Update: 29 July 2013

Posted by dangoldman on July 29, 2013

Dear members,

Your members representatives have met three times now with management in negotiations for your new enterprise agreement. Based on a survey of members and discussions with other bargaining representatives your union has submitted a log of claims on 13 June 2013 which can be found here and some additional claims on 18 July 2013 here

Management have responded to the first log of claims and are considering the additional material provided. The first round of responses is contained in this document, along with items that Mater Management are seeking. Please provide any comment or feedback to health@together.org.au.

The Mater have invited us to respond to their responses and log of claims. The union office provides the following advice:

Shift penalties on annual leave   

Currently shift workers applying for annual leave receive the higher of a 17.5% loading or the shift penalties they would have received if they had worked their rostered hours. Management are seeking to remove the payment of shift penalties and pay the allowance to everyone because of the administrative difficulty in calculating the penalties.

Suggested response: ASU members are prepared to consider this proposal in conjunction with a consideration of the quantum of the package. Members seek for some costing analysis to be provided in relation to an "average" shift and the maximum possible penalty calculation and recognise that there are cost benefits to the employer from both the decrease in payment s as well as administrative costs.

Qualification allowance 

The employer has acknowledged that the MPH Admin EA is the only EA in MPH without a Qualification Allowance clause and have agreed to provide one. They have stated that $20 per fortnight is consistent with the allowance paid to other employee groups. This is the case, however administration staff in the public hospital receive closer to 3 times that.

Suggested response: Members are interested in the allowance and will consider it in the context of the quantum of the package. Members note that the Mater Public admin agreement contains qualifications allowances of up to approx. $57 per fortnight.

Long Service Leave 

The employer is seeking to add a clause allowing employees to be directed to take long service leave. The union office recommends members strongly oppose such a clause. 

Suggested response: While ASU members acknowledge that the purpose of annual leave is to ensure that employees can have regular breaks from work, long service leave has a very different purpose. The purpose of long service leave according to the AIRC(now FWC) is to provide employees with an extended leave of absence in order to renew their energies; to reward long and faithful service with an employer; and to reduce labour turnover. While their needs to be a balance, these purposes are not generally served by employees using long service leave regularly, and certainly not die to operational convenience for the employer. Therefore ASU member do not consider it appropriate for long service leave to be directed by management. 

Reclassification process  

Management has sought to take this clause out as the reclassification process was undertaken. The union suggests this be agreed to; but a clause be retained allowing an employee to seek a review of the appropriate classification of a role, for example where a role has changed over time. 

Carers leave and overtime 

These clauses appear to have no disadvantage and the union office advises members to agree. 

Member claims 

The union advises members that they should consider costing information and a wage offer from the employer before deciding which claims to continue to pursue

Next meeting 

The next meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, please send any feedback to health@together.org.au


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together Queensland.
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