What is an EBA?

We will be talking about the background of the EBA process and what goes into creating one. 

When: Tuesday 9 July at 4pm

Who: Nikkita Venville from our Industrial Relations team will be speaking and answering your questions

00:00 - Introduction 

01:37 - What is an EBA?

02:29 - What terms and conditions can an EBA cover?

03:38 - What goes into making an EBA? Can you go through the process in general?

04:28 - What happens when you do come to an agreement?

05:04 - What happens if we don’t come to an agreement? (Protected Industrial Action explanation)

06:58 - Have we taken Protected Industrial Action before?

07:41 - What happens if the agreement is voted up by the majority?

08:44 - Conclusion


Brendan Roberts [00:00:00] My name is Brendan Roberts welcome to the first of a series of live webinars. We'll be holding on issues affecting you and the work that you do every day. Today we'll be focussing on the EBA process which is currently afoot. We'll be speaking about the process in general how a bargaining agreement is formed and what are the implications it has and how it's the process will unfold from here until the current EBA expires in November this year.


 [00:00:29]  We won't be taking questions or discussing this log of claims at the moment. In general there's currently bargaining at the table so we won't be going into the specifics of our log of claims or the organization. Victoria Police's log of claims. What we'll be doing is giving you an overview of how an EBA works how it's formed and what you can expect in the future. We're joined today by Nikki Vendrell. Nikki has been with TPA for the past two years. Prior to that she's worked at other unions. And before that she worked at fair the Fair Work Commission for about five and a half years.


 [00:01:05] She'll run you through this process that we're currently going through now. Therefore any one who does have any specific questions on the log of claims and what's being bargained at the moment - that relates to specifically or the area that you're in. We encourage you to go through your delegate or to go through the association more generally for those questions. As I said today will focus purely on the process as a whole. Nikki I would just start by asking you what is an EBA.


Nikkita Venville [00:01:37] An enterprise agreements is simply an agreement between an employer and employees and potentially the union that sets out the terms and conditions of employment it is registered under the Fair Work Act - once approved by the Fair Work Commission and by doing so it has different legal protections to say a contract or employment for example and then also different legal avenues if it is a contravention as well.


 [00:02:03] So your current EBA is this and it sits along legislation that governs your employment such as other industrial laws, Fair Work Act discrimination laws, as well as well as the Victoria Police Act. It does expire in November but it doesn't mean that it ends in November. It just means that you have an opportunity to bargain for your next agreement unless it's terminated by the Fair Work Commission.


Brendan Roberts [00:02:29] So what terms and conditions can be an EBA cover?


Nikkita Venville [00:02:32] So that is set out in the Fair Work Act and firstly it can only cover permitted matters to do with employment so things like your wages and it also the Fair Work Act requires other matters or conditions to be put in there and these are terms like your expiry date.


 [00:02:49] So being four years when it's approved this is the time limit for how long it an enterprise agreement can can stand for. It's also other terms such as your consultation terms when to consult over a major change that will have significant effect for employees as well as the dispute settlement procedure if there's any disputes that arise and how that will be dealt with it also the Fair Work Act sets out what what cannot be included in an enterprise agreement and these are for example discriminatory terms is one of them. Victoria Police also having an agreements other terms such as your transfer or disciplinary matters as well. And that's just a simple matter of a state referral powers.


Brendan Roberts [00:03:36] So what goes into making an EBA? Can you take us through I guess through the process in general.


Nikkita Venville [00:03:41] The processing generals first we have to go through bargaining  which what we're in doing now and your bargaining representatives are Wayne Gatt, the Secretary, Industrial Relations manager Chris Kennedy, Luke Oliver and myself.


 [00:03:53] And essentially we are required to bargain in good faith and that requirement is spelled out in the Fair Work Act. So essentially this means turning up to meanings in a timely matter. Responding to requests for information that's not confidential information in a timely manner and also giving genuine consideration to the other side's views. It doesn't mean that we have to concede to Victoria Police's claims or that we have to make an agreement just means exactly what it says that we have to give genuine consideration and do so in good faith.


