Custodial Corrections: Weekly Collective Agreement report back
At the meeting this week we had further discussions around meal breaks and the issue of compensation when on WorkCover.
Meal Breaks of Escorts
It's very early days with respect to discussions around the meal breaks on escorts but there was definite movement. There is a range of concerns relating to escort meals. Firstly there is the over-riding requirement to actually get a break wherever possible to deal with fatigue; secondly there is the issue of entitlement to a decent meal and compensation where that does not occur; and finally there is the requirement to compensate when exceptional circumstances means a break cannot be taken.
The discussions so far have only dealt with the last element but there is agreement that the other elements also need to be addressed. The proposal so far from QCS is based on what the Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) awarded in the recent Ambulance Determination. Basically, for every minute past the time when you should have started a break i.e after five and a half hours for the first one and 11 hours for the second, you will be compensated by additional ordinary time until you get a break - up to a maximum of one hour ordinary time on each occasion.
So if you started your break 6 hours after you started work, you would have worked 30 minutes past the time you should have started your break and would therefore get an extra 30 minutes ordinary time for the shift. If you worked more than six and half hours without a break you would reach the maximum compensation of an extra hour of ordinary time. The same thing would happen for the second break. So if you went a whole shift without a break you would receive an additional two hours ordinary time.
Obviously the best thing to do is actually get a break but the fact that the Department is seriously looking at some sort of recompense if you don't is positive.
On the issue of restoring the top-up when you are on workers comp, we have had some initial discussions about the previous scheme. Under that scheme for the first 26 weeks where WorkCover only pays 85% of Normal Weekly Earnings, QCS used to make up the difference. This practice was stopped in late 2012 under Marlene Morison and before the change of government. The Department has tabled some data that shows that they are getting a much better return to work rate now the top up has been removed – we noted that this is hardly surprising since people can't afford not to and sometimes they come back to work when they aren’t ready to, which is dangerous. We all made it absolutely clear that it isn't reasonable for a CCO to intervene in a brawl knowing that he or she could lose pay as a result – more negotiations to follow.
Remember if you have any questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask any of the delegates from the Negotiating Team or Collective Agreement Steering Committee listed below:
Adrian Burke (TCC), Mark Weber (CCC), Jason Hunt (Woodford), Peter Clarke (Wolston), Shannon Richards (Borallon), Darryl McNamara (BCC), Scott Mawhinney from ESB and myself, John Stack (Lotus Glen).
Dave McInnes, Ron Wadforth, Geoff Jensen, Tobin Price, Tim Ryan, Sean Harvey, Scott Rieson, Jay Boal, Darryl Gleich, Barry Millwood, Lee Shore, and John Wilson.
Remember to talk to your colleagues about joining your union.
We'll provide you an new update after next week's meeting.