CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth.
CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth. Tara Miko

New deal could see extra cash in port worker's pockets

A DEAL hammered out between workers at the Hay Point Coal Terminal, unions and a multinational coal company means they could earn up to $2500 extra a year providing they turn up to every shift.

The offer from BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance was backed by the Fair Work Commission and three unions - the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Communications Union.

According to the new deal, formalised on Friday, port workers lose the maximum bonus if they miss a day of work without a doctor's certificate.

One sick day without a note drops the maximum bonus to $2000, a second one drops its down to $1500.

Any more than three sick days without a medical note nixes the hand-out altogether.

Workers may also be paid a monthly bonus of between $130 and $320 if more than 78% of coal trains are unloaded within two hours and 12 minutes.

The extra thousands of dollars are on top of a 3.5% pay rise each year until the second half of 2016.

After six months of negotiations, in mid-December workers voted to accept the deal after rejecting one in November.

A BMA spokeswoman said changes to the "bonus scheme" would improve productivity and reward rail and shipping workers.

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth said the no-sickie bonus was rare in industrial agreements, particularly on coal mines.

Mr Smyth said he did not necessarily endorse the conditions but said it was up to port workers to decide what they wanted.

"That is what those negotiating it on site wanted," he said.

"They bargained and that's what they got."

BMA is currently negotiating with unions for a pay agreement for its newly opened Daunia mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland.


What Hay Point workers earn now versus (2016)

  • Operator (day)/maintenance worker (day): $89,983 ($99,766)
  • Operator (shift): $112,102 ($124,289)
  • Maintenance Acting foreman (day): $103,654 ($119,520)-Tradesman (day): $95,253 ($105,609)-Tradesman (shift): $117,137 ($129,872)