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No Contracts for Permanent Workers

Social & Communities July 8, 2020

Union Members Seek to Hold Centacare Accountable

As members of The Services Union (our Union) working at Centacare, we know the work you perform is essential and helps strengthen our communities. We also know that a large part of why you choose to work at Centacare is their vision “of communities built upon justice” and because they are an organisation that values respect, equity, and justice.

However, when it comes to job security for employees, our Union believes Centacare is failing to ensure certainty within the workplace by continuing to breach the Centacare Union Collective Agreement (the Agreement) and failing to uphold their own values of respect, equity and justice.

How is Centacare breaching the Agreement?
Your Agreement requires Centacare to provide you with a contract of employment that specifies your regular hours of work and your normal span of hours. Your Agreement with Centacare also states that “it is the employer’s intention that part-time employees shall work for at least 16 hours per week.” To read these provisions, click here.

Over the years, our Union has raised with Centacare management that the letters of offer being provided to employees do not meet these provisions of the Agreement.

A contract that specifies the regular hours of work provides you with job security. Without this, you have no clear entitlement even if you have consistently worked the same hours during your employment.

Our Union has advocated on behalf of impacted members to secure their hours of work and we continue to assert that Centacare must issue contracts as required by the Agreement. Our Union and Centacare have had protracted discussions about this matter and have yet to come to any amicable solution.

With COVID-19 and the shutdown of some services, the regular hours for impacted staff were reduced. It is a fair expectation that as restrictions eased, staff would return to the hours they were working pre-COVID-19. However, this unresolved matter of staff not having contracts with specified hours is exacerbated as Centacare assert, they are not required to reinstate the full complement of hours. As there is no contract in place to confirm an employee’s minimum hours, permanent workers at Centacare are being denied job security.

How does this matter get resolved?
Centacare have indicated that if they are forced to provide contracts of employment to workers, they will only provide a minimum of 16 hours within the contract.  While this would at least give you some security about your minimum hours, our Union believes Centacare have the ability to provide workers with a higher guarantee of minimum hours. We proposed to Centacare that they conduct an audit of hours worked to determine the average hours worked over the previous 12 months which could then form the minimum hour guarantee within the contracts. Unfortunately, Centacare has not agreed to this.

In our most recent discussions, Centacare advised they will seek advice on the issue but that they are unlikely to change their position. This is disappointing, of course, and would force our hand to lodge a dispute and seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission. Prior to doing this, we want to hear from our members at Centacare.

 

We want to know how members feel about this issue
The security of a contract specifying minimum hours of work is vital because without this, Centacare can continue to argue what hours they are required to provide when the need to review hours arises (i.e. shutdown of service, loss of clients, etc.).

Now, this is your chance to speak up and ensure Centacare hears your concerns on this issue.

  • Do you deserve job security as a permanent worker? Is job security important to you?
  • Do you want a contract of employment that specifies your regular hours of work and normal span of hours?
  • Do you feel valued and respected by Centacare knowing they have breached their Agreement with you? Should Centacare be held accountable for breaching the Agreement?
  • Do you feel Centacare are upholding their values of respect, equity and justice based on how they are choosing to address this issue?

If you have answered yes to these questions, please sign this pledge to stand in solidarity with your workmates. You have a strong Union at your workplace supporting this issue and as a Union member, you can reach out to other workers and talk about this and connect with your local Workplace Union Delegates.

Unsure of who to talk with? Do not hesitate to get in touch with your local Organiser whose details are below.

Not yet a Union member? If you agree that Centacare should be upholding their Agreement with workers, sign our Union pledge! Then, there is only one thing left for you to do – join our Union!

Unsure about what it means to be a Union member? Watch this short video which highlights what Union membership is all about (video link). Talk with your workmates, reach out to your Union Organiser and make the decision to be part of the powerful Union that seeks justice for workers at Centacare. Together our Union can hold Centacare accountable for breaching the Agreement and for stripping you of your right to job security.

Don’t wait. Join The Services Union today

The Services Union Contact Details

Union Organiser for Centacare

Darci Wanamaker

0407 172 755 darci.wanamaker@theservicesunion.com.au
Union Industrial Support

Services Connect

07 3844 5300

 

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