Out & about in the DCs

July 13, 2022 Member News

Every day our SDA Delegates are asked a range of questions which may include the following:

  • What is the minimum rate of pay for my classification?
  • If I am a full-time or part-time employee, what penalty rate should I receive if I work Saturdays or Sundays?
  • What are my overtime entitlements?
  • As a casual employee, am I entitled to Long Service Leave?
  • How long should I receive for my meal breaks and rest breaks?
  • Are meal breaks and rest breaks counted as time worked?
  • How much personal leave am I entitled to each year and how does it accumulate?
  • What is the maximum amount of parental leave that I can take off at any one time?
  • Is my employer making the correct superannuation contributions?
  • Do I have to work on a public holiday? Secondly, what should I get paid if I work on a public holiday?
  • What are my rights if I’m being counselled?
  • Does my witness have any rights in a counselling session?
  • I walked into some fixtures at work the other day and was injured. I ended up in hospital overnight for some x-rays and tests. I thought my injury and time off was covered by workers’ compensation but my supervisor told me I was careless and my injury was not covered by compo. What should I do?
  • I’ve worked for the company for 6 years. In 2023, we have been told that our site is closing. How much redundancy will I get and am I entitled to any long service leave?

A common story

Many of us who commenced work in a DC thought that we might stay a year or two and then look for another job. After a while you meet a new friendship group and work doesn’t seem too bad. The pay is great and the conditions are just as good. Before too long one year stretches out to two, and before too long, you are starting to work out where you might go on your long service leave.

When you first started in the job, you didn’t worry about too much as long as you received your pay on time and you could enjoy your tea and meal breaks with your mates. In time, you wanted to learn about workers’ compensation as the job can be very physical. Early on, you wanted to work the public holidays as you were saving for a deposit for your first home. Ten years later, the mortgage was under control so you learned that work on public holidays is voluntary.

Your family will soon expand from two to three and you start to learn about your parental leave rights. The family budget will soon go down a different path and some overtime could become very handy. What are my overtime rates? Because you have confidence in your SDA-trained Delegates, you have every confidence they will provide you with the correct information.

How many questions listed above were you able to answer?

On the first day in any job, no one is expected to know half the answers to the above questions. The longer you stay in the job, the sooner you realise that having an understanding of your rights and entitlements can only benefit you.
We strongly suggest to our increasing DC membership that they all should learn more about their rights and entitlements because we have found over the years that an informed member is a happier member. Speak to your SDA Delegates, read the information on the SDA Noticeboard, read the SDA publications.


Coles DC negotiations

Coles DC negotiations have commenced for the new Enterprise Agreement. Because the company is going down the automation path, we have noticed that our members are understandingly taking a very keen interest in these negotiations. At the point of writing, the negotiations are progressing but as always, our members will be kept up to date with the discussions and they will ultimately decide on whether to accept the negotiated package or not.

By Mili and Steve,
SDA DC Organisers