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Together Queensland Log of Claims Core 2018

Central Issues

Preamble:

This document forms the central log of claims for Together members in respect of a replacement of the State Government Entities Agreement 2015. This document is without prejudice and for further negotiation and discussion and Together members reserve the right to make further claims.

The 2015 Core Agreement is still being implemented through the CCF and ACC’s. There are several outstanding issues and matters to be carried over. Together reserves the right to add any outstanding matters from the previous agreement to this log of claims should the current agreement expire before they are implemented.

Together also notes the significant discussion and ongoing reviews in relation to:

  • Temporary employment and employment security, particularly in relation to the implementation of Directive 08/17

Agency groups reserve the right to raise additional claims in respect to agency specific issues or conditions.

1. Wages

  1. That employees receive annual wage increases in accordance with the following principles
    1. A minimum of $50 per week, or 3.5% whichever is greater, for each year of the agreement.
    2. This increase would support lessening the gender pay gap that exists in the department.
    3. Wage increases are to be fully and centrally funded

2. Superannuation

Preamble: That the employer acknowledges that Together members have won higher superannuation contributions as part of previous wage negotiations.

  1. That superannuation payments should be based on OTE (Ordinary Time Earnings) including shift penalties.
  2. That the QSUPER trust deed, or such other instrument as is required, be altered, so as to give effect to the following:
    1. That any Federal Government increase to the Superannuation Guarantee be reflected in superannuation improvements in the public sector.
    2. That superannuation contributions by both the employee and the employer be adjusted immediately, when an employee’s pay changes rather than on 1 July each year.
    3. That the calculation of the final payout for members of the QSuper Defined Benefit Scheme be based on the member’s salary at the time of resignation, (or a higher amount for example under a transition to retirement arrangement).
  3. On an annual basis the Employer will:
    1. allow the Employee reasonable time to arrange and complete an ASIC accredited financial literacy course; and
    2. pay the Employee a sum of $500 towards the cost of advice from an ASIC accredited financial planner.

3. Superannuation for women

Preamble: That the employer acknowledges that the superannuation system is systematically biased and failing women, who are simply not being assisted by super towards a reasonable standard of living in retirement. Women’s superannuation balances at retirement are 47% lower than men’s. As a result, women are far more likely to experience poverty in retirement in their old age

  1. In addition to the contributions made by the Employer pursuant to the QSUPER deed the Employer will make superannuation contributions equal to the superannuation contributions that the Employer would have made in respect of that Employee had that Employee been receiving his/her rate of pay during the period of unpaid primary carer leave taken by the Employee.
  2. The Employer will make additional superannuation contributions where a worker’s superannuation is not on track to meet the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) retirement standard by the age of 65.

4. Improving gender equity

  1. Flexible work arrangements to be extended to all workers in order to meet caring responsibilities.
  2. Carers leave entitlements, in particular those related to caring for school age children, children with a disability or elderly family members to be extended and encouraged for all workers.
  3. Paid Parental Leave entitlements to be improved and extended to all primary carers.
  4. An agreement wide review will be undertaken on the access of workers to flexible working arrangements including parental leave and carers leave to identify and remove:
    1. obstacles for staff accessing these arrangements
    2. negative impacts these arrangements have on individuals access to promotional opportunities and
    3. the unintended consequences of these polices on the broader employment practices within each agency.

Recommendations of the review will be implemented centrally and by agencies.

Each agency consultative forum will subsequently review these on an annual basis.

5. Temporary Employment and Employment Security

  1. That Government entities acknowledge the government commitment to employment security for all workers.
  2. That Government entities acknowledge
    1. the incredibly high rate of insecure employment, particularly for low paid workers and women workers that exists at the current time;
    2. that high levels of temporary and “higher duties” employment, tends to result in a culture conducive to bullying and harassment.
    3. that the Temporary Employment Directive 8/17 has not addressed the significant issues surrounding job security for staff and that the reviews are not occurring in a timely fashion in accordance with the prescribed timeframes.
  3. That temporary and higher duties staff will not be denied conversion to permanency due to the failure of the department to follow the Recruitment and Selection Directive.
  4. That staff who have worked in ‘higher duties’ roles consistently for more than two years be appointed to those roles permanently if the role becomes substantively vacant or is ‘ongoing’.
  5. That after a period of two years of meritorious service a temporary employee will be deemed appointed on merit and converted to permanent status for all their current hours, or the hours they were undertaking immediately prior to any leave that they are taking at the time of review.
  6. That employees have access to conversion to permanent status after continuous temporary employment, even if in different roles within a Department or Agency.
  7. Part-time staff will be able to seek maximisation of permanent hours.

