Union News: August 2017
Welcome to August and this month's edition of Union News!
Together members have access to advice and assistance on workplace matters. Whether it’s a question about your entitlements, your employer wants to meet with you about complaints or an investigation, you are injured at work or any other workplace matter, Together is here to help.
Read on for news from around our union!
Long-term temporary workers: have you filled in your survey?
Because of action by Together members, Queensland government departments are finally being required to address temporary employment within their ranks.
The new government directive means many long-term temporary public sector workers are eligible to be made permanent in their jobs. Together members can access support and representation throughout the process.
Right now over 400 applications are being processed by the union office representing members in claims for permanent employment and some applications by members have already been successful.
Where members initiate reviews with representation from the union office, your employer is required to respond in 28 days. Agencies are also required to contact every long-term temporary worker by the end of September.
None of this would have been possible without the collective power of union members in your workplaces!
If you are a public sector long-term temporary worker, take the first step and complete the survey below most relevant to you:
Custodial Corrections: Body cameras need vests
Evidence from a trial into body cameras for Custodial Corrections Officers made it clear that the best practice for body cameras would be to mount them on vests. Despite this, Queensland Corrective Services rolled out body camera implementation without vests and not in line with the agreed best practice.
After Together members raised these concerns, management responded by assuring delegates that while any staff member who wishes to wear a camera without a vest is free to do so, nobody will be directed to wear one without a vest.
Corrections delegates will continue to work with QCS to ensure that the issuing of vests for the appropriate use of the body cameras is dealt with promptly.
Qantas announce Queensland jobs to go to Sydney
Qantas Airports announced a decision to centralise its Workforce Planning (WFP) function into the Qantas Campus in Mascot, Sydney. As a result of this decision, up to 101 ASU/Together covered positions in ports across Australia may become redundant, including eighteen positions located in Brisbane.
Qantas did not consult the union at all and staff were told about this decision at the same time as the union. Qantas has a 20 year history of failed attempts to centralise workforces in Sydney. There has been no justification on how and why Qantas believe centralising its WFP will work this time around.
ASU/Together is currently preparing to lodge a dispute in the Fair Work Commission to vigorously protect provisions in the ASU EBA 11 surrounding change management and consultation.
It's important that Qantas members stick together during this process and make sure management hear the from members about this unfair decision.
School Support Staff Recognition Week
Together members in schools across Queensland came together to celebrate School Support Recognition Week.
Business Managers, Administration Officers, Schools Officers, Agricultural Assistants, Therapists, IT Officers, Unit Support Officers and Science Operations Officers are stars in our schools. They make sure that schools run safely and smoothly.
Schools members have come off the back of an incredible two years where they successfully won changes to the school support staff funding model and secured IT support in every state school.
The momentum isn't slowing down - over 100 new members have joined Together in schools in the last 2 weeks. By growing their voice and their power, schools members will continue to win.
Congratulations and thank you Together members for the important work you do in our great state schools!
Raise the Rebate and help The Parenthood cut childcare costs
Your union is committed to working with organisations like The Parenthood to drive positive change in our workplaces. The Parenthood run campaigns on issues that affect all working parents like family friendly workplaces, paid parental leave and childcare.
Those of us who have children in childcare know the financial hit around April or May (and sometimes earlier!) when our childcare rebate runs out and our fees skyrocket before new financial year begins. We know all too well the urge to pull them out of care for those months - but that comes at a cost to our careers and our kids' early education.
The good news is the government has increased the yearly cap for most parents from $7,613 to $10,000, meaning thousands of working parents will soon be paying less for childcare. The bad news is this doesn’t kick in until 1 July 2018 and working parents will have to endure another year of skyrocketing childcare fees.
That is why The Parenthood have launched a campaign to Raise the Rebate. They are asking Together members to email their local MP to ask them to support bringing forward the start date of the rebate increase to 1 January 2018.
Nominations open for Branch Conference positions
Nominations are now open for a number of currently vacant positions on Together Branch Conference. The elections for these positions will be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission. Those delegates who are already elected to Together Branch Conference remain on Branch Conference and do not need to re-nominate.
Nominations will be open until 1 September 2017. For full details of the positions and the process for nomination please see the notice here.
Proposed alterations to union rules
Some alterations to the union's rules are being proposed. For full details of the proposed changes see here.
If you haven't already, you can access your tax statement on your Together mypage using your email address or membership number here. If you haven't signed in before or have forgotten the password you set up last year, click the "forgot password" link and follow the prompts.