Health Payroll Update

Posted February 19, 2013 by Julie Bignell

Yesterday we wrote to Peter Patmore with a list of outstanding questions that delegates feel must be answered before we can ballot Queensland Health's new Payroll Hub Proposal (version 2).  A copy of this letter can be viewed here.

As we are all aware management has failed to implement the previous agreement which was reached in resolution of our long running classification dispute, as well as an agreement about back-pay with respect to the Statewide Services Reviews.  Specific matters outstanding which have been the subject of conciliation conferences in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission include;

  • Clause 3 - AO3 - AO4Progression with back pay from 1/7/11
  • Clause 4 - Backfilling vacant AO3 roles with back pay from 1/7/11
  • Clause 5 - AO2 - AO3 Progression with back pay from 1/7/11

During the hearings Queensland Health have made it very clear that they won't be implementing our agreement. They cite budgetary constraints and say that it would cost of around $6 million per year for the progression to Senior Payroll Specialist. Queensland Health have threatened that if the QIRC 'orders' them to implement the agreement as written then this could only be funded through the loss of permanent payroll positions. The number and location of positions hasn't been specified.

Queensland Health has put forward an 'Alternative hub proposal' that included a proposed hub structure. The key features of the proposal included:

  • 36 team leaders
  • 48 Senior Payroll Specialists (SPS) ? 1 per team and 1extra per hub
  • These SPS roles are a permanent part of the structure
  • Internal (within the hub) recruitment for all vacant AO3 to AO5 positions (when an AO3, AO4 or AO5 resigns the vacant potion will be advertised within the hub)
  • Training and Development Plans to support advancement of AO2 - AO6.
  • If members agree to an alternative proposal the SPS roles will be implemented by January 2013.

-  This proposal has NO back pay for members

-  This proposal has NO progression from AO2 to AO3

- This proposal has NO detail of how the current 36 Team Leaders would be selected from the current cohort  of 59

- This proposal has doesn't detail how the 23 displaced Team Leaders would be placed into the SPS roles

- This proposal doesn't address the inequity of those members who were substantive AO3.2 and above who couldn't  apply becuase they were in higher duty positions

-  This proposal doesn't address the issue around members putting in an application that only required a pass not one that would have them being rated against other application

At the QIRC hearing the Industrial Relations Commissioner stated that members should consider the alternative proposal. We have been consulting with you around this proposal and after discussion collated a list of 27 questions that were sent to Queensland Health for clarification and their response was provided. Health has made their position clear in stating the alternative proposal is all they are offering and there will be no further negotiations. They have additionally stated that if members vote to reject their proposal then it will be taken off the table entirely. These threats have not been provided in writing, and management has further refused to guarantee that further cuts would not be made if their new proposal was agreed.

Though Queensland Health has supplied some details around the Statewide Review - they have not given any details of the numbers or classification levels. They have not provided details of what has occurred around JAQ and position description creation . They have advised that they believe between 55 and 65 permanent hub staff should get appointed to a Statewide Teams but have not provided details around this.

The department's proposed settlement of the agreement significantly undercuts  what was originally agreed to and means that members who otherwise would have progressed through the classification structure may not expect any back-pay.  Progression and career-pathing is also negatively affected.

Your representatives believe that it is completely unfair to expect members to vote on a proposal which does not spell out the full details of how it would work, and also fails to state what the alternative would be.  It is extremely important that you are able to make an informed decision around this matter and have all of the information available to do this.  We await a response from the department business close of business tomorrow, and are prepared to escalate this matter should the full detail requested not be provided.

If you have any questions or comments please contact your delegate or email payroll@together.org.au.

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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