Members would be aware that negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) for Engineers at Bristow Helicopters have recently commenced.
The first EA meeting was held at the Bristow HQ in Perth on 22nd November and at this meeting the ALAEA and EC bargaining reps presented to the Company our bargaining claim. A further EA meeting was held on 14 December and minutes for this meeting are to be shortly released.
In the initial phase of discussions, the focus has been on your negotiating team taking the Company through all of the 28 items in our bargaining claim and the Company then responding. The Company have also tabled some items they want to see addressed in this bargaining round.
The most recent meeting on 14 December was a productive one and reasonable progress was made but there is still a lot of negotiation required before we are anywhere near having an acceptable EA package for your consideration.
For example it is no surprise to hear we have a huge gulf to overcome on the pay outcome with the Company position of an initial 12 month pay freeze being greeted with great scepticism and a reminder of the line from the Australian movie The Castle – tell em they’re dreamin!!!
A key item from our perspective is the need for the classification structure to be updated to reflect the EASA licencing changes and the EC reps will be co-ordinating a response to the Company on this item in January.
Full EA negotiations will resume on 1 February and further meetings have also been scheduled through the February/March 2012 period. Your negotiating team is aiming to try and have an acceptable EA package out to you for consideration by the end of March when the existing EA nominally expires. However progress will clearly be contingent on whether the Company is serious about concluding an acceptable new EA deal within this timeframe.
Further options available under the Fair Work Act will be considered if we get to April and there is no prospect of a new Agreement in sight.
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