Unitywater finally tables (undercooked) offer

Members of The Services Union at Unitywater know the importance of achieving acceptable pay increases through Enterprise Agreement (EA) negotiations. With the underlying rate of inflation still hovering at 5.2% and another interest rate rise just announced, getting it right at the bargaining table is vital. If yesterday’s pay offer is any indication, Unitywater clearly does not share this view. The offer comprises the following:
  • Year 1: 4%
  • Year 2: 3.5%
  • Year 3: 2.5%
  • Year 4: 2.5%
This is the best that Unitywater’s management team could come up with, after having delayed bargaining for over a month to seek Board approval to table an offer. Unitywater claims it is “frontloading” this lacklustre offer to “assist employees with cost-of-living challenges”. However, when questioned, Unitywater could not explain how 4% would address those challenges when CPI currently sits at 5.2%. Nor could Unitywater explain how this offer addresses the fact that your current EA provided only 12% total increase, while CPI over the same period increased by 14.3%.

Given its unwillingness to even consider a CPI safety net provision or meaningfully address your other claims, it’s obvious that Unitywater has no appetite to provide a financial package that adequately recognises what you deliver for your community.

What’s next?

We’ll be in touch with you soon to discuss our next steps before we return to the bargaining table on 14 December. In the meantime, Unitywater will conduct employee information sessions to attempt to sell you its underdone offer. We encourage you to attend and speak your mind.

It’s worth noting that our Union recently achieved 15% over three years at Sunshine Coast Council. Your fellow members at Urban Utilities negotiated a 10% up-front increase, plus upward reclassification and a $3000 sign-on bonus. Both outcomes were achieved through strong, informed union membership. If you work with someone who wants a better offer and is not yet a member, forward them this update and encourage them to join online at www.theservicesunion.com.au/join.

Above: The ASU is the union fighting for workers at Unitywater