6. Employment Security

  1. There will be no redundancies or retrenchments during the life of this agreement including for long term temporary staff.  
  2. Redeployment across the sector should be the first option considered and exhausted by any Department prior to any consideration of redundancies, or other separations.
  3. Any attempt to reduce the size of the workforce through natural attrition or redundancies or other measures must be accompanied by workload impact studies to be completed and reported to Consultative Committees prior to any decision to offer redundancies, not to fill vacancies, not to backfill staff on leave or secondment or to abolish vacant positions. (Refer Reasonable Workloads Claim).
  4. There will be no contracting out or privatisation of jobs or services during the life of the Agreement
  5. That the Government commit to only using casual employment or agency (labour hire) staff when absolutely necessary
    1. Labour hire staff will not be used until a recruitment process has been run for a public service officer to perform the role and been unsuccessful.
    2. Labour hire contractors may never be engaged for less take home pay than the public sector worker that they are replacing.  
    3. These provisions will be monitored and enforced by Consultative Committees. (Refer Consultation Claim).
  6. The use of external consultants will be minimised – for example, only in instances where appropriate workers cannot be recruited to the public service, and in that case role descriptions and levels should also be reviewed, in case it is classification levels that is prohibiting recruitment. That this will be monitored and enforced by Consultative Committees. (Refer Consultation Claim).
  7. In circumstance where consultants or labour hire arrangements occur due to the existing workforce not having the required skill set to undertake the project or roles required, contracts should include skills and knowledge transfer as part of the contract conditions where there is a requirement for ongoing use of those skills/knowledge.

7. Career Paths, Classifications - General

  1. That the Government review the classification levels and the work undertaken across the Agencies covered by the Agreement to ensure equality of pay and work/responsibility with a whole of government standard. That this review of classification and position titles across Agencies is designed to ensure there is equity and no relative disadvantage.
  2. This will include a review of stream designation in the CRS and relativities between streams.
  3. No employee is to be disadvantaged as a result of 7.1.
  4. That the Government commit to access to higher duties in all centres and that higher duties opportunities are to be advertised and recruited to across regions.
  5. That an employee is remunerated immediately when required to perform work at a higher level.
  6. That the Government commit to increase access to progression between all levels, in all streams, to and in all areas of the state, to create real career paths.
  7. The Government is to report quarterly to the CCF and through Agencies to ACCs as to how career paths are improving and include quantitative data as to how many employees have progressed and their classification level.

8. Restoring merit-based career paths

  1. That all non-base grade vacant positions will be advertised for internal appointment prior to external advertising except with agreement of the agency consultative committee.
  2. That internal applicants may be permanently appointed to a higher-level position following an internal appointment process. There is no requirement for an external process.
  3. Each agency will develop through their ACC a scheme to promote internal transfers between regional locations as part of the recruitment process.
  4. That the incumbent will be directly appointed to any positions which are re-classified.
  5. That Higher Duties will only be used to fill a vacant position for a maximum period of twelve months.  All higher duties opportunities must be shared between eligible employees within the work unit.
  6. Agencies will take steps to address unconscious bias and promote equality and diversity in appointments.
  7. Agencies will develop work level statements for positions as a replacement for the JEMS methodology where possible. Where JEMS continues as the job evaluation methodology, it will be subject to robust governance processes.
  8. Agencies will reinstate unattachment and relinquishment policies that provide for permanent recruitment to roles that are vacant through secondment in a way that ensures the security and continuity of employment for the unattached worker and maximises permanent placement in the seconded role.  
  9. Agencies will have the capacity to enter into agency specific arrangements within six months of certification of the agreement to enable the conversion of existing labour-hire and temporary employees to permanent positions and the permanent appointment of workers on higher duties to the higher classification.
  10. That each agency includes within the Working for Queensland survey, which will occur annually, additional specific questions on the confidence of workers in the recruitment and selection processes within the agency and provide a detailed report to its consultative committee on the results.

