On 6 June, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) approved the Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd New South Wales Enterprise Agreement 2016 (the Agreement). The approval is of particular significance as the Agreement is compliant with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Building Code 2016).
Members should note that in addition to code compliance, the Agreement provides for a pay freeze until October 2018, at which point wages are increased by 3.5 per cent – with a final increment of 3.5 per cent in October 2019. The Agreement also provides the ability for employees to elect to cash out accrued annual leave and personal/carer’s leave, provided that a minimum balance (of 4 weeks and 15 days respectively) is retained. A copy of the Agreement can be accessed here.
The Agreement was approved by a majority of Lendlease Engineering NSW’s highly unionised workforce following nine months of negotiations with the CFMEU and AWU. The CFMEU and AWU both opposed the Agreement’s approval before FWC, accusing Lendlease of putting the Agreement to a vote without advance notice to the unions, giving rise to arguments over good faith bargaining and the ‘genuine agreement’ of employees. Ultimately the union submissions failed, with FWC Commissioner Julius Roe finding that the requirements of the legislation for approval of the Agreement had been met.
Both the CFMEU and AWU as bargaining representatives of the employees were subsequently given the opportunity to be covered by the Agreement, with the AWU electing to do so. It is understood that the CFMEU has appealed the FWC approval decision, deciding once again to put its ideology ahead of the best interests of both its membership and the broader industry.
Members seeking further information are encouraged to contact the IR Department on (03) 9411 4560.