11 Jul

This year’s collective agreement signed by Unite with the company includes some further improvements but if we are going to close the gap with companies like Restaurant Brands we need to have a bigger union membership at BK.

The gains this year include the following:

1) A new wage system with a guaranteed rise of 25c an hour to $13.75 once L3 skill verified.

2) An objective measure of L3

3) Additional 25c an hour to $14.00 an hour once skilled verified as Team Trainer.

4) An additional 25c an hour to $14.25 when skills verified to prod/serv coordinator.

5) A one year agreement from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013

6) A variation of weekly hours policy which limits the extent hours can be varied from one week to the next for members with 12 months service who work more than 20 hours a week. For those workers hours should not be reduced by more than 25%.

7) When additional hours become available in a store (ie someone leaves) these hours should first be offered to existing qualified staff . Any reduction in hours should be shared fairly and reasonably.

8) Access protocols for union officials visiting stores have been clarified.

9) The option of redeployment when refurbishing stores has been affirmed.

One of the main problems we have identified at Burger King was that very few staff were being promoted from the minimum wage (currently $13.50 an hour). Now all staff can get an additional 25 cents an hour and some staff an additional 50 cents or 75 cents above the minimum wage.

We still think BK are behind other fast food companies which allow nearly all staff to get to at least 50 cents above the minimum wage within 6 months or so. But this is a first step at BK which can be built on.


In addition at BK have got them to commit to a security of hours protocol that we want to see worked on and enforced.

The Collective Agreement says:

When rosters are prepared Burger King will, after taking proficiency and length of service into account, use its best endeavours to provide the preferred number of hours each team member requests.

The protocols signed with the union read as follows:

Burger King’s objective is to provide team members with some level of security regarding the extent to which their working hours may vary from

week to week. This policy only applies to team members with 12 months service or more who work 20 hours or more per week.

All other things being equal, Burger King’s policy is that a team member’s hours of work (as averaged over the previous 8 weeks worked by the team member) should not be reduced by more than 25%. In this context due regard must be given to the variations in hours that are necessary because of varying levels of customer demand that occur from time to time.

Where additional shifts become available due to higher than normal customer demand, or where a team member leaves, all other things being equal these shifts will first be offered to the team member(s) who are fully effective (proficient) in the position.

Where customer demand is lower than normal, the reduction in hours will be shared reasonably and fairly amongst team members, following consultation with the team members directly affected.

Nothing in this policy applies where a team member makes a request to vary their hours or change their availability, on a temporary or permanent basis, and the restaurant manager following discussion with the team member agrees to the change (which shall not unreasonably be withheld).


There is also a clear breaks schedule which reads:

Wherever possible, breaks will be given at reasonable

intervals within the daily work period, according to the following


Hours worked per shift Break Entitlement

3 hrs & no more than 4 hrs                                          1 x 15 min

4 hrs & no more than 6 hrs                                          1 x 30 min and 1 x 15 min

6 hrs & no more than 8 hrs                                          1 x 30 min and 2 x 10 min

8 hrs & no more than 10 hrs                                       1 x 30 min and 2 x 15 min

10 hrs & no more than 11 hrs                                     1 x 30, 2 x 15, 1 x 10

Note: the above 10 and 15 minute breaks are paid. The 30 minute breaks are unpaid.


Burger King remains the lowest paid fast food company despite the best efforts of Unite Union over the last few years.

All companies start staff at the minimum wage. But other companies allow staff to go off the minimum wage with automatic steps to be at least 50 cents an hour above the minimum within a year. At KFC all staff can get $14.46 as Gold Star and at Wendy’s they get $14.25 after 18 months. At McD’s all staff get 50 cents above the minimum within 6 months and a significant number get 75 cents as crew trainer, maintenance person or shift assistant.

At BK staff all can only get 25 cents above the minimum wage once they have completed Level 3 proficiency. To do this under the new training system there are 5 module books that need completing. After that only a few are trained as a Team Trainer or Production/Service Coordinator and they get only 50 cents or 75 cents above the minimum wage.

Higher wages at KFC were won by workers taking action


When BK introduced its new training modules this year it basically told everyone they had had no training. Staff who had been recognised as “trainers” were told they had to do the new modules before they could get their 50 cent allowance restores.

When the minimum wage went from $13.00 to $13.50 workers expected their rates to go up by the same amount if they were getting an allowance above the minimum. This did not happen in many cases. We don’t believe this was a lawful decision and will be seeking to appeal this practise. If you are one of those affected please contact us by writing with details to support

The union has also sought an assurance from BK head office that staff are given time to complete the modules in work time. Sarah Caunter, BK general manager, human resources wrote to Unite National Director Mike Treen as follows:

No employees are expected to work on the modules at home, it is a practical self paced programme that is designed to be completed “on the job,” although if anyone wants to take it home and complete it in their own time that is entirely their decision, there is no expectation on our behalf that anyone does this.”


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