AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Pacific National will get union agreement on crucial offer: O’Donnell

<p>Pacific National is confident it will "ultimately" reach agreement with unions on the final version of an enterprise offer put to employees last week, the company’s chief executive officer Stephen O’Donnell said this morning (Tuesday, July 15).</p> <p>Mr O’Donnell said Pacific National has placed the final offer for its enterprise agreement after more than 40 meetings with unions since negotiations began in December last year.</p> <p>The enterprise agreement offers employees pay rises of 4% in the first year and 3% in the second year, and in return Pacific National wants changes, including a simpler roster system and more flexible job descriptions.</p> <p>"I think it’s a fair offer from our position," Mr O’Donnell said.</p> <p>Pacific National said the reforms would bring its agreement document in line with those of competitors, which were typically two or three pages long, rather than the 54 pages the company had inherited from FreightCorp.</p> <p>Mr O’Donnell said the existing rostering arrangements had been "incredibly complex" and made it difficult to run the business efficiently.</p> <p>"It’s [the new enterprise agreement&#93 absolutely critical for the business to go forward," he said. </p> <p>The unions, headed by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), have gone into an "internal lock-up" process to study the final offer and have until July 25 to respond to Pacific National.</p> <p>Although a report in today’s <em>Australian Financial Review</em> suggests the RTBU is not happy with the final offer, Mr O’Donnell said the company has not received any formal indication this is the case.</p> <p>"I’m confident we will reach agreement with the unions on the enterprise agreement," Mr O’Donnell said.</p> <p>At the time of going to press, the RTBU had not returned a request for comment.</p> <br />