Aurizon welcomes Fair Work Commission decision to terminate Enterprise Agreements
Aurizon welcomes today's decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to approve Aurizon's application to terminate expired Enterprise Agreements in Queensland.
The Order by the Full Bench of the Commission is effective from 18 May 2015.
Today's decision will greatly assist Aurizon in its endeavours to finalise new enterprise agreements across the business. Contemporary, modern workplace agreements are fundamental to the Company's transformation program, including the achievement of a world class Operating Ratio.
In handing down their decision the FWC commented:
Many of the provisions sought to be removed or varied are not common in most enterprise agreements. They restrict Aurizon in making business changes that it wishes to make in response to a competitive market situation. The restrictive provisions restrain Aurizon's capacity to effectively manage its labour resource needs. Aurizon has endeavoured to negotiate changes to those provisions but the lengthy and comprehensive negotiations have not led to an agreement. Many of the changes sought by Aurizon in the negotiations seem to us to be rationally based. We readily understand its desire that its now private sector business no longer be restrained by provisions that were effectively imposed through the privatisation process. We do not think the changes proposed, objectively viewed, involve exploitation or unfairness in the terms and conditions of employment of Aurizon employees.
"This is a landmark decision, not only for Aurizon but in the broader context for Australian industrial relations," Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said.
"Our aim always has been to negotiate in good faith workplace agreements that are contemporary and forward-looking, and match those already agreed by unions with our direct competitors. We anticipate today's decision will assist us in moving towards that outcome."
On 12 May 2014, Aurizon made an application to the FWC to terminate the existing Enterprise Agreements.
One of the new agreements was successfully negotiated and approved by the FWC in January 2015. The Staff Enterprise Agreement, which comprised two of the existing agreements, covers 1400 Aurizon employees in Queensland including employees in the Network Control Centre, the National Operations Service Centre, the administrative streams, professional/technical streams as well as some team leaders and technical specialists.
The other outstanding and expired enterprise agreements in Queensland are the subject of today's decision.
Aurizon is now assessing the detail of today's FWC decision and the implications.
Aurizon remains committed to bargaining in good faith as the Company strives to implement modern, productive workplace agreements across its business.