The SDA argues that the Woolworth agreement only provides for the acceptance of the rate of increase in the minimum wage and not the effective date for retail trade. Woolworths argues that the clause is unclear and that its agreement must be amended within the Commission to ensure that it is consistent with the intentions of the parties during the negotiations. „The variations to which we aspire by the FWC will clarify the intention of the parties during the negotiations and the subsequent development of these agreements. The current agreement has 2 classifications, level 1 Sales assistant (100%) and Level 2 Senior Sales Assistant (105%). The proposed agreement introduced a new classification (Retail Employee Level 2 – Team Member Ride-on Equipment). The current Level 2 classification is phase 3 of the proposed agreement. The theory of relativity for the Level 3 classification will increase from 105% of Level 1 (currently) to 104% level 1 as of July 1, 2020. The supermarket agreement stipulates that wage increases for the first wage package will be effective on July 1 or after July 1 and that the increase should be „in the percentage increase rate that will come into effect in the Fair Work Commission`s annual wage decision, which will take effect in July.” The proposed agreement introduces provisions on shift work. Team members must be specifically hired as workers posted by BWS. No current team member is hired as a shift worker. Current team members can only become shift workers by mutual agreement.
Posted workers receive different penalties and their working time is limited, so a position must start after 6 p.m., but before 5 a.m. the next day. SDA Secretary of State Gerard Dwyer argued that the decision to cancel minimum wages on July 1 was „the trigger for this wage increase to be applied to all employees covered by the Woolworths supermarket agreement.” „Our retail agreements are designed to reflect conditions in the general retail price, including all annual wage increases, penalties and certificates,” she said. Enterprise agreements are enterprise-level agreements that set minimum working conditions for a certain group of workers and an employer or employer. Mr. Cullinan stated that Woolworths first had to prove that the salary increase clause was ambiguous in order for Fair Work to want to amend the agreement. While the minimum wage is traditionally tied by employers to sector premiums, many retail and fast food giants are now linking their annual wage increases to the decision, instead of setting firm increases. A spokesman for Woolworths rival Coles, which does not have to pay an increase due to the expiry of the deal, said the company was considering a discretionary staff increase this year. The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) and the Woolworths supermarket chain agreed on pay increases for employees and then withdrew their legal proceedings. Hayley Baxendale, general manager of industrial relations at Woolworths Group, said this year`s minimum wage decision was unprecedented and „created some uncertainty about our retail agreements.” The company, which is expected to announce more than $1 billion in profits on Thursday, had linked the quantum of its annual wage increases to the increase in minimum wages in its enterprise agreement.