Hardware giant Bunnings has agreed to increase minimum pay rates for employees by $25 per week or between 2.5 to 2.7 per cent with extra pay for high performers.
Penalty rates range from 110 per cent to 200 per cent, but base rates are at least 10 per cent more than those under the retail industry award. Employees will also be able to access a performance pay pool of 2 to 2.5 per cent under the new enterprise agreement negotiated with unions.
Workers who only worked on a Sunday were at risk of being worse off under the agreement but a reconciliation of the spread of hours worked and penalties paid would address any discrepancies.
The new agreement abolishes a contentious rostering system which meant workers had to “bank” the hours they did not work during quiet periods. This meant they could be called in during busy times to work the hours they had banked.
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) national secretary Gerard Dwyer said part-time employees would also be able to request an increase in contract hours and have the right to request permanent status after 12 months of working a regular pattern of hours.
The new agreement needs the approval of the Fair Work Commission.
The SDA said 76.7 per cent of Bunnings workers voted in favour of the agreement but the union did not reach full agreement on the issue of wages including the performance pay proposal. The SDA wanted the performance pay to match the inflation rate, but the company rejected this request.
The rival Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) will dispute the new agreement arguing it does not meet the required industrial test that workers should be “better off overall” than they would be under the relevant industry award.
RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan said his union had concerns about workers being compelled to start work from 5am instead of 7am under the new agreement.
Jacqui Coombes, Bunnings human resources director said the new EBA would deliver changes based on feedback from employees and it would continue “to provide an industry leading rate of pay, well above award conditions”.