Aurizon agrees to suspend termination of Enterprise Agreements
A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission recently agreed to Aurizon's application to terminate 12 existing agreements in Queensland effective May 18, 2015.
Aurizon today advised that it would suspend acting on the termination of existing Enterprise Agreements pending the hearing of an application by the unions to the Federal Court for a review of the Fair Work Commission’s decision.
Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said that while Aurizon does not accept that there is any error in the Fair Work Commission decision, Aurizon is prepared to suspend acting on the termination of the Enterprise Agreements until the Federal Court hearing in Melbourne on May 21, 2015.
"We want to minimise the disruption to our employees and customers,” Mr Hockridge said. "After negotiations extending over two years we can wait a few more days to let the legal process play out."
Aurizon wants to facilitate a prompt and expeditious hearing and determination of the appeal without any acceptance of the merits of the unions' Federal Court application.
Upon termination of the Agreements the terms of employment for affected Aurizon employees will be governed by the less favourable:
Rail Industry Award 2010;
National Employment Standards; and
Individual contracts of employment.
Aurizon will undertake to maintain a number of conditions such as base wages for six months post the termination, however a range of other terms and conditions currently enjoyed by affected employees will be impacted.
"At the end of the day we want a fair deal for our employees that is competitive and allows our company to grow,” Mr Hockridge said.
"That is why while the legal process is underway we will still continue to negotiate in good faith with the unions on the substantive and unresolved issues associated with the new agreements. "Therefore we urge the unions to engage in meaningful and productive dialogue on the proposed new agreements."