The Maritime Union of Australia has reached in-principle agreement for a new enterprise agreement with Patrick Stevedores container terminals that delivers a wage deal alongside improvements in safety and training for about 1200 workers.
The MUA and Patrick are now in the final stages of drafting the agreed terms for a 5 year agreement.
The deal includes a pay rise backdated to October last year when the last agreement expired.
Under the agreement, employees will receive close to 5 per cent annual increases in November this year and in 2012 and 2013, with the final 5 per cent paid in July 2014.
"It has been a long and difficult process of negotiation and we welcome the outcome," MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said.
"This is a clear example that agreements which are acceptable to both workers and employers can be reached under the Fair WorkAct.
"This is in clear rebuttal of the hysterical posturing of the Federal Opposition, some right wing commentators, their mates at theright wing think tanks such as the HR Nicholls Society and other doomsayerstrying to give the waterfront a bad name.
"We expect that negotiations with Australia's other major terminal operator, DP World, will be concluded in the near future."
The agreement also increases super contributions over its life from 9 per cent to 12 per cent in four increments of 0.75 per cent, linked to performance and outcomes in line with general national trends.
"The MUA strongly believes in the positive benefits of increased superannuation for all workers, particularly in an industry such as stevedoring which is notorious for its physical demands," Mr Crumlin said.
"The new super arrangements help to allow workers to retire with financial independence before workplace injuries force them to retire - that's a plus for both workers and their employers."
MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman said the parties have agreed to establish committees to address productivity andsafety issues, the work of which will be run by the branches and reviewed by senior officials at the end of each year.
Safety facilitators will have a higher profile and greater responsibility. On training, new employees will receiveadditional upskilling.
"The MUA will always make the safety of its members its top priority. Working on the waterfront poses inherent safety risks and the MUA does not apologise for implementing measures aimed at curtailing that risk," Mr Doleman said.