Mercy Community - Important Union update


Our Union is by your side throughout Mercy’s major consultation process with employees.

We know that members are frustrated as the information being provided by Mercy is confusing and complex. There are underpayments, substantial roster changes and employees are having their hours reduced while Mercy are engaging agency staff.

 For some of the groups of impacted employees, it’s crucial to understand that the changes are lawful and unavoidable. However, our Union has concerns that the process to transition to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 has lacked genuine engagement with employees and consideration of their personal circumstances. While we can agree with Mercy that this is an unusual and complex matter, it has always been of high importance that our members do not lose hours and/or income as a result of this process.

Our Union has been working with Mercy and has been relaying your feedback and advocating on your behalf. In our regular meetings and correspondence with Mercy, we've seen some positive responses from Mercy, including efforts to provide more clarity to employees and extending the consultation phase.

We do understand though, that despite these positive efforts that employees are being left in the dark with questions unanswered and rostering requests declined without justification.

Consultation for Schedule D / Mercy Family Services Enterprise Agreement 2011 employees

Mercy is currently proposing to transition employees under the Mercy Family Services Enterprise Agreement 2011 to rostering arrangements in accordance with the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010. As part of this proposal, Mercy is proposing partial redundancies and reducing employees’ hours.

Our Union has the following concerns with this:

  1. The work still needs to be performed and the hours are available. We do not think that this proposal will meet the requirements of a genuine redundancy.
  2.  Employees under no circumstances should receive a reduction to their hours while hours are available and Mercy is actively engaging agency staff.
  3. Employees who were employed before 1 December 2013 and covered by the Mercy Family Services Enterprise Agreement 2011 should continue to be covered by and rostered to the Agreement until the Agreement is terminated.

Due to the complexity of these issues, our Union put to Mercy that the parties in collaboration seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission who can express a view on the matter and provide guidance on how these issues can be best resolved. Mercy has refused this request. We think that this is unreasonable and that the Fair Work Commission can genuinely help the parties through this process and provide confidence to our members that the changes are lawful and fair.

We are also aware that misinformation is being provided to members on the ‘top-up’ arrangements for Schedule D employees and timeframes around redundancy. We are aware that many of you have made direct requests to Mercy on your roster and/or have pleaded that your hours are not reduced based on your caring and family responsibilities, financial responsibilities, disability and/or age – we know that Mercy has not acted on or responded to these requests.

Our Union is proceeding with a dispute in the Fair Work Commission and this has been lodged on 6 September 2023.  

As part of this dispute we want the Fair Work Commission to intervene with the following:

  1. To express a view on whether the proposed redundancy is lawful.
  2. To ensure that employees who want to maintain their hours or full-time status are able to do so.
  3. That Mercy exercises flexibility with rostering and particularly exercises flexibility for employees who have extenuating circumstances.
  4. That the current consultation and proposed roster change processes are ceased immediately until the above-mentioned issues can be resolved.

Next steps

We will ensure members are updated through this process. If you have not already contacted our Union and are seeking assistance with your proposed roster, please contact us immediately so that we can raise your circumstances with Mercy.

If you have any questions please contact Services Connect on 07 3844 5300.

Above: ASU is the Union fighting for our members at Mercy Community.