TAFE & Adult Provision Mighty members at Mambourin
After a two-year process, the AEU is hopeful that negotiations at disability service provider Mambourin are close to the finish line. Members were rightly disappointed with the Fair Work Commission’s ruling that workers should be moved onto an earlier agreement, which greatly reduced leave entitlements, rescinded Mambourin’s responsibility to provide professional development, and took away other hard-won conditions.
On the upside, the FWC did direct parties to the bargaining table, where discussions have been increasingly positive since November last year. AEU members have been highly proactive, putting forward revenue-raising ideas that would counter the need for this punitive move. These options are being considered, and the temperature at meetings has warmed, acknowledging shared purpose.
While it has been a challenge to keep spirits high during this prolonged process, it has also galvanised the membership, increasing their knowledge of union rights and employer obligations. During the dispute, more than 90 union members signed the Majority Support Petition opposing the termination of the agreement and AEU membership at the service has grown by 40%. We have trained up campaign hub reps, who are now extremely knowledgeable and represented at the bargaining table.
No matter what happens, our members at Mambourin have shown great strength and solidarity; Mambourin’s management has become more willing to engage in workplace consultation; and the union is now in a far stronger position to pursue better rights and conditions for employees at the service.