9. Maintenance and improvement of allowances

  1. Any worker who is required to have a first-aid certificate should be paid the First Aid Allowance as a result of this requirement.
  2. That the current Directive relating to Motor Vehicle Allowances and the application of the Directive be reviewed to ensure that all employees expected to use their personal vehicle for work purposes be appropriately compensated and paid a kilometric allowance.
  3. Kilometric allowance should be increased as the relative cost of fuel has increased.
  4. That all current allowances are to be increased annually by the percentage wage increase awarded or the CPI, whichever is greater.
  5. Qualifications Allowance shall be paid on attainment of the qualification, not paid only when 12 months at top increment completed
  6. Higher duties allowance paid on all forms of leave during or at the end of periods of higher duties
  7. Higher duties to be paid immediately when fulfilling duties of higher level role.
  8. Travel expenses amounts should be reviewed and increased to reflect actual current costs and indexed to inflation or wage increase whichever is greater.

10. Additional allowances

  1. That there be additional allowances created and paid to those workers who take on additional and important duties in the workplace – that these allowances be for those roles named below and paid at the rate suggested:
    1. Fire Wardens and Fire Safety Advisors Allowance -$60 per fortnight.
    2. Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator - $60 per fortnight.
    3. For those staff elected Workplace Health and Safety Representatives or Advisers (note –some Departments still use the term “Officer” also) -$60 per fortnight.
  2. That employees in these roles be allocated sufficient time free from other duties to complete these responsibilities.

11. On Call and Recall

  1. That there be a review of the quantum of the on-call allowance to better recognise the imposition of holding oneself available for work.
  2. That there be annual increases to the new allowance rate by the percentage wage increase or CPI, whichever is greater.
  3. Further, that a condition of on-call work be that workers are paid a minimum call-out of 2 hours paid per phone call. This should specifically include matters that are resolved on the phone without the need to return to an office.
  4. That all time worked on issues from home should be counted as additional paid work done by the employee
  5. That all employees at all levels are remunerated with overtime for work performed on recall and not just TOIL.

12. Professional development and training

  1. Ensuring all workers have equal access to appropriate, quality professional development and training funds
  2. Professional development allowance for all workers.
  3. Ensuring all workers have access to paid time off to attend training and professional development
  4. Ensuring all workers have access to the AQF additional payments at every increment level where the scheme currently applies
  5. Ensuring that the employer pays for any continuing professional development (CPD) that is required to maintain professional or discipline registration, as part of a worker’s employment.
  6. Access and availability of study support and leave for attaining higher qualifications required for career progression (whether immediate or in the future) for all staff.

13. Union and Delegate Rights

  1. That the Government commit that all workers will continue to have access to union delegates and union staff in the workplace during work hours.
  2. That Together delegates on Consultative Committees be given access to communicate with staff about the business of the consultative committees through email and other communication channels (e.g., intranet, yammer, discussion boards etc) on at least a quarterly basis to provide agreed feedback on the work of the Consultative Committees. This is to be included in the template ACC TOR.
  3. The provision of union notice boards in each workplace.
  4. The provision of resources and facilities for union delegates in the workplace.
  5. Provision of a list of all staff employed by or for the entity quarterly, including:
    1. job title
    2. employment status (temp/perm/casual/labour hire)
    3. work email
    4. work location (specific enough to physically locate employee)
    5. work phone number
  6. The opportunity for an official or delegate to attend and address new staff at a face to face induction.
  7. Active encouragement to join the union on engagement and provision of “new starter data” electronically – on a more regular basis – e.g., when they are employed.
  8. Union delegates may facilitate a paid-time union meeting in their workplace at least once per month to provide information and engage with staff about EB implementation and other matters.

