I am pleased to report that detailed and fruitful discussions between the parties were held during the course of yesterday and again today, and that as a result the Union’s officials have this afternoon agreed to lift our bans on the new Communications SOGs and the servicing of PPVs.
Whilst it would be premature to discuss the details of those discussions here, it’s fair to say that both parties have now committed to “cut to the chase” in the renewed award negotiations which will recommence next week.
I can also report that the members who attended the series of general meetings held over the last week recorded an indicative measure of roughly 60/40 support/opposition for the State Committee’s proposed rank re-structure. I say only “roughly” and “indicative” because no formal vote was taken on the issue, and the level of support varied from almost none to more than 80% depending on the meeting. That being said, I’m confident that most members who did attend found that discussion to be constructive, interesting and worthwhile.
The Union’s officials certainly appreciated the feedback, and will now review our proposals in view of those members’ views. Whilst I can’t say that the State Committee’s proposal is dead (either in whole or in part) prior to that SCOM meeting, I can repeat my personal observation at Wednesday’s AGM that any proposal for a new award that doesn’t enjoy at least 75% support amongst the membership should definitely be reconsidered.
In view of the progress made in this week’s negotiations, members are advised that the bans placed on the new Communications SOGs and the servicing of PPV’s on Saturday 29 November are both to be lifted, effective immediately upon receipt of this notice.
In discussions this afternoon, the Commissioner indicated that the lifting of the Union’s ban would result in the new Communications SOG’s being implemented from 0800 hours this Sunday, 14 December. Commissioner Mullins also agreed to withdraw all previous instructions relating to the servicing of PPVs, and to enter into discussions with the Union before progressing that initiative further.