Full Bench, composed of Vice-President Hatcher and Vice-President Booth and Colman, on Friday, May 8, 2020, found that DP Boyce did not properly consider the agreements on the basis of legal admission criteria and should have taken more account of union objections to the agreements. AMMA is disappointed that the agreements on resource companies were voted on by workers and submitted to the Fair Work Commission 18 months ago, subject to delays and lingering uncertainties in the authorisation process. If a job has a registered contract, the premium does not apply. However, this week, the FWC stated that it would be „difficult to identify a company that would address our concerns“ and that it would „propose that the appropriate course of rejecting applications for authorization,“ „on the basis that we are not convinced that the need for a genuine agreement in s186 (2)a) on both issues is met.“ Despite other comments from BHP over the past four months, the miner did not dispel the Commissioners` concerns that Operations Services staff were not overall „better off“ compared to existing mining employment contracts. A „Full Bench“ found that the agreements had not actually been concluded by the employees concerned, with BHP denying them access to critical information on pay rates. The EU opposed the approval of the operational services agreements because if BHP`s dubious agreements had been approved, thousands of people would have been worse off across the country. Another option for BHP is to optimise the aspects of the employment contracts that have been problematic for the Commission and then hand them over to staff in order to satisfy the Commission`s desire for a „genuine agreement“. CFMMEU has been forced to take further legal action against unilateral changes to the rolling chart cycle introduced by BHP Coal at the Saraji mine in the Bowen Basin coal basins in Queensland. The union argues that the company is violating the 2018 enterprise agreement by replacing the existing service table system without consultation. In a final ruling on Thursday, Commission Vice-President Adam Hatcher and Vice-President Anna Booth said BHP had not secured the appropriate agreement for the two employment contracts supporting the operations services. After a long campaign by the AWU and other unions, the FWC rejected BHP`s requests for approval of two employment contracts.
„The remuneration and terms of the service operating agreements were well below the overtime and conditions imposed on permanent miners at BHP`s sites, which have been negotiated for decades,“ said union president Tony Maher. In October 2018, nine of the 16 employees employed in the operating service authorized the authorization, while 37 of the 58 employees covered by the operating services „production agreement“ voted in favour of the authorisation in September 2018.