AFTER 8 months of discussions, ASIAL and United Voice have reached an agreement in principle on the detail of a multi-employer (Greenfields) enterprise agreement (MEEBA) covering work by security personnel at the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns. 

The MEEBA was drafted by ASIAL’s industrial advisor Chris Delaney and, after consultation with the prime contractors, United Voice and GOLDOC, it has been refined to meet the needs of all parties. In principle agreement was reached with United Voice on 21 December 2016 and once signed by the parties, documents being filed early 2017. 

Over the past 2 years, the 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (GOLDOC) has undertaken a process of benchmarking the security provider deployment models at past Commonwealth and Olympic Games. It has also completed a detailed analysis of the procurement options to secure and deploy an integrated security provider workforce required to support the 2018 Commonwealth Games.  

This included the engagement of an independent consultant to support this research activity. A clear finding of the research was that in the Australian context that no single security provider was capable of supplying the workforce required for the Games and that a single supplier model carries a higher level of level of delivery risk. 

By way of example, the London 2012 Olympics experienced a critical shortage of security officers. This led to a loss of confidence in the organising committee and the private security provider, which in turn caused reputational damage to the event and those involved with the security operations. Further, it became apparent, having regard for the difficulties experienced at other major events, that the number of prime contractors needed to be capped at a manageable level if an integrated security workforce was to be achieved. 

These findings prompted GOLDOC to consider a different model of procurement. It identified that several major private security providers collectively working in partnership on training, licencing, logistics, transportation, accommodation and meals was the preferred delivery model. Subsequently GOLDOC invited several major Australian security providers, Queensland Police, Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL), as the peak body representing the security industry, to attend a series of workshops to consider and provide advice on the supply of security officers to the Games.  

Security providers identified a number of concerns that needed to be addressed in order to minimise supply issues associated with such a large deployment, including: 

* Exposure to liability based on reliance on and subsequent non-performance of competitors under a sub-contractor arrangement;  
* The reputational risk of another Security Provider’s failure to provide staff;  
* Previous negative experiences with staffing issues for major events; and the security issues experienced in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012; 
* Harmonisation of licencing requirements, and in turn; 
* Managing training for security staff across multiple suppliers;  
* Servicing existing clients during the Games; 
* Ensuring a high standard of service necessary to avoid reputational damage; and 
* Managing licencing, logistics, transportation, accommodation and meals.

The group determination was that these issues and risk best be overcome through a consortium or partnership approach, which would mitigate the risk and improve the opportunities for a successful model. It was also agreed that a multi-employer enterprise bargaining agreement was the best option to incorporate all of the safeguards, ensure all security providers operated under the same arrangements and provide security officers with better pay and conditions than the Security Services Industry Award 2010 as an incentive to be involved. 

As a result, GOLDOC requested ASIAL to draft, negotiate and file with the Fair Work Commission a MEEBA to cover private security services for the provision of approximately 4200 security personnel to work at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. The Fair Work Act 2009 (The Act) provides that any multi-enterprise agreement must be a Greenfields Agreement if it is made before any employees are employed to work on a new project or undertaking. 

The benefits of making a Greenfields Agreement include: 

* Agreement containing terms and conditions suited to the particular project/undertaking; 
* Agreement providing certainty about the terms and conditions that will apply to the workforce; 
* Assurance that there will be no protected industrial action during the life of the Agreement; and 
* Requirements under the Act regarding notice of representational rights and pre-approval steps.  

ASIAL drafted a MEEBA in consultation with the nominated prime contractors and has been negotiating with United Voice since May 2016. The MEEBA will provide for the needs of the Games, offer attractive wages and conditions for employees, and allow employers to deliver private security services that will meet the needs of GOLDOC. 

Key features of the Agreement include: 

Above award rates of pay and conditions for participating security officers; 
Penalty rates in accordance with the Security Services Industry Award 2010 (the award); 
Covers only directly employed Security Officers – no ABN holders will be engaged to work at the Games; 
Allowances, including meal, per diem and Games Allowances; 
Access to overtime opportunities throughout the competition phase; 
Prime contractors to supply the majority of Security Officers; 
Prime contractors may only subcontract one level down; 
Subcontractors must pay in accordance to the Agreement; 
Subcontractors may only engage direct employees; and 
Prime contractors must accept responsibility for wages and entitlements of all security officers.
To facilitate employees’ availability to attend work at the Games GOLDOC has committed to: 
Meet the cost of air travel for interstate security officers; 
Meet the cost of air travel for guards deployed to Cairns and Townsville; 
Provide all accredited security personnel with access to free public transport during the Games Competition period; 
Provide a dedicated bus services from accommodation venues to place of work where public transport is not convenient or readily available;
Source and book accommodation for all guards required to live away from home; 
Provide office accommodation for specified personnel; 
Provide a daily out-of-pocket allowance for guards required to live away from home; 
Provide meals and/or meal allowances for security personnel required to live away from home; 
Provide an on duty meal for all guards during the operational phase; 
Meet the mutual licensing costs for all interstate guards; 
Provide safety vests and/or polo shirts, wet weather apparel and a hat for issue to Tier 1 personnel; 
Procure and issue radios and associated equipment for use by security personnel; 
Develop a logging and incident reporting solution; 
Provide facilities for the storage of equipment; 
Provide shelters, lighting and other temporary workplace infrastructure; 
Provide venues and facilities to conduct training, orientations and briefings; and 
In partnership with the Queensland Department of Education and Training, a subsidised Certificate 3 training program for candidates residing on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Ipswich. 

“There is still a lot of work to do in preparation for the Games,” said ASIAL’s general manager John Fleming. “ASIAL will continue to work diligently and cooperatively with all stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcomes for the provision of a successful Commonwealth Games.” ♦