Wannon Water pay deal nears

STAFF at Wannon Water look set to sign off on a new pay claim despite talks breaking down between the authority and unions. 

Industrial action by union members including bans on paperwork and meetings hasn’t impacted customers and only a bureaucratic glitch has stopped a pay deal going through. 

The Australian Services Union (ASU) is still pressing ahead for a 4 per cent pay rise. 

Wannon Water offered 2.5 per cent in the pay deal last month, which all staff signed off on. But the agreement had to be scrapped after it breached rules that give unions a week to consider the enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). ASU acting assistant secretary Michelle Jackson said the union was considering ways to delay the latest EBA, including taking Wannon Water to the Fair Work Commission. 

The ASU had been pursuing a 6 per cent rise. 

“Everybody know’s that’s an ambit claim, we’d be looking at 3-4 per cent,” Ms Jackson said, arguing other public sectors had been given 3 per cent rises. 

“In their rush to get it through they breached the Fair Work Act.

“Our main concerns are the removal of job security provisions and the watering down of redeployment rights.”

Wannon Water managing director Grant Green labelled union work bans as ineffective and said most staff had supported the 2.5 per cent annual pay increase. 

“Sixty-four per cent of staff voted to accept the agreement,” Mr Green said. 

“The bans are quite lightweight ... It’s had no impact on service and no employees have lost money.

“Most people at Wannon Water don’t belong to a union. I’m confident the majority of employees support what we’re trying to do.” 

Mr Green said there had been a “technical breach” in the timing of issuing the EBA to Fair Work Australia. 



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