Together Bargaining

Log of Claims

Posted April 3, 2012 by Alex Scott

Your union's log of claims is a list of all of the proposals that union members are asking for to be included in a collective agreement. These points are all aimed at improving the lives of workers. The log was put together by your union's delegates following the feedback from member surveys and through discussing what matters most with the members in their workplaces.

The log of claims is an important focus for negotiations - when your delegates present the log of claims to management, they will respond. If management choose to reject a particular item in the log, it is up to union members and delegates to decide what action to take.

If you want more information about a particular item in the log, you can ask your local delegate or email bargaining@together.org.au

  1. Wages
    1. 1.1. The minimum wage increase should keep pace with CPI
    2. 1.2. Fair wage increases should not be achieved through trading off hard won conditions
    3. 1.3. Wage increase should be centrally funded by Treasury
    4. 1.4. Wage increases should reflect impacts of the Federal Government’s Carbon Price.
    5. 1.5. Wage increases should ensure fair increases for lower paid workers (ie. A relative dollar amount as well as a percentage increase).
  2. Superannuation
    1. 2.1. Together members have won higher superannuation contributions as part of previous wage negotiations.
    2. 2.2. Superannuation should be based on OTE (Ordinary Time Earnings) including shift penalties.
    3. 2.3. The Federal Government increase to the superannuation guarantee should be reflected in superannuation improvements in the public sector.
    4. 2.4. That superannuation contributions by both the employee and the employer be adjusted immediately, when an employee’s pay changes rather than on 1 July each year.
    5. 2.5. That the calculation of the final payout for members of the QSuper Defined Benefits be based on the member’s salary at the time of resignation.
  3. Temporary Employment
    1. 3.1. High levels of temporary and higher duty employment, tends to result in a culture conducive to bullying and harassment.
    2. 3.2. The conditions regarding temporary employees that were unilaterally removed by the PSC (Public Service Commission) are to be restored.
    3. 3.3. The conditions with respect to temporary employment and conversion to permanency should be extended to staff who have been acting in higher duties.
    4. 3.4. Temporary and higher duties staff should not be denied conversion to permanency due to the failure of the Department to follow the Recruitment and Selection Directive.
    5. 3.5. After a period of two years of meritorious service an employee will be deemed appointed on merit for the purpose of conversion to permanent status.
    6. 3.6. In relation to point 3.5 above - access to conversion to permanent status after continuous temporary employment, even if in different roles within the department.
  4. Employment Security
    1. 4.1. Maintain commitment that no worker will be forcibly retrenched.
    2. 4.2. A commitment to no contracting out or privatisation of jobs or services during the life of the Agreement
    3. 4.3. A commitment to only using casual employment or agency (labour hire) staff when absolutely necessary – for example, only when a recruitment process has failed for lack of available workers. That this will be monitored and enforced by Consultative Committees. (Refer Consultation Claim).
    4. 4.4. A commitment that the use of external consultants will be minimised – for example, only in instances where appropriate workers cannot be recruited to the public service, and in that case role descriptions and levels should also be reviewed, in case it is classification levels that is prohibiting recruitment. That this will be monitored and enforced by Consultative Committees. (Refer Consultation Claim).
    5. 4.5. That redundancy entitlements for workers should be increased.
    6. 4.6. If a worker is made redundant there will be no restriction on them being re-employed in the Queensland Government following the payment of their redundancy package.
    7. 4.7. Redeployment should be the first option considered by any Department prior to any round of forced or voluntary redundancy, or other separations being considered.
    8. 4.8. Any attempt to reduce the size of the workforce through natural attrition or redundancy must be accompanied by workload impact studies to be completed and reported to Consultative Committees prior to any decision to offer redundancies, not to fill vacancies, not to backfill staff on leave or secondment or to abolish vacant positions. (Refer Reasonable Workloads Claim).
  5. Union Rights and Workplace Consultation
    1. 5.1. Consultative Committees should continue as the minimum and standard form of consultation in each Agency and the relevant decision maker/s be required to attend each and every committee meeting. (The decision maker refers to the Director General of the Agency and/or any person who has the appropriate delegated authority in that they have the capacity to make a binding decision with regards to the issues being raised and discussed).
    2. 5.2. That the Government through each Agency and their managerial structure and Consultative Committees be responsible for ensuring existing provisions are enforced.
    3. 5.3. Ensuring no workers conditions are changed without agreement from those workers.
    4. 5.4. A requirement that workers be consulted about any decision to be made that may affect their employment, welfare, workload or job satisfaction prior to the decision being made, in accordance with the attached policy.
    5. 5.5. Prior to any such decisions being made (as per above) the employer will need to demonstrate clear benefits establish such benefits in a business case tabled for the purposes of consultation at the relevant Consultative Committee.
    6. 5.6. A requirement to ensure all workers continue to have access to union delegates and union staff in the workplace during work hours.
    7. 5.7. Develop standards for the provision of information as part of a consultation process.
    8. 5.8. This will as a minimum state that information must be provided in a timely way and include but not limited to:
      1. who will be affected by the change
      2. how they will be affected
      3. justification of the change
      4. costs and cost benefit
      5. time frames
      6. consultation process
      7. positions and levels of change
      8. review and evaluation process
      9. how this will work within consultative committees.
    9. 5.9. Where any worker is to have their physical work location moved more than a reasonable distance from their existing work location those workers are entitled to consultation about compensation for the change in circumstances (such as with the cost of public (bus, train, providing shuttle buses etc.) and/or private (provision of car parking) transport, finding local childcare, additional time to travel and accommodation etc.
    10. 5.10. Commitment to genuine consultation whereby employees have the bona fide opportunity to influence the decision maker. That consultation be further defined as and carried out in accordance with the attached policy (refer Union Consultation Policy – 25 November 2008).
  6. Career Paths, Classifications - General
    1. 6.1. Parity of classification across the Core to ensure equal pay for equal work/responsibility with a whole of government standard.
    2. 6.2. Access to higher duties in all centres and to be able to be advertised/ acted on inter-regionally.
    3. 6.3. Review by PSIER of classification and position titles across Agencies to ensure equity and no relative disadvantage.
  7. Career Paths, Classifications - Science Industry workers
    1. 7.1. Increase access to progression between all levels, in all streams, to create real career paths.
    2. 7.2. Increase progression in all centres.
    3. 7.3. Government to report back how career paths are improving quarterly and include how many people are progressing in report.
    4. 7.4. Extend the number of classification levels in the PO/TO/OO streams for specialist science occupations so scientists can continue in their science roles.
    5. 7.5. Implement a progression scheme based on performance to the top of streams for science industry workers across every Department or Agency.
    6. 7.6. Recognition of ‘moral rights’ for authorship for science workers.
    7. 7.7. Professional development allowance.
    8. 7.8. Approval processes that don’t create barriers to participation eg. Easier access to attendance at national and overseas conferences.
    9. 7.9. Sabbaticals.
    10. 7.10. Payment of subscriptions to professional bodies.
    11. 7.11. Freedom to publicly express individual professional opinion.
    12. 7.12. Review of JEMs as applied to scientific positions.
    13. 7.13. Rewards for supervising PhD and Masters students and holding adjunct positions.
    14. 7.14. Rewards for attracting external funding.

    The above claims will also form the basis or be replicated in the claims for similar roles in CORE agencies where PO/TO/OO members face similar issues.

  8. Leave
    1. 8.1. The right to accrue up to equivalent of 2 years of recreation leave.
    2. 8.2. Agreed process for negotiating timing of leave.
    3. 8.3. Review and amendment of Special Leave Directive as required. Explore other forms of cultural leave.
    4. 8.4. Agreed definition of “excessive” leave.
    5. 8.5. That workers can only be directed to take leave when Workshops (continued) their accrual is “excessive”.
    6. 8.6. Amendment of cultural leave clause to confirm to QCU model clause.
    7. 8.7. That any accrued sick leave or a portion of that leave that exists on the exiting of a person from the Queensland Public Service be placed in a “bank”. This “bank” is to be administered by trustees drawn from the employer and their union.
    8. 8.8. Withdrawals from the “bank” can be made, by application, from public service employees who have exhausted their own leave resources, for their own ill health, or to care for a seriously or terminally ill family member or on compassionate grounds. (as per the usual definitions for carers leave).
  9. Reasonable Workloads
    1. 9.1. Joint union management agency workload study, including survey of all staff, commenced within 6 months.
    2. 9.2. Review the implementation, promotion and effectiveness of the workload management guide in order to ensure that it is not linked to performance measures, but rather is focused on workplace health and safety.
    3. 9.3. All base grade vacancies to be filled within two weeks of the vacancy arising (i.e. 4 weeks from notice of resignation).
    4. 9.4. All other vacancies to be filled within 4 weeks of the vacancy arising (i.e. 6 weeks from notice of resignation).
    5. 9.5. Backfilling of staff when officers are on leave (or have moved from fulltime to part time arrangement) for a period of greater than 3 days, regardless of the type of leave.
    6. 9.6. Introduction of relief pools (where the service delivery context warrants it) or permanent relief arrangements in order to facilitate backfilling. This should occur in consultation with the relevant union/s.
    7. 9.7. Workload impact studies to be completed and reported to Consultative Committees and subsequent consultation to occur prior to any significant change to the way that work is done or any additional work programs or procedures.
    8. 9.8. Strengthen the role of Consultative Committees in monitoring workload concerns and investigate options for involving bodies like Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman to assist in resolving workload issues.
    9. 9.9. Departments should move away from the use of external organizations and consultants and should work towards having a supportive and positive internal approach to workload management.
  10. Professional development and training
    1. 10.1. Ensuring workers have equal access to appropriate, quality professional development and training. This should be monitored jointly (union and management) at the Consultative Committee level.
    2. 10.2. Professional development is important for all workers and is essential that it be appropriately provisioned by management.
    3. 10.3. Ensuring all workers have access to paid time off to attend training and professional development.
    4. 10.4. Ensuring all workers have access to the AQF additional payments at every increment level were the scheme currently applies. Review payments provided for at each level. Extend the existing qualifications structure to include up to the maximum classification levels in administrative, technical and operational streams.
    5. 10.5. Ensuring that the employer pays for any relevant continuing professional development that is required to maintain professional or discipline registration, as part of a workers employment.
    6. 10.6. Change existing SARAS criteria and processes to allow for postgraduate courses to be included.
    7. 10.7. Each work unit to conduct an annual training needs assessment.
  11. Work-life balance
    1. 11.1. Work life balance initiatives must go beyond family and study; they should also include the wellbeing of the individual.
    2. 11.2. Inclusion of a minimum set of entitlements to flexible work options in the Agreement or a directive. This includes (but does not exclude any other initiative):
      1. seamless entry into retirement
      2. telecommuting
      3. compression of hours
      4. proportionate leave (the ability to purchase leave).
    3. 11.3. Ongoing commitment by management to assisting workers to balance work and life.
    4. 11.4. An agreed procedure for request and authorisation of work life balance strategies or initiatives.
    5. 11.5. An education strategy around work life balance for employees and management.
    6. 11.6. Managers to not unreasonably refuse requests by workers to access work/life balance initiatives.
    7. 11.7. Right of appeal if refused.
    8. 11.8. Organisational requirements cannot be used unreasonably to refuse employees entitlements to work life balance.
    9. 11.9. Establishment of a joint Work/Life Balance Oversight Committee comprising representatives of PSIER and the relevant union/s to monitor and enforce the Workshops (continued) provision during the life of the Agreement.
    10. 11.10. Transfer at level for long distances between work and home
      1. The employer should process any transfer at level application in a timely manner, making available to the appropriate Consultative Committee, the list of applicants still waiting for their application to have been processed within 6 months of applications being received.
      2. Monitoring of such applications (numbers versus transfer acceptance ratios) occur on a yearly basis.
  12. Hours of work
    1. 12.1. There shall be no loss of accrued hours for any worker. Should a worker not be able to take any of their accrued time for 12 months, the time, at the employees’ choice, may be paid out or carried forward to the following year.
    2. 12.2. Commitment that managers cannot unreasonably refuse applications to take accrued time. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees’ workloads are properly managed and that they have the ability to take accrued time off. This should be proactively negotiated with the employee.
    3. 12.3. Include minimum standards for hours of work policies in the Agreement.
    4. 12.4. Increase the carry-over period to 10 working days per calendar month.
    5. 12.5. Where a limit is prescribed for the amount of accrued time off in a work cycle, such limitations shall not be less than 5 days in a calendar month, to be taken either consequently or separately.
    6. 12.6. The draft Code of Practice for Fatigue Management should be referenced in hours of work policies.
    7. 12.7. The existing spread of hours is 6am-6pm. Extended working hours beyond the span must be negotiated and have the majority consent of all affected employees and relevant unions. Hours should not be extended to avoid implementing shift work arrangements.
    8. 12.8. Disputes in hours of work arrangements can be taken to the consultative committee for resolution thus giving employees an appeal right to that body if local resolution cannot be achieved.
  13. Locality Allowance
    1. 13.1. That there be a review of the locality allowance scheme, on the basis that the government should encourage public sector employment in rural and remote areas and support those local communities.
    2. 13.2. That the review include reference to:
      1. Access to Health Services (doctors, dental, and mental health services), and a review of the capacity to access these services and if extra leave is required to attend these services.
      2. Access to education - primary, secondary and tertiary education services.
      3. Cultural and sporting facilities and opportunities to engage with them
      4. The cost of living – including costs of groceries and other goods and services
      5. Cost and availability of housing
      6. Reliable broadband internet/ telephone services – all communications services
      7. Availability of public transport
      8. Daily access to flights
      9. Whether or not there is year-round road access
      10. Cost of water, electricity and other utilities
    3. 13.3. Additional Services or benefits including
      1. Ensuring all public servants in rural and remote locations have access to reliable internet connections. This will also facilitate working from home/ telecommuting options available to Departments.
      2. Increase the amount of government housing, and the quality of this housing. Housing should be available to key support staff as well as professional staff in order to ensure quality public services for our community.
      3. Increase rent assistance or housing allowances for public servants where government housing is unavailable to ensure they can access quality housing.
      4. Abolish the “5 year” rule when public servants are removed from housing, to promote staff staying in the regions.
      5. Improve access to professional development and training for rural, regional and remote workers - either offer training on-site for these staff or provide additional funding and time to attend relevant training and PD in major centres. The additional cost for these workers should not be deducted from any ‘allocation’ of PD funds so that there is no relative disadvantage to Brisbane-metro staff.
  14. Rural and Remote Incentive Schemes
    1. 14.1. As these are different in each Agency, delegates determined that these matters be subject to Agency/Departmental specific claims.
  15. Allowances
    1. 15.1. That there be a review of the First Aid Allowance to increase the payment to to $30 per fortnight. Further, any worker who is required to have a first-aid Workshops certificate should be paid the allowance as a result of this requirement.
    2. 15.2. Motor Vehicle Allowances – that the current Directive and application of the Directive be reviewed to ensure that all employees expected to use their personal vehicle for work purposes be appropriately compensated and paid kilometric allowance.
    3. 15.3. That there be a review of the on-call allowance – and it be increased by the percentage wage increase or CPI, whichever is greater.
    4. 15.4. Further, that a condition of on-call work be that workers are paid a minimum call-out of 2 hours paid per phone call. This should specifically include matters that are resolved on the phone without the need to return to an office.
    5. 15.5. All time worked on issues from home should be counted as additional paid-time work done by the employee, as this is what it is.
    6. 15.6. All current allowances are to be increased annually by the percentage wage increase awarded or the CPI, whichever is greater.
  16. Additional allowances
    1. 16.1. That there be additional Allowances created and paid to those workers who take on additional and important duties in the workplace – that these allowances be for those roles named below and paid at the rate suggested (equivalent to the First Aid Allowance):
    2. 16.2. Fire Wardens and Fire Safety Advisors Allowance - $30 per fortnight.
    3. 16.3. Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator - $30 per fortnight.
    4. 16.4. For those staff elected Workplace Health and Safety Representatives or Advisers (note – some Departments still use the term “Officer” also) - $30 per fortnight.
  17. Domestic Travelling and Relieving Expenses and Conditions
    1. 17.1. In all communities where public servants are to overnight there needs to be:
      1. Safe and secure accommodation
      2. A bed for the worker
      3. Sleeping space to be air-conditioned
      4. Food available or, if groceries are required to be brought in then there should be self-contained cooking facilities of a good standard
      5. Toilet and shower facilities
    2. 17.2. If a remote area is not listed on ‘high cost’ or ‘tier 2’ lists then the hardship allowance for remote areas should be paid to workers staying in these centres, rather than the default ‘Brisbane’ or ‘other’ allowance.
    3. 17.3. Emerald and Roma should be reviewed to be ‘high cost’ country centres.
