Negotiations of EBAs

Over 99% of SDA members work under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. Enterprise Agreements are workplace agreements negotiated between the SDA and individual employers. These agreements are legal documents which outline employees’ entitlements such as wage rates, rosters, tea and meal breaks and leave entitlements.

The step-by-step guide to negotiating an EBA:

Consultation process

  • Members are asked to complete a written or electronic survey. Members are asked to itemise the changes they believe will improve the Agreement.
  • A meeting of SDA shop stewards or delegates is held to compile a comprehensive log of claims.
  • For national Agreements such as the National Woolworths Supermarket Agreement or the National Bunning Enterprise Agreement, SDA Branches meet and compile a national log of claims.

Negotiation process

  • Negotiations commence between the employer and the SDA. Both the individual company and the SDA have a list of claims which they argue for during the negotiating process.
  • Often those claims are diametrically opposed to each other.
  • A series of meetings are held over a period of months.
  • At the end of the negotiations, it is hoped that there is an in-principle agreement between the parties.

Report-back meetings

  • A further meeting of SDA shop stewards or delegates is held to hear the outcome of the negotiations.
  • The meeting decides whether to support the in-principle agreement or not.
  • SDA organisers, shop stewards and delegates have report-back meetings with members. At these meetings, members are given a full report on the details of the negotiations.

Voting process

  • Employees decide through a secret ballot whether they accept or reject the proposed agreement.
  • If the majority of employees support the proposed agreement, the parties ask the Fair Work Commission to certify the agreement.

Fair Work Commission

  • The FWC certifies the agreement and as such, the agreement legally defines members’ entitlements and conditions for the duration of the Agreement.