McDonalds 2017 Ratification Vote

McDonald's and Unite Union Collective Agreement Ratification Vote

The Unite Union bargaining group of ten workplace delegates along with two union officials recommended the following offer from the company for adoption by members.

98% of members who voted endorsed the agreement.

The changes  will significantly improve the pay and working conditions for members.

The full terms of settlement can be accessed here, and the draft collective agreement here.

The changes include the following:

1) A ratification payment of either $200 or $300 depending on hours worked.

This payment is in recognition of the work union members have made in getting this improved agreement and allowing the company to pass on the terms to non-union staff.

Staff working an average of 30 hours a week or more get $300, all others get $200. Hours are calculated over the 8 weeks prior to final ratification

All Unite Union members at McDonald's get this payment if they are a) current employee of McDonald's, b) current union members and c) employed by McDonald's and a member as at April 13, 2017.

The payment will be paid within 14 days of signing the agreement. This should happen before the end of June.

2) Pay increases of the minimum wage plus 10 cents each year for three years.

This year the minimum wage went up by 50 cents. That means this year's payment has been 50 cents plus ten cents on all rates from April 1. In a good faith measure, this has already been paid to all union members. All rates above the minimum wage will increase by the same dollar amount – the 60 cents paid this year.

This is the first time the start rate in the fast food industry has been above the minimum wage. By the end of the agreement, the start rate will be 30 cents an hour above the minimum wage. This is a modest, but significant, step forward.

The company started paying to non-union staff before union staff as a weapon to put pressure on us to settle early. That pressure did not work. We had a few resignations but that means the people who resigned will not get the pass on payment.


3) 100% guaranteed “agreed hours” each week every week.

Every worker will have a guaranteed agreed hours number. This will remain unchanged, except by mutual agreement. For existing staff, this will begin with the Security of Hours number. A discussion will be held with all staff to find out what the guaranteed hours' number they want is and how it can be achieved. This process will be completed by the end of 2017.

All new staff will indicate what guaranteed hours number they want. An agreement will be made on what hours are agreed initially.

Any hours rostered above the agreed hours' number can be refused.

Requests to increase of decrease the guaranteed hours' number can be requested in writing at any time.

Preferred working times, currently termed “availability” will also be agreed at the time of employment. This could change if the union is successful in a court case claiming that under the new laws adopted to end zero hour contracts compensation should be paid for “availability”. It is probable that if we are successful, the company may shift to a guaranteed shifts system where you work the same roster each week.


4) Additional available shifts to be notified electronically before new staff are hired

This change important if we want to be able to get offered more guaranteed hours than initially agreed. Previously we had no way of tracking if the company was genuinely offering hours to existing staff before hiring new staff. This should be fixed if managers have to electronically notify all staff they plan to hire new staff. Staff can put their hands up for the additional shifts and managers would need a reason not to give them to existing staff first.


5) An alternative holiday if you work three out five of the previous public holiday days

Currently, if a public holiday falls on a Monday you have to have worked three out of three previous Monday's to earn an alternative holiday (or “lieu day”). Now you just have to work a majority – three out of five.


6) Improved annual leave calculations

This was a big area to clean up. Currently, because your leave is calculated in hours, it has meant that workers may have been missing out on paid leave.

They should have been calculating leave in weeks and paying “the higher of” you average weekly pay for the year or the average of the last four weeks pay. If you had improved your hours from say 20 a week when you started to 30 a week when your leave was taken all leave should have been calculated at 30 hours a week – not the year's average of say 25.

This will happen in the future. Workers will also have their old leave recalculated to ensure they get paid back any money owed.


7) Taking breaks should be 15/30/15

A clause has been added to make clear the preferred break schedule in 15/30/15. Managers should not be rostering a 30 soon after you start just for their convenience. If you don't reach agreement on when breaks are to be held you can insist that they are spread evenly through the work period.

We also agreed to a small concession to the company over when the break entitlements kick in. This will now be for shifts of three or more for the first paid break, six or more for the meal break, and seven or more for the second paid break.


8) Paid meal break clarified

There was a clarification around when the entitlement for a paid break applies for people working nights. These will now be a right if you work a majority of the shift between 10.30pm and 4.30pm. Previously some workers got it for working any hours between 11pm and 4am. At other stores, you had to work the whole shift and be rostered a meal break during that period. The compromise clarifies it. Stores can still apply the more liberal interpretation.


9) Redundancy Payment

A two-week redundancy payment if a store closes. This is a small first step in this area.


10) Other issues

  • Parental leave improvements in the law made clear in the agreement.
  • Two-weeks notice of termination to be required. But the penalty for non-compliance remains no more than two-shifts pay.
  • Agreement to develop a standard on-line leave application form.
  • Posting of rosters by the Tuesday evening, 12-days in advance.
  • A system to be developed for elected health and safety representatives in all stores

This survey has no published questions.