Coles Supermarket Ballot - 28 July 2008

28 July 2008




Included with this newsletter is a voting slip and a pre-stamped, addressed envelope.

The Union and the Negotiating committee urge you to vote in favour of the new Agreement. 

It is very important that you vote.

The Agreement is a good one. It demonstrates the value of a large and united Union membership.

It will protect your conditions for the next 3 years.
Many of these conditions apply only in Victorian meat rooms.  The 75% penalty rate on Saturdays and the adult rate of pay for Cabinet Attendants are examples of this.


1. 3 year agreement.

2. Wage increases of 4% per annum compounded.
All allowances will also be increased by 4% p.a.

3. Wage increase for apprentices:
1st Year increase from 50% to 65% of the butcher’s rate
2nd Year 65 to 75%
3rd Year 85 to 90%
4th Year 95%.

The general 4% wage increase will apply on top of the apprentice percentage increase.
The Union has also agreed to explore with Coles the possibility of introducing a 3 year retail butcher apprenticeship in Victoria.  This requires Government approval. 

If this happens the rates of pay for apprentices would be:
1st Year  75% of the butcher’s rate
2nd Year  90%
3rd Year  95%.

Any adult taking up an apprenticeship would be paid the 2nd Year rate for their first two years.

Any existing packer or cabinet attendant who takes up an apprenticeship will be paid their existing rate of pay until the apprenticeship rate catches up.

4. Introduction of Meat Trades Assistant
This will enable workers to be trained in Certificate 1 and 11 in the Meat Retailing National Industry Standards.  On completion the worker will be paid 90% of the butcher’s rate.  Those who complete this qualification and wish to continue on to complete the butchery trade qualification will be able to do so.

The introduction of this qualification will not result in any meat room member being displaced or made redundant.  Butchers and members with trade qualifications will remain in the majority in non-retail ready meat departments (relative to Meat Trades Assistants) to perform the work as prescribed under the trade qualifications. This classification has been agreed upon to ensure the survival of the trade by the introduction of a two-pathway system to achieve a trade qualification.

5. Weekend penalties. 
75% Saturday and 100% Sunday.
Working on Saturday and Sunday remain voluntary for full timers.
The spread of hours has been increased to 5-6 Monday to Friday and 5-9 on Saturday.

6. Cabinet Attendants
All workers employed as Cabinet Attendants will retain the adult rate of pay.
7. Meat Managers
Meat Managers who are engaged from a date to be determined by Coles may be engaged as staff on conditions that may be different from those of this Agreement.  Their wages must be at least 105% of the butchers rate. 
Meat Managers engaged prior to this time, including all existing meat managers, may determine whether or not to stay employed pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Agreement, or whether to accept an offer from Coles that takes them outside the terms of the Agreement.  Either way they retain the right to be a Union member, and be represented by the Union.

8. Accident pay
To be paid at the member’s ordinary time earnings including any penalties, i.e. 75% Saturday or 100% Sunday, that may apply.

9. Relief Team Members
This has applied for some time outside the Agreement and is now part of the Agreement.  It allows Coles to employ butchers on a permanent or casual basis to work in stores for up to 2 months whenever a butcher is on leave, or where there are labour shortages.  This does not affect the Company’s ability to ask members to go to another store after a shift has started and where a travel allowance and travel time are payable.

10. Family Responsibilities
A new clause has been included to ensure that Coles has regard for family responsibilities when establishing or changing a roster.

11. Overtime
By agreement, overtime may be taken as time off at the overtime equivalent e.g. time and a half or double time, within 28 days of the overtime being worked.

12. Annual Leave
By agreement:
(a) Annual Leave may be taken for periods of less than 1 week, including single days, and
(b) When there is an accrued Annual Leave entitlement of more than 4 weeks, a maximum of 2 weeks per annum may be paid out.

13. Family Leave
Enables a permanent worker to use up to 10 days of their accrued sick leave entitlement per year to provide care or support to an immediate family member, or when there is an emergency. 
There is also a provision for unpaid family leave.  This also applies to casuals.  This allows up to 2 days unpaid leave for each occasion that a member needs to care for a family member or in an emergency.
For permanent employees the paid leave must be taken before the unpaid leave can be used.  Coles retains the right to ask the employee for proof of the illness or emergency.

14. Parental Leave
Parental Leave has been increased so that an extra 52 weeks can be requested. 

15. Leave of Absence 
By Agreement unpaid leave of absence can be granted for:
Study and/or to attend exams
Care for sick or impaired close relatives
Travel for an extended time
Full time study.
It cannot be taken until any paid leave is used, and it cannot be used to work elsewhere for a competitor.

16. All other conditions in the existing Agreement remain, including butchers picnic, and the right to take unfair dismissal cases to the AIRC for determination.

Good Agreement
The negotiating Committee believes that this is a very good agreement for the next 3 years. We are hopeful that the agreement encourages Coles management to once again look positively at the sale of meat and to have meat rooms that the membership are proud to work in.
If you have any questions please contact your Union Organisers Laurie Burley 0418 103627
or Bob Savine 0417 328854, or the Union office.

The Agreement must be accepted by a majority of Coles members.  Please indicate whether or not you are prepared to accept this proposal by ticking the appropriate box on the ballot paper below and returning it to the Union office in the envelope provided by Friday 15th August 2008.


the Union should accept the Agreement


the Union should not accept the Agreement