Coles workers expect pay rise ahead of new agreement

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Coles this week announced the start of the process for consultation and approval of a new enterprise agreement to cover the wages paid to supermarket team members following the settlement of Brisbane night-fill worker Penny Vickers’ underpayment case.

Ms Vickers had waged an 18-month legal battle to terminate an agreement between Coles and the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA). She wrote to the Fair Work Commission on Monday informing it she wanted to discontinue her action as part of a settlement agreement with Coles.

The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential. However, Coles released a statement confirming that it will immediately start the process for consultation and approval of a new enterprise agreement to cover wages paid to supermarket team members, including conducting a vote of relevant team members no later than February 28, 2018. It also said it will give eligible team members a ‘transition payment’, reflecting the pay structure in the new enterprise agreement being paid for the period between any successful vote and the start of the new agreement.

Coles says the new agreement will provide a range of benefits for team members, including:

  • Being paid more than the Award at all times, having certainty about future wage increases and protections around the take-home pay of current team members.
  • Receiving improved penalty rates.
  • Extra benefits including a number that are not part of the Award, such as two days paid Domestic Violence Leave, paid Natural Disaster Leave and paid Compassionate Leave of up to five days.
  • Having the ability to choose their superannuation fund.

“We believe this agreement represents the best outcome for our team members,” Coles said.

The retailer says that once the new enterprise agreement is approved, Coles will ensure that team members will be paid in accordance with the new enterprise agreement from the earlier date of a successful vote.

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