SDA members & their entitlements
By Justin Power,
SDA Assistant Secretary
The story goes something like this:
For generations, the SDA has continually tried to improve the wages and working conditions of our members. In fact, it is the very reason the Union exists. Over a long period of time we have been extremely successful so much so that SDA members earn more money than most other retail, distribution centre and fast food workers throughout the world.
SDA members getting their entitlements
Not only is it important to have SDA Enterprise Agreements and up-to-date Modern Awards, it is just as important that SDA members receive their correct entitlements contained in those industrial instruments.
It is very pleasing that the Fair Work Commission has upheld the sacking of a manager who had directed two employees to falsely state that they had worked on a weekday when they had in fact worked on a weekend. (The employees would have been paid the week day rate and not the weekend rate thus losing out on their weekend penalty).
This is a good decision and it affirms what we have been saying in this publication for years – that members need to be informed about their rights, that some managers will try to get away without paying staff their correct entitlements and that the SDA will always support members who stand up for their rights.
It has come to our attention that some managers are deliberately trying to trim their wages by not paying the appropriate allowances, cajoling or coercing members to work unpaid overtime and not following their legal obligations contained in their respective Enterprise Agreements.
In particular, there were those members who were instructed by their manager to clock off at their designated finishing time and then go back and finish what jobs they didn’t finish. The union intervened and it is not surprising that this particular manager no longer works for the company!
Recently we have heard stories from full-time members who have applied for maternity leave, been granted their maternity leave but when they have notified the company of their return date, have been told that they must return to work on a part-time basis as there is no full-time work available. Without exception, every Enterprise Agreement clearly states that those full-time members who wish to return back to full-time work after their parental leave must return as full-time employees. It is pleasing to report that all affected members are happily working in their full-time jobs.
Every Enterprise Agreement differs in its wording so it is extremely important that members learn more about their entitlements. The best way of doing that is by educating yourself. If you are unsure of your correct entitlements, we suggest that you have a chat to your trained SDA Shop Steward or Delegate, speak to your SDA Organiser, read the SDA publications or ring or email the union office.