They might make deliveries but they’re still customer service agents to Coles, the Federal Court, and now the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

It has turned down a Transport Workers Union (TWU) request for a scope order that would have forced Coles to negotiate a separate CSA agreement for drivers of its online division.

Instead, they will be covered by the common Store Team Enterprise Agreement.

The 2014 version of this is still being negotiated with the Shop, Distributive, and Allied Employees Association.

The TWU says it requested the scope order because it had previously been unable to effectively negotiate separate conditions for the drivers affected.

It currently represents fewer than 10 per cent of the CSAs employed by Coles.

The union had previously accepted a Federal Court decision (and subsequent appeal hearing) that the Road Transport Award could not apply to Coles CSAs, ‘acknowledging’ that the Retail Award was the applicable instrument for measuring any new agreement against the FWC’s Better-Off-Overall Test.

Still, the transport union was aiming to include terms and conditions from the Road Transport Award into theStore Team Enterprise Agreement, where it related to CSAs undertaking driving work.

FWC commissioner Michael Roberts agreed that the TWU had bargained in good faith and the situation did meet most of the requirements for a scope order.

However, he noted that his discretionary decision was also influenced by the likelihood of a positive bargaining result with a second union involved.

He says that was unlikely and the end result would be “highly undesirable”.

“I have examined the lengthy history of negotiations between Coles and the TWU in the light of the evidence in proceedings,” Roberts says.

“It is manifestly clear to me that the negotiation impasse reached in 2011 -2012 and again in 2014, would not be broken by the issuing of the scope order as sought.

“The issuing of such an order would be of no practical effect as Coles clearly will not negotiate with the TWU for the inclusion of Transport Award conditions into either a single agreement or a separate agreement to cover CSAs.

“The TWU placed a great deal of emphasis on such matters as safety, injuries, training, consultation and the specialised clothing and footwear needs of CSAs,” he continues.

“The addressing of those matters does not require CSAs to be covered by a separate agreement and can be adequately dealt with in negotiations with Coles.”

The scope order application was dismissed on April 17.

Extracted in full from Australasian Transport News.