Recent changes to the Fair Work Act mean that agreements made before 2010 (‘zombie agreements’) will automatically sunset (terminate) on 7 December 2023. Before these changes, agreements would continue to operate until they were terminated or replaced, no matter how long ago they were made.
Because there are many zombie agreements in the disability sector, you may have recently received a notification from your employer about this. HACSU is aware of your zombie agreement and has already contacted your employer to discuss what will happen next.
There are a few different options available to the union to bargain a new agreement for you and your workmates, including supported bargaining, and we are still in the process of determining the best pathway forward for employees at some providers.
Some employers have already opted to commence negotiations for a replacement agreement, in which case you will have received a Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR).
The NERR signals that bargaining for a new agreement has officially commenced. If you have received a NERR, there is no action you need to take. As a union member, HACSU is automatically your bargaining representative, and there is no need to disclose your membership to your employer.
HACSU has already had preliminary discussions with employers who have issued NERRs, and we will be in touch with further information about bargaining shortly (if not already).
Whether or not bargaining has officially commenced at your workplace – we have been working behind the scenes on a plan to protect your terms and conditions going forward. HACSU has already succeeded in extending zombie agreements beyond 7 December 2023 to allow more time for bargaining to occur, and we will continue to do apply for extensions where necessary.
With so many changes happening to IR laws and within the sector it is more important than ever to ensure everyone at your workplace is a union member. To achieve the best outcomes for you and your workmates we need to show employers that we are united and will fight for what we want.
If you have an individual query about a zombie agreement or NERR contact HACSU Assist on (03) 9340 4100.