The Union of Retail and Fast Food Workers (RAFFWU) will challenge the new agreement on the grounds that it does not comply with the industry test necessary for workers to “do better overall” than under the corresponding sectoral display. The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which supported the company deal and was the majority union, said it was “very disappointed” with Bunnings` decision. The SDA said 76.7 percent of Bunnings employees voted in favor of the deal, but the union failed to reach a full agreement on the issue of wages, including the performance pay proposal. The SDA wanted the remuneration of the benefits to correspond to the rate of inflation, but the company rejected this request. We also agreed on the principle of a new pension plan that maintains REST as a standard superfund, but offers choice to team members who wish to opt for an alternative fund. Josh Cullinan, secretary of RAFFWU, said his union feared workers would be forced to start work from 5 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. under the new deal. Workers who only worked on a Sunday were likely to be worse off under the agreement, but coordination of the distribution of hours worked and penalties paid would resolve possible discrepancies.

Schneider said he was frustrated that approval of company agreements “takes far too long,” arguing that changes were needed to perform the best overall test. The new agreement must be approved by the Fair Work Commission. In previous rounds of negotiations, the SDA has continuously improved the Bank of Hours system and called for its abolition. . . .