Resolving pay disputes, challenging Virgin's policy changes, and advocating for fair work practices

  The TSU has been actively addressing concerns of creeping managerial overreach at the Airline.

Here is an update on the following matters:
  • Classification Pay Dispute
  • Personal Leave
  • Shift swaps and shift giveaways,
  • Buddy/ Mentor allowance.
1. Classification pay dispute

The TSU recently participated in discussions at the Fair Work Commission regarding an ongoing pay dispute with Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia has not yet agreed to pay the money owed. The Fair Work Commission has scheduled another Conference, and we will continue advocating for a fair and just outcome. We understand the importance of securing the money rightfully owed to you, and we will persist in our efforts until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.

2. Virgin proposes to ban workers from working below minimum hours

Virgin Australia has proposed changes to its Shift Swap and Shift Giveaway policy that bluntly bans employees from working before minimum hours. We have rejected this proposal and pointed out that your Enterprise Agreement imposed an obligation on the Airline that shift swaps and shift giveaways will be accommodated wherever possible based on operational requirements and that the Agreement permits workers to drop below minimum hours on those occasions.

The ability to shift swap and shift giveaway is essential for shift workers in managing work-life balance.

3. Personal Leave

When you take personal leave, Virgin Australia can request evidence that would "satisfy a reasonable person," as set by the law. This usually means a medical certificate. 

However, there have been reports of Virgin Australia handling personal leave requests unreasonably. Members have told us that the airline has requested receipts for payment to the doctor for their appointment, a phone call to their LCC, asking for evidence of phone calls to their LCC, contacting employees while they are on sick leave and information as to whether it was a telehealth or in-person consultation. 

There are very limited circumstances where a medical certificate is not adequate as evidence for personal leave. 

We have asked the Airline to suspend the application of its Personal Leave policy until the issues are resolved.

4. Buddy Allowance

We have written to VA indicating that it promised staff a $15 allowance for when employees undertake buddy and mentoring shifts. Below is a copy of VA’s offer to the workforce; now, the Airline has changed its mind and is not applying for the $15 allowance. We will be pursuing the Airline about why it made such a commitment to its workforce and has now decided to take another path.

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Above: The ASU is the union fighting for workers at Virgin Australia.