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AMWU wins fixed dollar severance increase

A message from AMWU Victoria Secretary, Tony Mavromatis

We’ve had an excellent win for our members in the construction industry, due to changing the way the severance rate is calculated.

Previously the severance rate was linked to directly to CPI, however, for 2020 and upcoming agreements, members endorsed the decision to make the switch to a fixed dollar amount over the percentage model; meaning our members will be better off both in the short and long term.

For example, as opposed to starting at the previously mentioned $76.35, they will begin at $100, increasing by $20 each year for the life of the agreement.

This win is great for our members, especially given the year 2020 was for everyone. Premier Andrews described the construction industry and our members as the “lifeblood of the Victorian economy”, this didn’t make them exempt from COVID restrictions.

At the height of the pandemic, the industry, much like others, had practically ground to a halt, with only 25% of workers allowed onsite at a time.

Thankfully through these quotas were short-lived after the industry came together with peak union bodies, including ourselves, the ETU and CFMEU leading the way. Our COVID safe protocols and measures spoke for themselves, and restrictions were eased shortly thereafter.

This could not have been possible without the help of the dedicated union delegates and HSR’s around Melbourne. They were truly our frontline workers, responding quickly and appropriately to whatever came their way, ensuring the industry remained open.

Recently we lost a valued member who leaves behind a loving wife and two children. Around the same time, one of our former delegates and current state councillor had life-saving surgery, leaving him with a long while before he’ll be able to return to work.

As these families are already struggling, we thought we would reach out and raise some money to help them out as we move into this holiday season. As has been the case when fundraisers arise, our members were quick to react, donating what they could to help these families out.

2020 was a challenging year for us all; let’s make sure 2021 is one to remember. From everyone at the AMWU Victorian branch, we hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. It is vital we all take time off to relax and spend time with those you love, so we can come back recharged and ready for the year ahead.

Published Monday 4 January, 2021