Union welcomes new Coles agreement

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SDA (Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association), the trade union for retail, fast-food and warehousing workers, has welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s approval of the SDA’s new agreement with Coles on pay and conditions.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer says the agreement is consistent with Coles workers’ key priorities and will deliver better pay and working conditions for more than 80,000 staff across the country.

“This is an excellent outcome for Coles workers, who will now have an agreement which delivers pay rises for every worker, protects take-home pay, improves penalty rates and secures hard-won union conditions,” he said.

“With wage growth at historic lows across Australia, we’re pleased this new agreement has been approved and will deliver a July increase to Coles workers, and pay rises for all over the life of the agreement.”

The Fair Work Commission’s decision comes after Coles staff overwhelmingly voted to accept the new enterprise-bargaining agreement in February, with 90 per cent voting in favour.

Mr Dwyer says the new agreement means not only a new and improved wage structure for Coles staff, but also better working conditions for new and existing employees.

“This is an agreement which also preserves above-award leave conditions, including superior parental leave, paid domestic-violence leave, emergency-services, defence and natural-disaster leave,” he said.

“The agreement also locks in important conditions such as voluntary work on public holidays, as well rostering provisions to accommodate family and study commitments and safe transport home.”

Mr Dwyer also notes that part-time employees will have the right to request an increase in their base contracted hours if their average hours worked across the year are higher than their base hours, while casual employees will have the right to request to convert to full-time or part-time if they have worked a pattern of hours over 12 months, subject to some conditions.