Bulletin No:      28                                      Volume:  20                          Saturday 8 February 2014




Today, after approximately 2 years of negotiations and ongoing industrial action by members, the Unions, before the Fair Work Commission at a special Saturday conference, reached in principle agreement on all outstanding matters for the ESTA Operational Employees Enterprise Agreement.

The Agreement will have a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2015.

This agreement is a huge achievement for members and a testament to the strength and solidarity you have shown through this process and the tireless commitment of your delegates and bargaining team.

Today, we have enhanced the agreement from the one rejected in the vote, and in doing so have addressed the most serious concerns regarding career progression which was the primary reason the UFU did not endorse the previous ESTA agreement balloted. This is explained in full below.

The agreement reached contains the other following benefits to employees:


  • 3.00% increase on 01/12/2013
  • 3.00%increase on 01/03/2014
  • 3.00% increase on 01/08/2014

These increases equate to the following wage rates:


SALARY (p.a.)






Trainee Calltaker
























Trainee Dispatcher
























Team Leader





Team Leader






  • A one off sign on bonus of up to $1250 for all full time employees who have been employed continuously since 1 January 2013.
  • For part time employees who have been employed continuously since 1 January 2013 a pro rata payment based on their hours of work worked in the 3 months prior to 1January 2013 as a proportion of full-time hours.
  • For full time employees who commenced after 1 January 2013 – a payment proportional to their completed continuous service since 1 January 2013.
  • For part-time employees who commenced after 1 January 2013 – a pro rate payment based on their hours worked in the 3 months prior to the operative date of this Agreement as a proportion of full time hours and proportional to their completed continuous service.



For those employees translating from level 2 to level 3 under the new classification structure, this movement will occur on 1 December 2014. This movement will occur on that date for all employees who are currently at level 2 call taking or dispatching except Netcom only call takers and SES only dispatchers who will remain at level 2.

For call takers and dispatchers moving to level 3 on 1 December 2014 an overall wage increase during the life of the Agreement will be as follows:

Call Takers: 16.8%

Dispatchers: 15.5%

The majority of employees are in this group or are progressing to this level.

Into the future, movement from Level 2 to Level 3 will occur 1 year following an employee’s progression to level 2 unless the employee is, at the time of advancement to Level 3 being managed in accordance with a current performance improvement plan. Those employees will be advanced to Level 3 as soon as their performance improvement plan is successfully completed. Also, a performance improvement plan will not be initiated prior to appropriate consultation with the employee and the conduct of a formal employee interview.  The employee has the right at any time to lodge a dispute or grievance under the Settlement of Disputes clause.


Other key conditions from the Union log of claims and those claimed by ESTA which the parties have also reached in principle agreement on are as follows:

  • ALLOWANCES: Allowances to increase in line with wages
  • PAYMENT OF WAGES: All wages including ordinary time earnings, allowances and shift penalties shall be paid no later than Tuesday following the end of the pay period (other than in circumstances outside the control of ESTA).
  • ROSTERS: Rosters will be posted at least 8 weeks in advance.
  • NO REQUIREMENT TO MAKE-UP HOURS IN RELATION TO TRAINING: There will be no requirement for all (separate from the provision relating to workplace trainers) employees to make up hours as a result in participating in training where those hours are 8 or less.
  • HIGHER DUTIES: Higher duties will be paid provided those duties are performed for any 2 hours within a shift (as opposed to the previous requirement that they be consecutive).
  • ALLOCATION OF OVERTIME: Allocation of overtime will occur on an equitable basis for all employees who make themselves available and who are qualified to undertake the shift, as far as practicable.
  • REST BREAKS: Half hour rest breaks extended to fire operators
  • PARENTAL LEAVE: Paid parental leave to increase from 12 to 14 weeks.
  • EXTENSION OF ANNUAL LEAVE: All employees who meet the definition of shift work (as opposed to the previous requirement that you meet the definition of continuous shift work) will receive annual leave accruing at the rate of 5 weeks per annum (pro-rata for part-time employees).
  • PERSONAL/CARERS LEAVE: All personal/carers leave to be cumulative. For all personal leave (including paid and unpaid) evidence includes either a medical certificate or a statutory declaration. Personal and Carers leave has been combined and can be used for either purpose.
  • PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: The provisions in relation to public holidays for full-time shift workers have been extended to part-time workers on a pro-rata basis.
  • SUPERANNUATION: ESTA will make contributions to the superannuation fund designated by the employee provided that the fund designated can receive funds by EFT.
  • UNIFORM: The uniform allocation for full time employees (other than managers, Team Leaders, probationary employees, part-time employees, casual employees and pregnant employees) will be as follows- trouser/skirt/pants/shorts 3 items; shirt/polo/blouse 5 items; and outerwear/knitwear 2 items. Separate but consistent provisions apply to those excluded above and uniforms will be replaced on a fair wear and tear basis, generally after 2 years although not automatically.
  • EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION: The inclusion of a newly drafted employee representative clause providing protection to Union delegates in undertaking their role.
  • SAVING PROVISIONS: No employee will suffer any reduction in pay and/or conditions as a consequence of the terms of this agreement.
  • DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES: A dispute about a disciplinary matter will be dealt with under clause 43 “Settlement of Disputes” and formal warnings which are more than 12 months old will not be relied on in future disciplinary actions other than in relation to repeated behaviours. 
  • CALCULATION OF THE HOURLY RATE FOR THE 38 HOUR A WEEK AGREEMENT: The Unions claim that ESTA remove an anomaly in the Agreement whereby the hourly rate for the purposes of the 38 hour week agreement is calculated by dividing the annual rate of pay by 52 and then by 40 as opposed to by 38.


As members would be aware, following the successful no vote regarding ESTA’s proposed agreement which would have made level 4 virtually a redundant level meaning employees could not reach level 4, today the Unions met with ESTA and resolved this key issue also.

Under the in principle agreement reached today SES will remain a service for the purposes of call taking within the classification structure.

MFB and CFA will combine to count as 1 service for the purposes of call taking within the classification structure on 30 June 2015.

This means that following 30 June 2015, a fire operator will move to level 4 when they either multi skill in Ertcom (which includes Netcom training) or multi skill in police (which will include SES training).

Under the new classification structure in order to account for the fire call takers who multi skill in Netcom only not moving to level 4, those employees will be offered the opportunity to train in SES in order to allow them to move to level 4 and if ESTA do not offer members the opportunity those employees will receive a one off payment of $1000.

Until further notified, current industrial action continues. Members will remember that the MFB and Government reneged on agreement reached with corporate staff following corporate staff acting in good faith at that time and lifting their industrial action.

Further, the UFU’s ballot for further industrial action continues, you will be receiving ballot papers in order to vote on this starting next week. In support of your ongoing campaign, the ballot still needs a majority yes vote and a majority of 50% + 1 of ballots returned for the industrial action to be approved. It is therefore imperative that members vote in this ballot still.

This is usual practice to protect members interests pending the agreement being finalised.

The Unions will hold joint membership meetings ASAP to further inform members of the detail of the in principle agreement reached today.

In the meantime if members have any questions please contact UFU industrial Officer Rini Krouskos on 9419 8811.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary