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Australian Apple Store employees agree to new contract terms with increased base pay

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple retail employees in Australia have signed off on four-year contract with the company that will see base pay rates jump some 16 percent from the previous terms agreed to in 2009.


Apple Store employees in Sydney, Australia. | Source: Apple


According to ifoAppleStore, about 90 percent of Apple's 2,372 retail workers spread across 21 outlets voted in favor of the new contract (PDF download), which was certified on Friday by Australia's Fair Work Commission. The contract becomes effective on Nov. 1.

With the 2014 to 2017 agreement, workers are split into three levels and further broken down by full-time and "casual" categories. Level 1 employees -- specialists and Geniuses -- will receive $20.95 per hour (about $22.44 AUD), while Level 2 starts at $25.26 ($27.06 AUD). Casual employees get about 25 percent more per hour in lieu of health benefits. The highest Level 3 is reserved for managers who will make an annual salary of $72,799 ($77,997.25 AUD).

As noted by the publication, Apple's starting pay level is 25 percent higher than Australia's minimum wage and includes a statutory two-percent annual increase on continued employment.

The contract covers overtime pay, working hours, meal allowances and other specifics. Of note, a section on grievances points out that employees are entitled to "redundancy" pay when a position is no longer needed. Under the stipulation, workers can be paid up to 20 weeks' worth of wages when terminated. Additional perks include a $29.56 bonus very two weeks for employees with first aid certification, "Community Service Leave" and a provision that gives time off for donating blood up to four times a year.

ifoAppleStore points out that Apple's contract also makes mention of bag checks. In 2013, former Apple employees in the U.S. sued the company in a class action lawsuit over lost wages associated with said bag checks. Under the Australian contract, Apple is allowed to "conduct random bag and or locker inspections at any time" and requires employees "to participate and fully co-operate and present your bag/locker or personal effects for inspection."
post #2 of 25
Nice.
Now they can spend more.
post #3 of 25
You can get more in Australia working stacking shelves in a supermarket. I suppose working at Apple is more interesting though.
post #4 of 25
This article is painting a glossy picture of the real situation on the ground:

http://m.theage.com.au/business/genius-deal-apples-staff-paid-less-than-coles-checkout-workers-20140606-39nvc.html
post #5 of 25

http://www.smh.com.au/business/genius-deal-apples-staff-paid-less-than-coles-checkout-workers-20140606-39nvc.html

 

Depends which fountain you drink from for news, but you'll get more working at ALDI than working for Apple.

 

It looks like they traded penalties for weekend work and settled for less than inflation on their annual increases. Sounds like a sweet deal. Only slightly less shit than the deal they left behind.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by reinthal View Post

You can get more in Australia working stacking shelves in a supermarket. I suppose working at Apple is more interesting though.

 

US too. Entry level grocery store wage is $11-12 plus full benefits here in California which is about a buck more than Apple Store. It's higher than Best Buy which is around $8-9.

 

Apple Store is far less physical though. How often do you see somebody on their knees restocking cans or hauling pallets around or sorting rotten fruit in an Apple Store?

post #7 of 25
All of those increased costs will just be passed on to Australian customers anyway, so... Enjoy, Australia!

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post #8 of 25
Also casuals get 25% more because they're casual. Employers generally aren't responsible for health cover in Australia.
post #9 of 25

Pay is all relative to where you live. Around my area, $20-25/hr is a pretty damn good wage, especially with full benefits. What isn't good in some areas is excellent in others. 

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post
 

http://www.smh.com.au/business/genius-deal-apples-staff-paid-less-than-coles-checkout-workers-20140606-39nvc.html

 

Depends which fountain you drink from for news, but you'll get more working at ALDI than working for Apple.

 

It looks like they traded penalties for weekend work and settled for less than inflation on their annual increases. Sounds like a sweet deal. Only slightly less shit than the deal they left behind.

