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Group Action against Air Services Australia

Air Services Australia Management Contracts

Chamberlains has been informed that in the period of 1996 to 2017, Air Services began introducing “management contracts” to various individuals employed at Air Services. For these contracts to be deemed valid under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), they must improve or match the entitlements provided in the relevant Enterprise Agreement. A number of management contracts we reviewed fall short of this standard.

If you signed a management contract, please contact us. For further information, please check out our FAQ page or alternatively contact us on airservices.action@chamberlains.com.au.   

Air Services Australia Superannuation Policies

Chamberlains Law Firm is investigating allegations that in the period between 1996 and 2016, Air Services Australia (Airservices) adopted policy directions whereby all new employees of Airservices were required to become members of the appointed superfund of Airservices, being AVSuper.

It is alleged that claimants were told, or otherwise not informed, that they could continue making superannuation contributions to existing funds.

Chamberlains Law Firm considers that this may not have been correct at law and that the claimants are likely to have suffered a reduction in their superannuation payments as a result.

Air Services Australia (Airservices) Group Action FAQ

Q. What is the claim against Airservices?

Chamberlains has been informed that in the period of 1996 to 2017, Airservices Australia (Airservices) began introducing “management contracts” to various individuals employed at Airservices. For these contracts to be deemed valid under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), they must improve or match the entitlements provided in the relevant Enterprise Agreement. A number of management contracts we reviewed fall short of this standard.

If you signed a management contract, you may be entitled to the following:

Redundancy

The management contracts provide less redundancy benefits in comparison to the following Enterprise Agreements:

  • Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2013;
  • Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue and Firefighting) Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017; and
  • Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control and Supporting Air Traffic Services) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015.

Employees on management contracts made redundant were given a payment capped at 6 months’ worth of their final salary. The Enterprise Agreements listed above cap the redundancy entitlements at a maximum of 75 weeks and consider previous continuous service in other APS entities, and the ACT government.

Superannuation (Accumulated fund contributions)

Based on the management contracts we have reviewed, there is also a shortfall in superannuation paid into the accounts of employees on management contracts (in accumulated funds superannuation schemes) in comparison to the following Enterprise Agreements:

  • Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2013;
  • Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue and Firefighting) Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017;
  • Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control and Supporting Air Traffic Services) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015; and
  • Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control Line Manager) Enterprise Agreement 2010-2012.

Leave Entitlements

The Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2011 provides for two extra days on top of annual leave during the Christmas period. This was not reflected in any of the management contracts.

Base Salary Increases

The following Enterprise Agreements provides for base salary increments:

  • Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2013;
  • Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue and Firefighting) Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017; and
  • Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control and Supporting Air Traffic Services) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015.

We have been informed by some clients that this was not reflected in the management contracts and they did not receive base salary increments in accordance with the Enterprise Agreements.

Q. Which Enterprise Agreement applies to me?

Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2013 applies to the following individuals:

  • ASA 1 to 9;
  • Technical Officers, General Services Officers and Emergency Vehicle Technicians 1 to 7;
  • TP Bands 1 to 4 (Technology Professionals); and
  • Upper Air Space High Frequency and National Operations Centre employees.

Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue and Firefighting) Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017 applies to:

  • Recruit;
  • Trainee Fire Fighter Level 1;
  • Trainee Fire Fighter Level 2;
  • Leading Fire Fighter;
  • Sub Station Officer;
  • Station Officer; and
  • Fire Commander.

Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control Line Manager) Enterprise Agreement 2010-2012 applies to all employees who are employed by Airservices in the position of Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Line Manager (ALM), other than those to whom an AWA applies.

Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control and Supporting Air Traffic Services) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015 applies to the following:

ATCs

  • Ab initio trainee
  • Field trainee
  • Levels 1 to 9
  • SY TTCU
  • UTS
  • CSS/SS
  • SY
  • CSS/Supervisors

ADTs

  • Trainee
  • ADT 1-2
  • ADT Supervisors

SSOs

  • SSO1-SS08
  • SPVR – Simulator Team Leader
  • SPVR – Simulator Data Management Team Leader
  • SSO Instructor

It also covers any employee required to hold and exercise the responsibilities or privileges of an air traffic control licence (except ATC Line Manager or person above the level of an ATC Line Manager).

If you are uncertain about whether you fall into any of the above categories, please contact us on airservices.action@chamberlains.com.au with details of your circumstances.

Q. How do I know if I am affected?

If you entered into a management contract between 1996-2017, you may be a potential claimant. You may be entitled to damages if any one of the claims listed above can be made out.

Q. What should I do if I am a potential claimant?

Please register your interest in the form below.

If you have any questions or are unsure about whether you have a claim, feel free to email airservices.action@chamberlains.com.au.

Q. How is the shortfall in redundancy calculated?

The shortfall is calculated based on:

  • the redundancy benefits provided in the Enterprise Agreement; and
  • the actual sum paid to you under the management contract.

For example, the Airservices Australia Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017 states that an employee made involuntarily redundant receives the following benefit:

7.6.6(a)(ii) – A payment comprising four (4) weeks’ salary for each of the first five (5) completed years of service and three (3) weeks’ salary for each subsequent completed year of service, plus a pro rata payment for each completed month of service since the last completed year, to a maximum of seventy five (75) weeks.

The term ’years of service’ includes previous years of service for commonwealth public departments and the ACT government.

Q. How is the shortfall in superannuation calculated?

The shortfall in superannuation is calculated by comparing the difference in employer contribution percentages found in the Enterprise Agreement and the individual’s management contract. In several Airservices management contracts, employer superannuation contributions were made in accordance to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 instead of the Airservices Enterprise Agreement. The resulting superannuation shortfall is exemplified below based on the Air Services Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017 and its predecessor.

Superannuation
Guarantee
Enterprise Agreement
Requirement
2012-13 9.00% 12.50%
2013-14 9.25% 12.75%
2014-15 9.50% 13.00%
2015-16 9.50% 13.50%
2016-17 9.50% 14.00%

Q. What salary increments am I entitled to under the relevant Enterprise Agreement?

Under Airservices Enterprise Agreement 2009-2013:

Date of operation 1.35%
6 months 1.35%
12 months 2.00%
18 months 2.00%
24 months 2.50%
30 months 2.50%
36 months 2.50%
42 months 1.95%

Under the Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting) Collective Agreement 2009-2013:

Date Percentage Increase
Date Agreement commences to operate (Commencement Date) 1.965%
6 months from Commencement Date 1.965%
1 Year from Commencement Date 1.965%
18 months from Commencement Date 1.965%

Under the Airservices Australia (Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting) Collective Agreement 2009-2013:

Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control and Supporting Air Traffic Services) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015:

Type Date of operation 12 months 18 months
ATC 3% 2% 1%
ADT 3% 2% 1%
SSO 3% 2% 1%
FDC 3% 2% 1%

Airservices Australia (Air Traffic Control Line Manager) Enterprise Agreement 2010-2012 provides that the annual salary shall not be less than $195,000.

Q. Do I have a claim if I was made to move to Airservices’ appointed superfund ‘AVSuper’?

Allegations have been made by claimants that in the period between 1996 and 2016 Airservices adopted policy directions whereby all new employees of Airservices were required to become members of the appointed superfund of Airservices, under the certified agreement, being AVSuper. It is alleged that claimants were told, or otherwise not informed, that they could not continue making superannuation contributions to existing funds.

If you were a member of a defined benefits scheme such as CSS or PSS and were misled or made to switch to any superannuation scheme under AVSuper as a condition of employment, please contact us on  airservices.action@chamberlains.com.au.

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