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$25k+ pay rises in first Same Job Same Pay win

May 29, 2024

Programmed labour hire mineworkers at the Hunter Valley’s Mount Pleasant mine, including operator Danielle Todhunter, have become the first direct beneficiaries of Same Job Same Pay laws.

In response to the MEU’s Same Job Same Pay application to the Fair Work Commission, mine operator Thiess has offered Programmed workers direct employment, meaning they will get pay rises of over $25,000 along with job security and conditions.

Mount Pleasant Programmed employee Danielle Todhunter said that getting the permanent jobs deal was a ‘great moment’.

“We all do the same work, there’s really no difference between someone who is wearing a Theiss label or a Programmed label in terms of what we do day to day,” she said.  

“For all of us to now be on the same rate of pay and have the same conditions will be a game changer.

“The security of employment and improved conditions will impact many of my workmates.

“The Union has been strong and focused and the workforce has been united behind this common goal. Contractors and permanents working together is how we got this win.”

The MEU has withdrawn the Mount Pleasant Same Job Same Pay application after Thiess agreed to directly employ the Programmed workers in scope of the proposed Same Job Same Pay order. 

Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Robin Williams said the agreement with Thiess directly affected 27 Programmed employees but set a precedent for more successful outcomes across the coal industry nationally. 

“This is a terrific outcome for these workers and an important step towards restoring wage justice across the mining industry,” he said.

“The mine operator has responded to our application by agreeing to employ them directly. Now, not only will they get the same pay as the permanent employees they work next to, they will also get the same job security, conditions and entitlements.

“A goal of the new laws is to remove the economic incentive to outsource permanent jobs to lower-paid labour hire. It’s fantastic seeing the laws lifting pay and job security as intended.” 

The MEU will now proceed with preparing and submitting its next applications for labour hire workers across the mining industry. 

The MEU’s Same Job Same Pay application for Workpac labour hire workers at Batchfire’s Callide Mine in Central Queensland is waiting to be determined by the Fair Work Commission. Workpac and Batchfire have both indicated they will not oppose the application. 

Keep up to date with the MEU’s Same Job Same Pay applications at the Application Tracker on our website.

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