The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which supported the enterprise agreement and was the majority union, said it was „very disappointed“ by Bunnings` decision. In the case of Bunnings, it did not hear from the Commission until 10 weeks after the agreement was changed last May and said it was still waiting 11 weeks before the Commission inquired about the terms of the agreement. Bunnings said his options will be considered „as soon as there is more security in the current environment.“ In the meantime, staff would remain at the end of the 2016 contract. „This new agreement nullifies the old Bank of Hours system and replaces it with a more uniform system of working tables and working time, closer to the arbitration award.“ The Bunnings agreement would have brought in 37,000 workers. Mr. Dwyer also stated that the new agreement had completely overhauled bunnings` rolling table system and replaced the Bank of Hours system. The deal was negotiated in February, but both the Commission and the Retail and Fast Food Workers` Union expressed concerns, including whether the agreement was the best overall test (BOOT). Workers who worked only on a Sunday were likely to be worse off under the agreement, but coordination of the allocation of hours worked and penalties paid would remedy any discrepancies. The agreement, which the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) described as a „package of positive results for Bunnings employees“ is now subject to approval by the Fair Labour Commission. „It is clear that the overwhelming majority of Bunnings staff would have been better off with the withdrawal of the agreement,“ said Gerard Dwyer, Secretary of State for the SDA.
The SDA said 76.7 percent of Bunnings employees voted in favour of the agreement, but the union failed to reach a full agreement on the issue of wages, including the proposal for performance-related benefits. The SDA wanted the benefit pay to be in line with the rate of inflation, but the company rejected this request. He said the company was already one year into its proposed three-year contract without authorization and that it should have prepared to negotiate the next one in a year. The company and the SDA do not fully agree on the issue of wages, but it is important that the new agreement provides for wage increases for the minimum rate for each grade over the next three years and eliminates the working hours regime. If you work 3 out of 4 Sundays on a 4-week cycle, you must benefit from a full weekend (clause 3.6 (c) (i)). However, you can agree to work 4 Sundays on a 4-week cycle. You can revoke this contract with a period of 4 weeks (point 3.6). Gerard Dwyer, national secretary of the SDA, welcomed the strong „yes“ vote and said the agreement reflected the key priorities expressed by Bunnings workers for many months in close consultation with SDA delegates and organizers. „This shows once again the frustration of the negotiation process, but the SDA continues to advocate for a new agreement for Bunnings employees.“ „We are also very pleased with this agreement, which for the first time provides for five days of family leave and violence for all employees.“ The rival trade and fast food workers` union (RAFFWU) will challenge the new agreement on the grounds that it does not meet the industrial test required for workers as a whole to „get better“ than they would be below the industry price. Bunnings employees voted in favour of a new enterprise agreement that improves penalty interest rates, imprisons wage increases and provides better job security for part-time and casual workers.