Media Release: Kmart workers overwhelmingly vote ‘yes’ to new agreement
Published on: Dec 06 2018
A new enterprise bargaining agreement that protects take home pay and locks in hard won SDA conditions has received an overwhelming 91.7% yes vote from 32,000 Kmart workers.
72% (23,000) of Kmart workers participated in the vote and 21,000 voted yes.
SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that the strong outcome was a great win for Kmart workers and reflected the hard work done by SDA Kmart Delegates, who closely consulted employees over many months right across Australia.
“We’re really pleased that this new agreement, which protects take home pay and locks in hard won SDA conditions has been so strongly supported with a 91.7% ‘yes’ vote from Kmart workers.”
“This incredibly strong result is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of SDA Kmart delegates who have undertaken hundreds of meetings with Kmart workers.”
Mr Dwyer said the SDA worked very closely with Kmart workers to determine what they wanted from their new agreement.
“Kmart staff were very clear about want they wanted in this new agreement. They wanted to protect their take home pay, improve penalty rates on weekends, lock in pay rises for all staff and protect the strong range SDA conditions they’d won over a number of years.”
“We’re really pleased that in this agreement, we’ve been able to deliver a package of solid wages and excellent conditions consistent with key priorities of Kmart staff.”
“The agreement contains a sign on bonus of up to $450 (pro rata), higher weekday pay rates and increased pay rates on weekends and weeknights.”
“The new agreement also succeeds in protecting take home pay by preserving higher base rates of pay for existing workers, while ensuring all Kmart staff receive pay rises every six months.”
“Casual Kmart workers also receive the full benefit of the SDA’s recent win for casual workers with penalty rate increases for casual employees after 6pm Monday to Friday, and a 25% penalty rate increase for all ordinary hours worked on a Saturday.”
Mr Dwyer said the new agreement also locked in SDA conditions that were highly valued by Kmart staff, won over a number of years.
“Voluntary work on public holidays, higher guaranteed minimum hours for part time workers, 100% pay for 20-year olds and rostering to take into account family responsibilities and safe transport home are all conditions that help Kmart workers balance life, family and work.”
“Kmart workers are pleased this agreement preserves those conditions and many others.”
In addition to preserving valued existing conditions, in this agreement the SDA has also secured additional improvements, such as an additional 15-minute rest break, improved rostering arrangements and two days paid domestic violence leave.
“We’re particularly pleased the new Kmart agreement will contain a total of five days domestic violence leave, with two being fully paid and three unpaid.”
“It is incumbent upon all of us, unions, government and business to come together to address this vitally important issue.”
The new Kmart agreement will now be lodged with the Fair Work Commission for approval.
Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405