Bargaining Drama Continues at Arts Centre

Updated 22/04/2016

CPSU, MEAA and the non-union bargaining reps all withdrew from the discussions at the EA meeting today, following VACT management’s failure to respond in detail, or at all to the staff EBA claims tabled at last week’s meeting, where management inflamed representatives with the delivery of an updated offer which was worse than their original position.

Key elements of their updated plan include moving the procedural steps to access key entitlements such as maternity leave, sick leave and annual leave outside of the agreement and into un-enforceable policy documents that VCAT management can change at will.  

The proposed changes are deeply concerning given VACT's management’s claim for a bare minimum consultation clause that only meets the minimum requirements for consultation by law.

VACT management’s claim also re-states the 2.5% pay offer, loss of annual leave loading, loss of overtime, change to span of hours (with loss of penalties).

The proposal put forward by management was unanimously rejected by CPSU, MEAA and non-union representative bargaining reps attending the meeting today.

Union representatives explained to VACT management that a cut in real wages in exchange for a cut in conditions was not acceptable.

The main management claims are:
 - the 2.5% pay increase, less than CPI
 - loss of annual leave loading, overtime, time off in lieu and penalty rates for a significant section of staff
 - moving important detail (such as the mechanisms for taking leave and important OHS issues) out of the EA and putting them in policy documents that management can vary.
Other bargaining representatives provided further reasons for rejecting the proposal.
CPSU and MEAA have made it clear that we will not discuss cutting conditions and will not make a counter proposal on the Arts Centre’s first offer.  

CPSU and MEAA explained that genuine bargaining cannot take place unless VACT management comes to the table with a realistic position.
CPSU and MEAA indicated that we demand good faith bargaining and are happy to have a discussion around all issues, but we will not trade or bargain our conditions away.

Members are encouraged to speak to delegates and attend the scheduled members meeting next week.

Our Arts Centre Agreement expires on 22 December 2011 and CPSU members have developed our claims to improve the workplace and invest in staff.

Visit here to view/print CPSU's claims;

For more information contact CPSU Organiser David Holmes by e-mail to or phone our union office on 03 9639 1822 or toll free on 1800 810 153.

Speak to a colleague today about the benefits of CPSU membership and have them contribute to our successes rather than just enjoying the benefits.


CPSU Victorian Branch Secretary

Thursday 1 September 2011

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