Underpaid ASU Members To Be Compensated By Western Power

Friday 23 Aug 2019

Australian Services Union Members have won compensation for hundreds of Western Power employees after they were underpaid for a period of 10 years.

ASU Delegates originally raised the issue of the underpayments in bargaining for the replacement Enterprise Agreement. The error was identified in relation to the application of the ‘better off overall’ test of Individual Agreements (IAs) and Flexible Agreements (FAs) when compared with the ASU & Western Power Enterprise Agreement.

Hundreds of employees at Western Power are working under these individual agreements and have been since 2009. Western Power is now working to ensure those affected will be compensated accordingly.

ASU WA Branch Secretary Wayne Wood said “Although it’s disappointing to see workers underpaid, this acknowledgement is a win for ASU members.

“Underpayments are a wide spread problem in WA, and as a union we are fighting to shine a light on these kinds of activities for our members, to ensure they are getting paid what they deserve, and as this has proved we are having wins against these organisations,” he said.

“To its credit Western Power has committed to working with the union to resolve this and to make sure we’re satisfied with the calculations.

“The ASU will now talk to members and identify who has been impacted and at what cost.

“We are pleased Western Power will honour these underpayments from 2009 when the Fair Work Act was brought in, and not just the six-year statute of limitation obligation.

“The organisation has also committed to tracking down all the people who have left in that time as well.

“The message for all employers is, don’t try to skimp on industrial advice. Pay for decent industrial advice to understand wages policy because it will end up costing you in the future.

“The advice to workers is, make sure you keep your time sheets. Accurate time keeping records and your pay slips could help prove you have been underpaid. But most importantly you need to be part of a union.

“This is also a lesson for the governments of the day and senior managers of big corporations, to make sure that the culture is not lost to those free-marketeers, those privateers that think their job is to just make money,” Mr Wood said.