V Line Enterprise Agreement 2020

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What to Know About the V Line Enterprise Agreement 2020

If you are a V/Line employee or employer, you may have heard about the new enterprise agreement (EA) that was recently approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after more than a year of negotiations and consultations. The V Line Enterprise Agreement 2020 (VLEA 2020) covers about 2,500 workers who operate and maintain Victoria`s regional rail network, including drivers, conductors, station staff, and support services. The agreement is set to expire on June 30, 2023, and replaces the previous EA from 2015.

So, what does the VLEA 2020 offer and what are some of its key provisions and changes? Here are some highlights:

1. Pay and allowances

Under the new agreement, V/Line workers will receive a 3% pay rise each year, retroactive to July 1, 2019, and a one-off payment of $1,000. The pay rates will also be adjusted to eliminate the lower pay rates for new starters, who will now receive the full rate from day one. The agreement also increases some allowances, such as the meal allowance, and introduces new allowances for undertaking additional tasks, attending training, or working overtime.

2. Flexible work arrangements

The VLEA 2020 introduces more flexible work arrangements for some employees, such as part-time work, job sharing, and compressed work weeks. These arrangements are subject to operational requirements and may require approval from V/Line management. The agreement also specifies that V/Line will provide reasonable support and adjustments for employees with family, carer, or health responsibilities.

3. Rostering and leave entitlements

The new agreement changes some aspects of rostering and leave entitlements, such as the minimum rest periods between shifts, the maximum working hours per day and week, and the arrangements for annual leave, personal leave, and long service leave. For example, the agreement allows for a higher accrual rate for personal leave and clarifies the definitions of family and carer leave.

4. Safety, health, and well-being

The VLEA 2020 includes several provisions that aim to improve the safety, health, and well-being of V/Line workers. For instance, the agreement establishes a joint working group to review and address concerns about fatigue, mental health, and wellness. The agreement also provides for additional training and support for workers who may face violence, harassment, or discrimination at work, and encourages reporting and investigation of such incidents.

5. Consultation and dispute resolution

Finally, the VLEA 2020 outlines the consultation and dispute resolution mechanisms between V/Line management and employees or their representatives, such as the union. The agreement sets up a consultative committee that meets regularly to discuss operational, safety, and other matters, and includes a dispute settlement procedure that can involve mediation or arbitration. The FWC can also be called upon to resolve industrial disputes or interpret the agreement.

Overall, the V Line Enterprise Agreement 2020 represents a significant improvement for V/Line workers in terms of pay, conditions, and support, as well as for V/Line as a service provider and employer. The agreement seeks to balance the interests of both parties and to promote a productive and harmonious workplace culture. However, as with any complex agreement, there may be some issues or challenges in implementing and enforcing its provisions, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the changing demands on public transport. Therefore, it is important for all parties to remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring the effective and fair implementation of the VLEA 2020.