 

21$*40h = 840$/week, which is quite higher than the 750$ cited for Coles, and the 700$/week minimum for retail workers.

post #11 of 25
What a sick sign of the ICT industry. Why is this allowed? Why isn't the ICT industry regulated - you know, like lawyers, doctors, accountants - even electricians and plumbers? The ICT industry should work to keep out unqualified people, and keep rates high. Imagine lumping a technical worker in with a retail assistant. What a joke.
post #12 of 25

So the annual increments of 2% at less than inflation means effective pay cuts, eroding this pay rise over time?  Way to go Apple! /sarcasm.

 

The pay is probably ok if you're young or a student, as many Apple staff seem to be, but it's hardly good money for a career.  Even that manager pay is pretty crappy.  But then I don't expect Apple wants older and experienced staff, not even for their "genius" positions.  Any employer that doesn't recognise or value (pay) age and experience is making a mistake in my book.

 

Also, the things Apple staff have to do sometimes around the time of special events in particular...you couldn't pay me enough to chant, clap and high five customers like some kind of crazy cultist fanboy!  It's weirder than even those wacky Krishnas you see dancing in the city.

 

I actually think most Apple staff are great and deserve high and better wages for the great service they provide.  They're a pillar of Apple's success and profitability.

post #13 of 25

FYI, the minimum wage in Oz ($18) is about twice what it is in the USA, so $22 isn't that much above the floor. As pointed out by others though, it's more interesting and less strenuous than the usual low wage job and they get a lot of retail- and technical training along the way. They look a fairly happy crew in the picture! 

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post
 

 

21$*40h = 840$/week, which is quite higher than the 750$ cited for Coles, and the 700$/week minimum for retail workers.

The agreement is for 38hrs a week. 

 

Coles for a checkout operator is 773/38hrs a week at entry level for full time workers

The new Apple agreement is 673/38hrs at entry level for full time workers.

 

The "approximately $22.44" for entry level quoted in the article is actually *exactly* the casual rate for an entry level worker. Ie, the poor suckers who get rostered to cover the gaps. They get more because they don't get the same leave entitlements of full and part time employees. In fact, they don't get them at all. There's no "health benefits" in that lot either. We have socialised medicine because we're damned commie pinkos so the article posted here which I responded to is pretty much just made up.

 

So I wouldn't be crowing that this is somehow a great deal for Apple employees. It's actually decidedly average. Not bad, not good. Just meh.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post
 

The agreement is for 38hrs a week. 

 

Coles for a checkout operator is 773/38hrs a week at entry level for full time workers

The new Apple agreement is 673/38hrs at entry level for full time workers.

 

from ifoapplestore :

"When the agreement becomes effective this November 1st, starting pay for full-time Level 1 employees will be $20.95 per hour (all rates in U.S. dollars), and Level 2 will start at $25.26. Casual employees will receive 25 percent more per hour to offset fewer benefits."

 

and they have the pdf, so those values are not arguable.

 

so Apple agreement is 798$/38hrs still 3% higher than what you quote for Coles and is already 20$ higher than the reference (750$) you quoted earlier. Non overly generous but correct.

 

Strange that you insist to lie twice though.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post

from ifoapplestore :
"When the agreement becomes effective this November 1st, starting pay for full-time Level 1 employees will be $20.95 per hour (all rates in U.S. dollars), and Level 2 will start at $25.26. Casual employees will receive 25 percent more per hour to offset fewer benefits."

and they have the pdf, so those values are not arguable.

so Apple agreement is 798$/38hrs still 3% higher than what you quote for Coles and is already 20$ higher than the reference (750$) you quoted earlier. Non overly generous but correct.

Strange that you insist to lie twice though.

Heh,

Perhaps you should read the agreement. 673 and some cents weekly for Retail 1. $17.71/hr Part Time. $22.14/hr Casual. I don't really see what's so controversial about my statement. It's not wrong.

edit: that was the old agreement

The article's author fundamentally misunderstands how the agreement characterises pay. The $20.96 you're banging on about is the *CASUAL* rate converted to US bux. It provides *EXTRA* compensation for the leave benefits which casual worker does not get. The full time worker will get somewhat less than that because they still get paid when they call in sick or take a holiday.

