TMR Update: Wage rise

Posted November 2, 2011 by Alex Scott

Industrial Relations Commission Recommends Interim Pay Increase for TMR EDA7 employees - Backdated to 1 July 2011!

This update for union members follows on from the all-members update earlier this week. Read on for more detailed information about what is happening in regard to your wages and conditions in TMR.

Please note that this advice is relevant only for non-operational EDA 7 staff. Separate negotiations are being conducted by TMR with the unions representing operational staff (AWU, CFMEU, AMWU, ETU).

It's been a long campaign for TMR members this year. You have always sought wage rises that keep pace with the cost of living, while also trying to ensure a single agreement for everyone in Transport and Main Roads, outside of the Core Agreement. At the same time it was very important for EDA 7 staff to keep the 1 July pay rise date to maximize the benefit of superannuation payments for those retiring in the coming year on Defined Benefits.

egotiations finally broke down when TMR backed away (yet again) from an offer they made in early October. Our next step was to make sure that the Industrial Relations Commission, as the independent umpire, was advised that negotiations had broken down and to ask the Commission to transition from conciliation to arbitration so as to independently determine what is a fair outcome for workers in TMR. This process is now just beginning.

While the process of arbitrating what wages and conditions should be applied for TMR staff takes its course, your union representatives argued that there should be an interim wage rise applied to workers who were due an increase from I July this year - so that you receive some adjustment for increased living costs while the arbitration process unfolds.

Our union sought an interim wage increase in line with the Government wages policy of 2.5%. TMR was not prepared to consider this quantum but said they would consider an interim increase of alignment of EDA 7 staff salaries with Core rates. These were the positions put to the Commission before the decision was made.

In a conciliation conference on the 26th of October 2011 Commissioner Thompson recommended that the wage rates for all non-operational EDA 7 employees be aligned with the rates of pay from the Core Agreement (State Government Departments Certified Agreement 2009) as of 1 August 2011 with an operative date of 1 July 2011. All parties accepted the recommendation.

The interim wage increase will apply to all non-operational EDA 7 employees provided they are employed as of the 26th October  2011. The pay rise will be backdated to 1 July 2011.

Employees of TMR who commenced work with TMR after 1 July 2011 and were employed on EDA 7 rates will have the interim pay increase backdated to their date of commencement.

Accepting the recommendation preserves the operative date of 1 July 2011 which was a critical consideration.

Importantly, those non-operational EDA 7 staff who exit the department after 26 October 2011 by VSP or other form of retirement will receive their severance payments at the higher rate. Those on Defined Benefits superannuation will also benefit from an increase to their Final Average Salary and consequent lump sum.

Please be certain that the wages argument is not over yet! This pay rise is an interim one granted by the Commission. We argued for it. The wages outcome for the replacement agreement for EDA 7 is yet to be arbitrated by the Commission. It remains a key element of the matters to be determined by the arbitration process.

Queensland Police Officers had their agreement arbitrated in 2010, and the decision came down this year - as arbitration can take many months. Police were awarded an interim wage increase of 2.5% last year and then a final wages outcome of 3.8%.  The 3.8% was handed down in the decision this year, so that meant Queensland Police were then back-paid the extra 1.3%. 

Commissioner Thompson has referred our dispute to the President of the Industrial Court so a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission can be established for the arbitration. The wages issue and other key issues raised by Delegates and included in our Log of Claims will be part of this process.

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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