For the first time, Coles Supermarkets has included all non-salaried employees in its new national enterprise agreement, which will deliver 3% annual pay increases to more than 75,000 workers.
SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer has said the union is “very pleased” with the agreement, particularly as it provides significant wage increases for 18- and 19-year-old employees. Dwyer said junior rates for 18-year-olds will move from 67.5% of adult rates to 75% over the life of the agreement, while rates for 19-years-olds will increase from 80 to 90%.
The retail giant will now lodge the draft agreement, which will replace the 2011 agreement, which expired in the middle of last year, with the Fair Work Commission for approval.
Coles informed the SDA, TWU, AWU and AMIEU in April last year that it wanted to move to a national deal for all non-salaried employees in its 760 Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets, including “customer service agents“, a new role which resulted from bringing in-house the delivery of online-purchased goods, which had previously been performed by Linfox drivers.
The TWU failed to convince the Fair Work Commission that there were sufficient grounds for a separate agreement for these drivers.
Dwyer said the unions had now agreed that customer service agents should be classified as retail employees and that the agreement will mean an initial rise in mid-2016 of over $50 for some of those workers.
Coles operations and supply chain director Andy Coleman said the company is pleased employees have endorsed the enterprise agreement, which, he said, will deliver increased benefits and flexibility, while reducing complexity.
Coleman said younger employees will be the main beneficiaries of the new agreement, with additional wage increases for 18- and 19-year-olds.
“Coles is also offering additional support to families, with step-parents now treated the same as biological parents with up to five days’ compassionate leave, and an additional type of leave for team members who experience domestic and family violence.”
The SDA and Woolworths are expected to finalise a new pay deal in the coming weeks.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
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