Although the Disability Multi Employer Agreement (MEA) represents hundreds of workers across 27 different employers, there are still individual services who choose not to take part, and the AEU is currently involved in negotiations with various services around the state.
Our members need much-deserved pay increases, improved leave clauses, and better conditions overall. Additional safety measures are adding to workloads, there is a lack of allocated time to perform administrative duties, and members are having difficulty accessing participant-free breaks.
At one service, AEU members have been expected to assist participants at lunchtime. Other workers are paid, while our members are not. While the employer agreed that this was indeed unfair, once the cost of payment was identified, it was decided that members would instead not be required on site.
When those members followed the clause as per their agreement and took a lunch break without participants, it led to unwarranted claims by their employer that they were taking unprotected industrial action.
With many agreements currently in negotiation, it is crucial that our members read and understand their entitlements so that they are not performing hours of unpaid work.