”). The new Agreement needs to ensure there is no possibility of any team member receiving less wages than you would receive under the Award. In the vast majority of cases at Bunnings, this is not a problem, as the lowest Bunnings base rate currently paid under the 2013 Agreement is around $110 a week higher than the Award.
Nevertheless, a team member at Bunnings who, for example, was an adult casual who worked only on Sundays might be worse off compared to the Award. To counter this, the proposed Agreement contains what is known as a “reconciliation” or “make-good” clause, called “Better off at Bunnings”. This clause requires the Company to undertake an automatic reconciliation for every team member to compare their pay under the proposed Agreement versus what they would have received under the Award. If they would have received more under the Award, the team member is paid the difference, plus 1.25%. The SDA agrees in principle with the concept of the Better off at Bunnings clause, as it:
1. Provides security for team members, and
2. Effectively ensures that if the Award penalties are improved, such improvements are used to test Bunnings’ team member’s pay (There is currently proposed legislation to increase penalty rates in the Award.)
However, we did not agree with the Company that 12 weeks was an appropriate time frame over which to compare a team member’s Agreement pay versus the Award, preferring a shorter time frame such as 4 weeks. As such, we will express
this view to the Fair Work Commission but leave the decision in their hands: if they are prepared to accept 12 weeks then we will accept and respect that decision.
The proposed Agreement contains a Casual Conversion clause. This was made possible due to the SDA/ACTU case at the Fair Work Commission. Fair Work determined that a Casual Conversion clause was to be inserted into the Award. The proposed Agreement contains a Casual Conversion clause which gives a regular casual team member the right to request conversion to permanent employment. Under the proposed Agreement, the definition of a regular casual is:
“…a casual Team Member who has in the preceding period of 12 months worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the Team Member could continue to perform as a fulltime Team Member or part-time Team Member under the provisions of the Agreement.”
The Company may refuse the team member’s request, but only on reasonable grounds (examples of which are set out in the proposed Agreement) and only after consultation with the team member. Where a request is refused, the Company must provide written reasons to the team member, who then has the option to pursue the matter as a dispute as per the proposed Agreement’s dispute resolution procedure.
The proposed Agreement contains a provision, effective from September 2020, which allows part time team members who have regularly worked more than their contracted hours (by accepting additional hours as explained above) to request that their contracted hours be increased to reflect the actual average hours worked over the previous 12 months. While the provision does not provide an automatic right to be granted these hours, the Company is obligated to do so where it is operationally viable.
The proposed Agreement provides all team members (including casuals) with the right to take up to five days of unpaid leave to deal with situations involving family or domestic violence.
The proposed Agreement contains a new provision that allows a team member to volunteer to complete relevant online training away from the workplace. Such training will be paid as per the time allocated for the relevant module(s) in the learning catalogue.
In addition, the proposed Agreement, while still allowing the one-hour training shift as per the 2013 Agreement, makes such a shift voluntary.
With the demise of the Bank of Hours, it has been agreed to change the treatment of non-worked public holidays to a system similar to that applying in the Award, and also to adopt the Award public holiday penalty structure.
The proposed Agreement adopts the Award penalty structure, which is as follows:
Permanent Team Members: 225%
Casual Team Members: 250% (Inclusive of casual loading)
Non-worked Public Holidays
Under the proposed Agreement, there are three possible scenarios for permanent team members who are not working on a particular public holiday:
1. The day is a day of the week that the team member regularly works. In this case, the team member is paid for the number of ordinary hours usually worked.
2. The day is a day of the week that the team member never works, or only works half (or less) of the time. In this case, the team member is not paid for the day.
3. The day is a day of the week that the team member has worked in at least 7 of the last 12 weeks. In this case, the team member is paid for the day, even if they would not normally have worked on that day in the week in which the public holiday falls. (This is a superior benefit to that provided by the Award – which contains no comparable benefit)
The proposed Agreement retains all of the public holidays from the 2013 Agreement, meaning Bunnings team members in certain states receive the benefit of more public holidays than they would under the Award. The requirement to work up to five public holidays in a year has also been retained.
