Workplace Wizards’ consultants regularly help employers who are struggling under expensive and inefficient Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (“EBAs”). In 2016 a client came to us asking for help re-negotiating its EBA which had expired. The Company had no internal HR resources or industrial relations expert, and was worried that it could not remain viable if forced to continue paying EBA-mandated salaries so high above the Award minimum.
Once the Union ‘Log of Claims’ was sent through, we met with our client’s General Manager and assisted him to define what was necessary in the upcoming negotiations, and how the claims for additional Union/employee entitlements fit into that aim. We then worked with the Company’s managers to divide up the Union’s long (and costly) claims into three different categories, assessing what could be given away, what could be traded for additional flexibility or productivity improvements and what was a flat out ‘no way’ the Company would be firm on and not for turning.
To further assist the employer, we then represented them at the bargaining table opposite the Union, dealing with the ‘argy bargy’ inherent in the bargaining process, selling the Company’s aims and needs for a productive and sustainable workforce, and ensuring the process did not drag on or become heated or inefficient.
Further, we drew on our sector knowledge to provide an analysis of EBAs operating in companies in the same geographical region or industry, to ‘shoot down’ Union claims re our client not providing sufficient wages or entitlements. This detailed benchmarking revealed that even if the Company’s flagged cost-saving measures were introduced, its employees were still far better off than anyone else at a comparable employer.
When we then assisted our client to ‘call time’ on the bargaining with the Union which had bogged down, communicate strongly and regularly with its employees and get a staff-driven, enterprise-appropriate tailored EBA up with the workforce.
Call Mark on 0411 503 744 to discuss how Workplace Wizards can help you implement a cost-cutting and hassle-free EBA for your business.