Don KRC Next Offer - NOVEMBER 2008



The defeat of the proposed Don KRC non Union Collective Agreement has resulted in a much better 2nd draft being proposed by Castlemaine Management.

It gives an indication of what can be achieved if workers understand that they have a right to have a say in their future working conditions and rates of pay. The 408 workers who resisted Don KRC’s attempt to force through an agreement without sufficient time for proper consultation are to be congratulated. Your position has forced Castlemaine Management to improve its offer and allow more time for you to read the Agreement and seek advice about it if you want to.

The 2nd draft has removed many of the clauses that the Union believed were objectionable, such as the 38 hours average, the uncertainty of overtime payments and the stand down without pay clause.

However, there are still some areas of the Agreement that Castlemaine workers should be looking at very seriously.


Although the revised Agreement now makes it clear how the clauses about the 38 hour week, the RDO, overtime, and work on Saturday and Sunday will operate, Clause 1.6 Facilitation by Agreement still remains. This clause can operate a bit like a mini AWA within the Collective Agreement.

The Clause allows Management and a majority of employees (50% plus 1) in a section or sections (these sections of the workplace are not defined) to agree in writing that the employee(s) is/are exempt from any or all of the provisions of Clause 4 of the Agreement. Where agreement has been reached under that Clause, that agreement will be binding on all such employees within the enterprise or section(s) that the agreement reached applies to. 

In other words a 50%+1 majority will bind all the workers in the section or sections or the whole workplace to be exempt from the provisions of Clause 4, Hours of Work, Overtime and Additional Payments. This covers: Hours of Work, RDOs, Overtime, Special Arrangement Allowances, Shift Work, Shift Allowance, Rest Breaks, Rest Breaks on Shift Work. That is the basis of all your working arrangements.

Any agreement is supposed to abide by Industrial Relations Law and leave the workers no worse off overall. But, this is not automatically tested.

This means that if the Management can persuade 50%+1 of the employees in any area to agree, then for example it could, with an appropriate increase in the hourly rate of pay, introduce 7 days a week rosters, absorb overtime payments, absorb penalty payments, abolish RDOs and absorb allowances. All workers in the section or sections would be covered by it not only those who agree.

Clause 1.6 clearly contemplates a time when Don KRC may wish to change the working arrangements that this Agreement sets out.  For example Don KRC may wish different arrangements to apply when Castlemaine takes over completely from North Altona. This clause enables them to completely change the existing working arrangements.

If Don KRC persists with this clause and Castlemaine workers vote for this new Agreement the Union would obviously be able to assist its members if Don KRC did wish to invoke the provision of Clause 1.6 in the future.

Castlemaine workers should think seriously about what the provisions of Clause 1.6 may mean to them.  The Union will raise this matter with Castlemaine Management on behalf of the approximate 265 Castlemaine workers who have so far appointed the Union as their Bargaining Agent.


Before the vote for the Ist proposed Agreement Don KRC stated in a response to a Union Newsletter, that “any changes to your current starting and finishing times will be by mutual agreement with the employees concerned”.

However, the 2nd proposed Agreement still states the “changes to the start and finish times may be made by the Company by providing 36 hours notice, or such shorter notice period agreed between the employee and the Company”.  It is only a shorter period of time than 36hours that has to be agreed.  With 36 hours notice the Company can change your start and finish times whenever they want to.


The wages offered are increased from the previous offer.  They are still lower then the Don North Altona rate.  Living in the country should not be an acceptable reason for lower rates of pay.


1/12/09 1/12/10 Agreement Start 12 mth later
24 mth after start
7 $900.30 +4.5% +4.5%      
6 $810.00 +4.5% +4.5% $731.30 $764.20 $783.30
5 $787.20 +4.5% +4.5% $710.70 $742.68 $761.25
4 $765.00 +4.5% +4.5% $681.05 $711.70 $729.50
3 $754.00 +4.5% +4.5% $661.45 $691.22 $708.50
2 $744.80 +4.5% +4.5% $641.90 $670.78 $687.55


There are still no provisions in this Agreement for any Consultative Committee to be elected to represent the workforce at regular meetings with Management.

This is a normal provision in most collective Agreements, Union or non Union. Castlemaine workers should think about why this company which has had many Agreements with the AMIEU in North Altona (and has just finished negotiating another) does not want Union representatives or any worker representatives to have any role in this Agreement.

The Union understands that the vote on the 2nd proposed Agreement will be sometime early in December 2008.

This allows sufficient time for Castlemaine workers to clearly understand what they are being asked to vote on.

The Union is available for any one who wishes to ask any questions relating to the proposed Agreement.

AMIEU Phone: 03 9662 3766