The proposed Agreement has a three year term, nominally expiring on 31st August 2022
»» Clause 2.2(f) is subject to clause 10.9 (Long Service Leave) to ensure recent changes to Victorian legislation ie: what counts as service are reflected
»» The proposed Agreement contains a shift-work provision (clause 4.2), broadly consistent with the provision in the Award. At this time, the Company does not have any team members who fit the definition of shift workers and has stated that it has no immediate plans to introduce shift work.
»» Consistent with the Fair Work Act, the proposed Agreement contains a provision (clause 5) that sets out a team member’s right to request flexible working arrangements where they:
(i) are a parent, or have responsibility for the care of a child, who is of school age or younger;
(ii) have carer responsibilities of a person who has a disability, medical condition, mental illness, or is frail and aged;
(iii) have a disability;
(iv) are 55 or older; or
(v) are experiencing family or domestic violence or caring/supporting a family or household member who is experiencing family or domestic violence.
»» The proposed Agreement includes Bunnings’ junior rates scale, which is more generous than the Award:
15 and under: 50%
18 and above: 100%
» Team members now have choice of superannuation fund, with REST remaining the default fund for those who do not elect their own fund
»» The proposed Agreement contains a provision (Appendix Part 5) to allow team members to purchase leave from the Company and pay for such leave over a 12 month period via reduced wages
Voting will occur online, conducted by an independent third party. You will be notified when voting dates have been confirmed.
If there is a majority yes vote, the proposed Agreement will go to the Fair Work Commission for approval.
LATEST NEWS FROM BUNNINGS NEGOTIATIONS
The SDA and Bunnings continue to meet as part of negotiations for a new Bunnings Agreement.
In negotiations so far, we have made significant progress on a new rostering system without the Bank of Hours.
This new system will introduce the choice for employees to be paid for any extra hours worked or to accumulate time off if you choose.
We continue to press that roster predictability, access to additional hours and better work life balance for SDA members must be addressed.
We have also reached in principle agreement on a new superannuation provision that retains REST as the default super fund but provides choice for team members wishing to choose an alternative fund.
The SDA is working to secure a new Agreement that also:
– Introduces an evening and an early morning penalty rate
– Ensures wage increases for everyone
– Protects conditions won by SDA union members
Remember, you will have the final say. No new Bunnings Agreement will be introduced without a vote and a majority yes vote.
The SDA will continue to keep you up to date with any progress.
Last week the SDA met with the Company to continue negotiations for a new Bunnings Agreement.
During negotiations, it is our priority to:
- Replace the Bank of Hours system to ensure a better system that is fair for all Bunnings employees
- Improve penalty rates
- Ensure wage increases for everyone
- Protect conditions won by SDA union members
We have pressed that roster predictability, access to additional hours and better work life balance for SDA members must be addressed.
We will meet again in the new year to progress negotiations.
Remember, you will have the final say. No new Bunnings Agreement will be introduced without a vote and a majority yes vote.
The SDA will continue to keep you up to date with any progress.
Bunnings Bargaining Update – Bank of Hours Breakthrough
Bunnings and the SDA met yesterday as part of negotiations for a new Bunnings Warehouse and Small Format Stores Agreement.
At this meeting the SDA communicated to the company the results of the SDA’s Bank Of Hours survey conducted last month which found:
- Significant non-compliance by Bunnings Managers in the operation of the bank of hours.
- A majority of SDA Members believe that the system overwhelming favours the company.
- A majority of SDA Members would like to be paid for additional hours worked and not have the hours banked.
Yesterday, the SDA made it clear to the company that that Bank of Hours system was not working in favour of the majority of Bunnings workers and the system needs to change or it needs to go.
Over previous rounds of bargaining the SDA has continually improved the Bank of Hours system and called for its removal.
At yesterday’s meeting, Bunnings and the SDA, discussed what a new rostering model to replace the Bank of Hours would look like.
Significant work is now being undertaken to re-write the Bunnings Agreement – without the Bank of Hours.
The SDA and Bunnings will meet again next month to progress negotiations.
We will be focusing on roster predictably, access to additional hours and better work life balance for SDA members at Bunnings.
We will continue to keep all SDA members at Bunnings updated.