Brendan Roberts [00:04:28] So if you do come to an agreement what happens next?


Nikkita Venville [00:04:30] So if we come to a what's called a draft agreement we'll need to put it to a vote to employees at the draft of the agreement will be available to employees seven days before a vote. And Victoria Police must take all steps, all reasonable steps, to make material and information available to employees and to explain the effect of the agreement to employees it will then be put to a vote and if 51 per cent of employees who voted approve it is then voted up.


Brendan Roberts [00:05:02] So conversely what what happens if we don't come to an agreement?


Nikkita Venville [00:05:05] So if we don't reach an agreement with Victoria please if there's any impasse and we want to keep pressing with our legal claims it is possible that we may look at taking protected industrial action.


 [00:05:17] But I have to stress here that we are genuinely trying to reach an agreement right now with Victoria Police.


 [00:05:24] Protected industrial action is strictly governed by the Fair Work Act. We cannot take industrial action outside of bargaining for an agreement and members need to also vote to take protected industrial action. For this to occur the Police Association will apply to the Fair Work Commission for what's called a protected action ballot order and we have to show Victoria Police that we have genuinely been trying to reach an agreement with Victoria Police and we just haven't been able to.


 [00:05:53] If it's approved employees will then vote on whether to start protected industrial action. The action will be authorised again by a majority of employees who voted for it up to it starting in protected industrial action. If that is the case and that's done then we have to take the protected industrial action within 30 days of that order being issued.


 [00:06:15] And secondly we have to give notice to Victoria Police as well. We can't just started just off the bat. I really want to stress to members that it's called protected industrial action for up for a reason. It means that you are immune from adverse consequences for taking any industrial action to further the Log of Claims. If we do take protected industrial action - again I stress that we are genuinely trying to reach an agreement with Victoria Police - but if we do and if members suffer any adverse consequences I just hope that they can contact us because there are  there's penalties for if Victoria Police or managers breach that.


Brendan Roberts [00:06:56] So we've taken protected industrial action before?


Nikkita Venville [00:07:00] We have and that was in terms of the 2011 agreement - as I understand it we parked in front of cameras, we didn't issue tickets, we didn't submit running sheets and we didn't send emails as well. And it's important that members realise that the commission can terminate protected industrial action if they see it as a threat to the community or public safety. So for this reason we engage in work bans to show the community what our value is. But if we do take protected industrial action it's it works best and we implore all members to stick together and band together and work as a cohesive unit to do it.


Brendan Roberts [00:07:41] So if we do get an agreement it's voted up by a majority what happens next - does it come in straight away?


 [00:07:46] It doesn't come into effect straight away. We do have to submit it to the Fair Work Commission for approval. We have to do that within 14 days of it being voted up and the Fair Work Commission can then look at an agreement and it does an assessment. They can do that by holding public hearings if they wish, or to inform themelves however they wish to do so because that's their powers under the Fair Work Act.


 [00:08:09] What a commissioner will look at is if it has been genuinely agreed to by employees and they'll also make sure it doesn't include any unlawful terms as I mentioned before and that includes the mandatory terms such as: Dispute Settlement procedure the consultation term and the expiry date. It will not be automatically approved by the Fair Work Commission - but if it once it is approved they will issue a decision and an order and it will be a registered agreement, a registered collective agreement under the Fair Work Act.


Brendan Roberts [00:08:43] Thanks very much. Thank you for providing a bit of insight into the bargaining process in general as we said earlier. If anyone has any specific enquiries about any aspect of the Log of Claims or how it affects you or your particular squad or area of employment please contact the Association directly or your delegate.


 [00:09:02] We would just like to remind you also that we'll be having a series of these webinars in coming weeks. Notifications will be sent out in the week prior to that and also just a reminder of our various social media platforms on Twitter on Instagram and on Facebook also through the closed group on Facebook which you can access by our type of Facebook page.


Brendan Roberts [00:09:25] Thanks very much for every opportunity.

Transcript - please note, this transcript is auto generated and may contain minor differences from the video.