Edit: bad conclusion based on original premise.

Honestly, look at the agreement and see who's making shit up. I don't expect you recant your assertion that I'm lying (it's the internet after all) but you should check your facts before your come in and start swinging your thing around.

Edit: who's swinging what?

Additionally, the article talks about a statutory two percent pay bump every year. There is no such thing. It's in the agreement for sure but there's no law saying pay needs to go up by that amount every year.

Edit: well I got one thing right.
Edited by djsherly - 6/6/14 at 1:29pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

All of those increased costs will just be passed on to Australian customers anyway, so... Enjoy, Australia!

 

In this case I doubt it. Even if you calculate out the GST portion, markups on electronics are extremely high in Australia. They're probably doing well there no matter what. If it moved way out of alignment, I would see it as more likely to influence the number of Apple-branded retail stores that are opened there. I don't live there, but I have spent a lot of time there. I can also tell you some of their bigger cities (Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne) are extremely expensive with relatively high taxes. It doesn't go as far as you might expect. I mention bigger cities because those are the ones that are most likely to have Apple retail stores.

post #18 of 25

Not true. Wages where increased in the US a few years back. The starting wage for an Apple Specialist is $16 an hour.

post #19 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


Heh,

Perhaps you should read the agreement. 673 and some cents weekly for Retail 1. $17.71/hr Part Time. $22.14/hr Casual. I don't really see what's so controversial about my statement. It's not wrong.

The article's author fundamentally misunderstands how the agreement characterises pay. The $20.96 you're banging on about is the *CASUAL* rate converted to US bux. It provides *EXTRA* compensation for the leave benefits which casual worker does not get. The full time worker will get somewhat less than that because they still get paid when they call in sick or take a holiday.

Honestly, look at the agreement and see who's making shit up. I don't expect you recant your assertion that I'm lying (it's the internet after all) but you should check your facts before your come in and start swinging your thing around.

Additionally, the article talks about a statutory two percent pay bump every year. There is no such thing. It's in the agreement for sure but there's no law saying pay needs to go up by that amount every year.

 

 

You are indeed either lying or have strong reading comprehension problems :

rate is $20.15 immediatly  for full time and $25.18 casual and those are US $ per schedule A page 14 of the 2014 agreement linked at from the ifoapplestore article.

that means 21.59AUD for full time.

 

On first november it is $20.55 with 2% increases every year (which is ok right now but not favorable if inflation start again)

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post

Quote:


You are indeed either lying or have strong reading comprehension problems :
rate is $20.15 immediatly  for full time and $25.18 casual and those are US $ per schedule A page 14 of the 2014 agreement linked at from the ifoapplestore article.
that means 21.59AUD for full time.

On first november it is $20.55 with 2% increases every year (which is ok right now but not favorable if inflation start again)

My bad. The 2009 agreement is also annexed and was what I read.

However, it's an Australian agreement so I have no idea why you think it's expressed in USD.

The 20.15 you're talking about is already AUD. It's an Australian agreement. And it's still less than Coles agreement which is 20.30 for the least paid full time employee.

High stakes game, this internet.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post
 

There's no "health benefits" in that lot either. We have socialised medicine because we're damned commie pinkos...

 

 

...whose taxes are spent on something that benefits us.

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post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

 

In this case I doubt it. Even if you calculate out the GST portion, markups on electronics are extremely high in Australia. They're probably doing well there no matter what. If it moved way out of alignment, I would see it as more likely to influence the number of Apple-branded retail stores that are opened there. I don't live there, but I have spent a lot of time there. I can also tell you some of their bigger cities (Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne) are extremely expensive with relatively high taxes. It doesn't go as far as you might expect. I mention bigger cities because those are the ones that are most likely to have Apple retail stores.

 

Apple doesn't set minimum wages or taxes in Australia, so they abide by whatever the local situation dictates. Increased costs are always passed along to consumers.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


My bad. The 2009 agreement is also annexed and was what I read.

