Media Release | Coles workers vote yes on new agreement

 Coles workers have overwhelmingly voted to accept a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement which delivers an immediate payment to workers, delivers pay rises for every worker, protects take home pay, improves penalty rates and secures hard won union conditions.
The new agreement received a 90% ‘yes’ vote in a ballot in which over 48,000 Coles workers participated, representing 61% of the workforce. It will deliver an immediate payment of $475 for full time workers with a pro rata payment for part time and casual employees.
The Coles workers voted to overwhelmingly accept the new Agreement after an extensive process which included two and half weeks of consultation, thousands of meetings across the country and a one and half week voting period conducted by an independent body. The Agreement covers the pay and working conditions of over 80,000 Coles workers.
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said the new Agreement was an excellent outcome for Coles workers and was consistent with their key priorities.
“With wage growth at historic lows across Australia, we’re pleased this new agreement delivers an immediate payment to Coles workers and pay rises for all over the life of the Agreement.”
“Right from the beginning of this process, Coles workers were very clear about what they wanted from this new Agreement.”
“They did not want their take home pay cut, they wanted to keep the conditions that they had fought hard for, and wanted pay rises for everyone.”
“I’m pleased to say this new Coles Agreement delivers on all fronts.”
Mr Dwyer said that the new Coles agreement had a different wage structure that was designed to deliver strong wages outcomes for both existing and new Coles employees.
Existing Coles employees will have a ‘top up payment’ scheme to protect their take home pay and receive half of the yearly pay increase, as they will be on a higher wage rate than new employees.
New Coles employees will receive the new Agreement’s wage rates, which are higher than those in the Award and would receive the full pay percentage increase each year.
Mr Dwyer also said the new Agreement maintained many conditions contained in previous SDA-Coles agreements, which were hard won and highly valued by Coles workers.
“The Agreement also locks in important conditions such as voluntary work on public holidays, as well rostering provisions to accommodate family and study commitments and safe transport home.”
“Part-time employees will have the right to request an increase in their base contracted hours if their average hours worked across the year are higher than their base hours.

“Casual employees will have the right to request to convert to full-time or part-time if they have worked a pattern of hours over 12 months, subject to some conditions.”
“The new Agreement introduces two days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.”
“We’re also pleased we have been able to preserve above Award leave conditions in this new Agreement including superior parental leave, blood donor, emergency services, defence and natural disaster leave.”
“Now that the Agreement has won the overwhelming support of Coles workers, the next step will be to lodge it with the Fair Work Commission for approval.”

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