Community & Environment |
United Voice ACT Branch

Southern Cross Club should put justice before charity

Southern Cross Club should put justice before charity

ACT clubs were called out yesterday for minimising their mandated community contributions. On top of this revelation, one ACT club is also leading the national charge from the clubs sector to strip thousands of dollars from their employees’ wages.

The Canberra Southern Cross Club (CSSC) is the first club in the country to attempt to incorporate by stealth cuts to penalty rates into its new enterprise bargaining agreement. If successful, almost 500 employees could have their weekend and public holiday penalty rates slashed.

The CSSC had lodged a workplace agreement with the Fair Work Commission that would cut penalty rates for their employees down to the levels of the Clubs Award. Taking further action, the club has now sought to amend its agreement to incorporate Clubs Australia’s attempts to abolish the Clubs Award and lower penalty rates to the level in the Hospitality Award (this further clause has been added in an attempt to cover their bases so they can drop staff down to the lower award rates if Clubs Australia’s action is successful).

After learning that United Voice would oppose the attempt to cut penalty rates in the agreement, the club has written a letter threatening staff with termination of their current agreement – which would result in an immediate reduction in penalty rates.

“It is spectacular hypocrisy for an organisation that boasts of its community credentials to be so determined to slash the pay of the people who work for it,” said ACT Branch Secretary Lyndal Ryan.

“The ACT now has the dubious honour of having one of our largest and most wealthy clubs, leading the national campaign to slash the pay of clubs workers.”

“Hospitality workers are some of the lowest paid people in the country. They give up time on weekends and public holidays so that the rest of us can enjoy a meal out with friends or a drink at our local club.”

“They can’t afford, and don’t deserve, a sudden pay cut. This club is determined to cut the wages of its hard-working employees by whatever means it can. It is appalling behaviour made all the more offensive by the club’s claims to be a community organisation.”

In the last CSSC annual report, Club President John Lewis praised the club staff and referred to the strong financial position of the Club.

United Voice wrote to Mr Lewis on 11 May, 2017 asking the Board to protect the wages and conditions of the staff and offering to address the Board on this issue. There has been no response.

United Voice will oppose the new agreement in the Fair Work Commission in a hearing scheduled for 9 June, 2017 and believes that the agreement can only be approved with undertakings not to enforce some of its harsher provisions.

United Voice has also advised the Fair Work Commission of our intention to appeal in the Federal Court, their decision to cut penalty rates in the Hospitality Award.

United Voice supports calls for a review of the community contributions paid by ACT Clubs.

Lyndal Ryan is available for interview
Contact: Lyndal Ryan – 0411 643 982

ACT Branch Secretary: Lyndal Ryan