By Dave Francis, Table Games
At our meetings on Wednesday we will be taking nominations for our bargaining team. These are the people who will represent us during the coming EA negotiations with Crown management.
So, as a member of the 2010 bargaining team, I’d like to share some insights into the bargaining process from last time round.
Your first question is probably "Am I happy with the current EA?"
With the benefit of hindsight we might have done some things differently. But I am satisfied our agreement with Crown was a real milestone. We laid down important foundations that have changed the way that future EAs will be negotiated.
Sure, we didn’t always agree with each other, but overall our message was clear to Crown: we were over being taken for fools.
I understand some people were disappointed that we didn't get the third game for dealers, better classification for food and beverage or paid meals for security. But we did ensure that the cost of a dealer couldn't be devalued. We gave Crown three years to disprove our arguments, which they haven’t done yet. This gives us great ammunition to negotiate better working conditions this time.
We have seen many positive and negative changes over the last three years. Some departments have been axed, others restructured and staff have been redeployed. Throughout this time, we have kept working hard and adjusting to change. And because of our dedication and flexibility, Crown has achieved fantastic financial results. That’s why we should negotiate hard for changes to address key issues like career progression and work-life balance.
Now, you probably want to know... "How do I get selected for the bargaining team?"
Come to our union meetings and understand the journey we’re on. You also need to ensure you have the backing of your work colleagues. But most of all, you actually have to want to make great positive change.
Many people will be interested in being on the bargaining team. But don’t let that stop you. Register your interest, because there’s a place in our campaign for everyone willing to help out, either on the bargaining team or on one of the sub-committees for an issue that interests you.
Anyone who does get elected to the bargaining team should prepare for the long-haul. Negotiations are a slow process that can resemble a chess game with all the posturing of a nature documentary. It is a commitment of many months. It could require roster changes. So be aware that this may impact on your work-life balance and even your sleep patterns. But these negotiations are crucial to displaying a united workforce and winning a fair deal. So, if you don't think you can make the majority of meetings, I suggest you volunteer for a sub-committee.
During this time you'll be taken on a rollercoaster of emotions. There will be failures and successes. You'll get an insight into the inner sanctum of Crown and its management strategies. You’ll get to dissect the offers made by Crown and their impact on fellow staff. You’ll also experience the dynamic mix of support, disapproval – and, yes, whinging from your comrades.
I don't want to sound too negative. It’s a somewhat thankless task. But you may just be rewarded – as I was – with a thank you some years later, from someone you never expected. And you’ll understand other departments better. You’ll also create lasting friendships and help create a united front among the workforce at Crown.
So, here are my tips…
- If you’re interested, do volunteer for the bargaining team
- Be confident
- Be prepared for your meetings
- Take valuable notes that you can rely on later
- Remember that "we are the experts in our departments!"
I look forward to supporting the bargaining team (as a member or on a sub-committee). I hope people will be passionate about winning a better, more secure future at Crown.
Together, we CAN win
Remember that one voice is rarely heard, but with a united voice we can make change for the better.
So, encourage your fellow staff to join United Voice and stand with us. Because, together we can:
- make working at Crown a highly desirable career choice
- win overdue respect from our management
- and, most importantly , improve morale and instill the pride we have been lacking for so long
We are part of the most successful casino complex in Australian history, yet rarely do we get any credit and reward for our sacrifice. This EA is our chance to make sure our contribution to Crown’s success is recognised.
Think about the four most important things to you, which are your future, your family, your finances and your friends. This EA will have a big impact on your life.
We can achieve a great agreement if we are all united in our union. That’s what gives us real power with Crown. So join today, and get your co-workers and other colleagues to join too.
It all starts with you.