  18. Bullying
    1. 18.1. A joint government/union working party to be formed to undertake the following:
      1. Develop agreed long-term strategies to eliminate bullying
      2. Undertake a joint review of complaints management with a focus on workplace harassment and bullying in the public sector
      3. Agree and implement sector wide policy in relation to prevention and management of workplace harassment and bullying.
    2. 18.2. This policy must as a minimum:
      1. Be enforceable for the life of the agreement
      2. Set out the WHS responsibilities of agencies with respect to bullying prevention and management of incidents
      3. Set out what steps are to be taken to assess and implement management action to manage risks to workers who make bullying complaints independently of the investigation and discipline process
      4. Prioritise the protection of those at most risk or with less power
      5. Ensure protection against reprisal for complainant and witnesses
      6. Include central reporting of bullying – WHRO or complaints officer model
      7. Set a sector wide standard for communication, and timeframes for resolving bullying complaints.
    3. 18.3. Departments are to report to the union through ACC’s and CCF, and relevant government agencies such as but not limited to DJAG, WHSQ, PSC statistical data as to the number of bullying complaints and the number of substantiated bullying complaints.
  19. Complaint Management
    1. 19.1. Undertake a joint review of complaints management scheme.
    2. 19.2. The resulting new policy/directive/instrument must be agreed to by the union, must be enforceable and must as a minimum:
      1. Create one complaint process for external and internal complaints
      2. Simplify and streamline current processes
      3. Provide natural justice to all parties
      4. Provide for clear and timely communication with Workshops employees
      5. Provide reasonable timeframes for resolution
      6. Create criteria for assessing when to be handled locally, internally or externally and when to be handled informally or formally
      7. Provide escalation points depending on severity of allegations
      8. Provide a right for workers to be represented
      9. Include procedures to protect complainant in hostile situation
      10. Include protection against reprisal.
  20. Discipline
    1. 20.1. Undertake a joint review (between PSIER, PSC and other appropriate agencies and Together) of Public Sector discipline arrangements.
    2. 20.2. The resulting new policy/directive/instrument must be enforceable and must as a minimum:
      1. Provide natural justice to all parties
      2. Provide enforceable provisions establishing principles for natural justice, provision of information, process and criteria for decision making etc.
      3. Provide for clear and timely communication with employees
      4. Provide reasonable timeframes for finalisation
      5. Establish thresholds to determine major and minor disciplinary matters and develop separate processes for each such that minor matters which would result in lesser penalties are subject to a quicker more streamlined process to minimise unnecessary distress
      6. Provide a right for workers to be represented.
    3. 20.3. Appeal rights to be strengthened.
    4. 20.4. Develop guidelines to support more consistent application of penalties.
    5. 20.5. Develop enforceable directive or policy with regards to suspension to be agreed by the union which must contain provisions enforcing criteria for suspension, consideration
  21. Workplace Investigations
    1. 21.1. Develop enforceable directive or policy with regards to workplace investigations to be agreed by the union
    2. 21.2. Must as a minimum:
      1. Define when investigations are required or necessary
      2. Establish principles for when an internal or external investigation is appropriate
      3. Establish principles for terms of reference
      4. Establish minimum and relevant qualifications for investigators
      5. Establish key principles for the conduct of investigations
      6. Establish workers’ rights to information and due process
      7. Outline natural justice requirements
      8. Outline the role of the investigator
      9. Reinforce the role of the decision maker
      10. Provide for agreed protocols for dealing with investigations across multiple agencies or jurisdictions (i.e. Police, CMC etc.)
      11. Provide guidance in relation to legal indemnity by agencies of public sector workers
      12. Provide for clear and timely communication with employees and reasonable timeframes
      13. Provide guidelines for what must be provided in investigation reports.
  22. Medical Assessment Processes
    1. 22.1. Undertake a joint review of medical assessment and retirement processes
    2. 22.2. The resulting new policy/directive/instrument must be agreed by the union, must be enforceable and must as a minimum set out:
      1. When a worker can be sent for assessment
      2. Actions to be taken when work is a contributing factor
      3. What a worker can be directed to consent to
      4. Rights to provide medical information from own doctor
      5. Rights to negotiate the doctor or request second opinion
      6. What information is to be provided to the doctor?
      7. What needs to be considered before medical retirement?
      8. Med retirement is a last resort only
      9. Anti-Discrimination legislation applies to this decision
      10. Sector wide standards and processes for reasonable adjustment
      11. Standards for privacy of medical information
      12. Strong appeal rights for both unfair processes & outcomes
      13. Less formal processes used where possible to avoid undue distress for workers.