Important Update

Posted by dangoldman on September 5, 2013

Your representatives met with management on Thursday 29 August and bargaining representatives agreed “in principle” to the key features of the new enterprise agreement and the wage offer from management. The process for consulting with staff and balloting the agreement was discussed and a tentative timeframe agreed.

Management then went through the proposed agreement to discuss the drafting of the clauses that have been discussed. 

In this draft agreement were a number of potentially significant changes to your rights and entitlements, however after discussion with your union representatives, Mater have agreed to remove proposals to change overtime arrangements for non shift-workers and allow 12 hours shifts in the future. This is a good outcome for your entitlements.

There are a few changes to your conditions that management are seeking that remain outstanding and it is important that you are aware of them when you cast your vote in the ballot. These are below:

Shift work definition

Management are seeking to change the eligibility for the “extra week leave” that is currently provided to anyone who “works for more than four ordinary hours on 10 or more weekends during the year”. Under the proposal it would now only be provided to people who are “regularly rostered to work Sundays and Public Holidays”. Anyone who works or is likely to work on a Saturday on 10 or more times a year but not regularly on Sundays or PH’s will lose their weeks leave. 

Doctor’s certificate

Currently you only need to provide a medical certificate if you are sick for 3 or more days. Management want you to have to provide it after 2 days meaning that on the second day you or your child is sick you have to see a doctor and get a certificate.

Abandonment of Employment 

Mater wanted a clause that says that if you are away from work (without leave or consent) for three days then Mater considers you have "abandoned" your employment and can terminate it. Your union representatives have advocated for a clause that makes sure employees have an opportunity to explain why they have not attended work before a disciplinary process can be undertaken. The new clause is below:

9.1.5 Abandonment of Employment

If an Employee is absent from the workplace for more than three days, without notification to Mater, Mater may form the view that the Employee has abandoned their employment. Mater will endeavour to make all reasonable attempts to contact the Employee and provide an opportunity for the Employee to establish the reasons for their absence.

If after this initial period of absence contact cannot be made with the employee or the employee cannot provide an authorised reason for absence, Mater may initiate disciplinary action in accordance with Mater policy, which may include termination of employment. This process shall ensure a fair and just process with the employee concerned ensuring that they have at least 7 days to respond in writing to a request from Mater to establish to the satisfaction of Mater that they were absent for reasonable cause.

If termination is reasonable in all of the circumstances and occurs, the Employee will be paid for wages and entitlements owing to their last day of completed work, less any wages owed in respect of unprovided notice of resignation. Written notice will be sent to the employee advising that their employment is terminated as a result of Abandonment of Employment.

Mater intends to start consultation sessions with staff to explain the proposed agreement on Wednesday for one week and then the agreement will go to an online ballot of all staff. 

Please send any feedback to any of these issues to


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together Queensland.
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