After an almost two-year process, the AEU is hopeful that negotiations at disability service provider Mambourin are close to the finish line. Our membership was rightly disappointed with the Fair Work Commission ruling that workers should be moved onto an earlier agreement, which reduced leave entitlement from six weeks plus 15 days personal leave to four weeks and 10 days. However, they did direct us to the bargaining table, where discussions have been increasingly positive since November last year.
Our members have been hugely proactive, putting forward revenue-raising ideas that would counter the need for this punitive move on leave entitlements. These options are being considered seriously, and the temperature at these meetings has warmed, acknowledging shared purpose. We have seen a reassuring increase in membership at the workplace that we believe puts us in a much stronger position.
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. We have trained up campaign hub reps, who are now extremely knowledgeable, and they are represented at the bargaining table each week.
No matter what happens, our membership is now in a far better position, and we feel confident that management is more willing to engage in workplace consultation. We will continue to push for better rights and conditions at Mambourin.