Workers claim pay win as Santos lose Fair Work decision

ENERGY giant Santos has accepted a Fair Work decision that orders it to expand the roles it covers under its new enterprise bargaining agreement.

The Australian Workers Union and Santos have been arguing over the agreement for GLNG employees since June last year and it has taken a commission ruling to get them back to the table.

Santos did want individual contracts but after workers voted in September to bargain collectively the AWU stepped in to negotiate the conditions and pay for the workers.

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Curtis Island's APLNG.
Curtis Island's APLNG.


But by December negotiations were going nowhere and both parties were looking to Fair Work to decide which roles would be included in the agreement.

AWU organiser Tony Beers said it had been a long process for the workers who found out earlier this month they were all going to be included in the agreement.

"The concept of individual contracts has led employees to get together for to collectively bargain," he said.

He said Fair Work's decision would allow more employees to get better conditions - 27 more making the total 105. The extra 27 are panel technicians, field team leaders and laboratory technicians; joining 78 process technicians, electrical and instrument technicians and mechanical technicians.

Santos argued these three roles shouldn't have been included in the agreement because they were more senior and laboratory technicians worked in a different part of the plant.

But despite evidence that they often relieved as managers, the commissioner decided it wasn't part of their day-to-day roles and laboratory technicians interacted with the other workers enough to be included.

A Santos spokesperson said "we accepted the commissioner's decision and we look forward to working constructively with union representatives through the EBA process". Mr Beers said he was ready for a speedy resolution with the all the workers who wanted to bargain.

The two parties are scheduled to meet on May 24.

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