However, it's an Australian agreement so I have no idea why you think it's expressed in USD.

The 20.15 you're talking about is already AUD. It's an Australian agreement. And it's still less than Coles agreement which is 20.30 for the least paid full time employee.

High stakes game, this internet.

 

Per your own article : By comparison, the bottom rung for retail workers at Coles was $773.70 a week and the basic award minimum for shop assistants was $703.90, he said.

 

According to my maths AUD20.30 is less than US$20.15 (AUD 21.59), the ifoapplestore article states clearly that the wages are US$ not AUD.

Ifoapplestore is written by apple retail employees so they have pretty good sources  and this raises to $20.55 on Nov 1st.

 

Nor is the $ sign the legal  sign (even if customary for informal use) for an agreement document with a multinational company. At the very least it should be AU$ or normally AUD. $ without qualification is US$

 

So why are you still lying ?

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post

Per your own article : By comparison, the bottom rung for retail workers at Coles was $773.70 a week and the basic award minimum for shop assistants was $703.90, he said.



According to my maths AUD20.30 is less than US$20.15 (AUD 21.59), the ifoapplestore article states clearly that the wages are US$ not AUD.
Ifoapplestore is written by apple retail employees so they have pretty good sources  and this raises to $20.55 on Nov 1st.

Nor is the $ sign the legal  sign (even if customary for informal use) for an agreement document with a multinational company. At the very least it should be AU$ or normally AUD. $ without qualification is US$

So why are you still lying ?

It's aud. there's zero reason to express an Australian workplace agreement in usd and it's probably illegal. Why would the Australian government, through the fair work commission, ever accept an agreement between an Australian workforce and an Australian company where the dominator is USd. Do you understand how silly that sounds? When you're in Australia and you talk dollars, you actually mean Australian dollars.

Ignore the articles. Read the agreements. The Coles one is at the sda.org.au site. Or is that one in usd too?
post #25 of 25

I feel a minimum-wage rant coming on :)  Skip if you'd rather not hear it.  And yes, I know that government mandated minimum-wage is a fundamentally different thing than an employer who voluntarily elects to pay its employees notably higher than the competition.  Some companies do that as a way of attracting certain qualities in their job candidates, or for other reasons, which is great and entirely appropriate that they chose to do so, or not to.

 

So...

 

Person flips burger.  This provides something with an arguably fixed real value to their employer.  Employer in a free market pays wage at or very close to the real value provided by employee.

 

Legislation or corporate policy increases minimum wage to, let's say 2 times the actual real value of the labor performed.  You haven't increased the value the employee is providing to the employer by a factor of 2.  You have, instead, redefined the real value of the monetary unit to be half of what it was before.

 

It's not entirely that simple, and the impact isn't fully felt overnight.  But it's close to that simple, and the impact will spread eventually to the whole economy.  But the immediate and primary negative impact will be on the employer, who can now afford to hire half as many minimum-wage employees.  Economy loses jobs for those who can least afford to lose them in the short term.  Once the full redefinition of the value of the monetary unit hits, everyone has less value sitting in their retirement account even if the number on the investment statement has gone up.  In addition, more of those with the least education now rely on social programs while out of work which puts a greater strain on the now-fewer individuals still working, depressing their ability to spend and thereby further decreasing demand for laborers to meet the consumer need.

 

And let's not forget that the short-term gain (aside from the minimum-wage employees getting more worth-less money to spend, at least until everything costs more which erases the benefit) goes primarily to the politicians who implement such policies as a way of essentially buying votes.  This increases the likelihood of people getting into and staying in office who tend to implement policies which benefit themselves and end up hurting those they claim to be benefiting.

 

An overly-simplistic (or flat wrong) view of economics, you may say?  Please enlighten me.  And I don't mean that sarcastically.  Either you'll inform me of things I'm overlooking or misunderstanding and help me (and others) to better understand the realities of economics and wage policies, or you'll reinforce my perception.  I'm always open to both.


Edited by jinglesthula - 6/9/14 at 2:53pm

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