Last Thursday, July 3, Woolworths made an offer to all parties for a new brdc agreement. (more…) “Our retail agreements are designed to reflect conditions in the general retail price, including all annual wage increases, penalties and certificates,” she said. The agreements should not have been approved by the Fair Work Commission, which imposes a labour agreement to pass the “best overall test.” This test requires that each employee receive more than the bonus. SDA Secretary of State Gerard Dwyer argued that the decision to cancel minimum wages on July 1 was “the trigger for this wage increase to be applied to all employees covered by the Woolworths supermarket agreement.” The retail and fast food union`s analysis shows that Woolworths changed from the rolling tables of the previous 2009 agreement as part of its presentation to the Fair Work Commission in 2012. Had they complied with the 2009 rolling tables, nine of Woolworth`s 15 workers would have been underpaid. The disagreements resulted from an unusual decision by the Fair Work Commission to postpone an annual July 1 wage increase for Woolworths Supermarkets, Big W, BWS and Dan Murphy brands until February next year. The SDA argues that the Woolworth agreement only provides for the acceptance of the rate of increase in the minimum wage and not the effective date for retail trade. A spokesman for Woolworths rival Coles, which does not have to pay an increase due to the expiry of the deal, said the company was considering a discretionary staff increase this year. Each company had negotiated employment contracts with shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association that exchanged penalty interest and other fees for a slight increase in hourly rates.
For these accounts, more than half of their staff were paid under the premium, the wage security network, as indicated by an analysis of agreements based on leaks of pay slips, working tables and other documents. The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) and the Woolworths supermarket chain agreed on pay increases for employees and then withdrew their legal proceedings. “The variations to which we aspire by the FWC will clarify the intention of the parties during the negotiations and the subsequent development of these agreements. We saw a real movement in the negotiations on Friday 4 September on the NEW ACCORD. The supermarket agreement stipulates that wage increases for the first wage package will be effective on July 1 or after July 1 and that the increase should be “in the percentage increase rate that will come into effect in the Fair Work Commission`s annual wage decision, which will take effect in July.” A Woolworth spokesperson did not respond to questions directly on the rolling boards, but said they were indicative. He said the union`s claims to its 2012 agreement were “baseless and we reject them.” The spokesperson said that the 2012 agreement was supported by more than 95 per cent of the workers who voted for it and that it was “subsequently approved by the Fair Work Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Act.” Woolworths argues that the clause is unclear and that its agreement must be amended within the Commission to ensure that it is consistent with the intentions of the parties during the negotiations. It is fair to say that all parties have agreed on the content of a proposed new agreement, but it is the wage increase on which we still have to agree. Hayley Baxendale, general manager of industrial relations at Woolworths Group, said this year`s minimum wage decision was unprecedented and “created some uncertainty about our retail agreements.” The differences of opinion resulted from an unusual decision by the Fair Work Commission to postpone an annual salary increase for Woolworths Supermarkets, Big W, BWS and Dan Murphy from July 1 to February next year.