14. Workplace Consultation

  1. That Consultative Committees should continue as the minimum and standard form of consultation and the relevant decision maker/s be required to attend each and every committee meeting.
  2. The decision maker refers to the Director General of the Agency and/or any person who has the appropriate delegated authority in that they have the capacity to make a binding decision with regards to the issues being raised and discussed.
  3. That the Government commit that no workers’ conditions will be changed without agreement from those workers.
  4. That the Government agree to a requirement that workers be consulted prior to any decision being made that may affect their employment, welfare, workload or job satisfaction.
  5. That prior to making any decision mentioned above Departments and Agencies be required to demonstrate clear benefits in a business case tabled for the purposes of consultation at the relevant Consultative Committee.
  6. That the Government develop standards by agreement with public sector unions to govern the provision of information as part of a consultation process.
  7. The standards referred to above must require that the information provided as part of a consultation be provided in a timely way and that it must include as a minimum:
    1. Who will be affected by the change (NAMES OF IMPACTED STAFF)
    2. How they will be affected
    3. Justification of the change
    4. Costs and cost benefit
    5. Time frames
    6. Consultation process
    7. Positions and levels of change
    8. Review and evaluation process
    9. How this will work within consultative committees. 
  8. That where any worker is to have their physical work location moved more than a reasonable distance from their existing work location those workers are entitled to consultation about compensation for the change in circumstances. (In addition to any existing rights such as to refuse a transfer on reasonable grounds, constructive dismissal etc).

    Reasonable distance is defined as 50 minutes’ drive or 50km from the employees’ home address.
  9. The consultation regarding location must include but is not limited to discussion and consideration of:
    1. Compensation for the additional cost of public transport (such as busses, trains,) etc.),
    2. Private transport (such as car parking etc)
    3. Provision of direct assistance such as providing shuttle busses, car parking etc
    4. Additional assistance such as facilitating, providing or compensating for local childcare, additional time to travel, accommodation etc.
  10. That the Government commit to genuine consultation whereby employees have the bona fide opportunity to influence the decision maker.

15. Cultural Respect

  1. The parties recognise the cultural diversity, rights, views and expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the delivery of culturally appropriate services and that additional consultation may be required if changes to services are proposed to ensure there is a community benefit.
  2. That all staff should undertake cultural awareness training very 1-2 years.

16. Reasonable Workloads

  1. Review of the implementation and effectiveness of the workload management guide
  2. All base-grade vacancies to be advertised within 2 weeks of the vacancy arising
  3. All other vacancies to be advertised within 4 weeks of the vacancy arising
  4. Staff to be backfilled when absent for a period of greater than 3 days, regardless of the type of leave taken.
  5. Relief pools to be introduced in every Agency in order to facilitate backfilling.
  6. Whole of government or regional relief pools also to be introduced.
  7. Higher duties to be utilised to backfill roles as development opportunities for staff. Higher duties allowances should be paid immediately when fulfilling duties of the higher level role.
  8. The employer is to provide relevant unions with a list of resignations (consisting of job title and work location) on a quarterly basis, unless agreed between the employer and union to be on a more regular basis. This information is to be provided electronically.
  9. The local organiser/delegate may also request from the relevant local HR/line manager to be notified immediately of relevant employee resignations to assist in monitoring of timeframes to fill vacancies.
  10. Staff should be provided with the proper tools to undertake their roles in the most efficient way possible. Where IT systems are significantly under-resourced this is adding to workload pressures. Costs being 'saved' by under-resourcing systems is not serving anyone well.

17. Work-life balance

  1. Formal recognition of:
    1. Transition to retirement
    2. Career break
    3. Flexible working arrangements / work from home
    4. Smart work centres
  2. Ongoing commitment by management to assisting workers to balance work and life
  3. Managers to not unreasonably refuse requests by workers to access work/life initiatives
  4. Right of appeal if refused.

18. Hours of work

  1. There shall be no loss of accrued hours or TOIL for any worker. Should a worker not be able to take any of their accrued time for 12 months, the time, at the employees’ choice, may be paid out or carried forward to the following year.
  2. That managers cannot unreasonably refuse applications to take accrued time or TOIL. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees’ workloads are properly managed and that they have the ability to take accrued time off. This should be proactively negotiated with the employee.
  3. The carry-over period is to be increased to 10 working days per calendar month.
  4. Paid overtime available for every worker who is performing it, at their election (instead of TOIL) – remove the cap at AO5(4).
  5. "Preparatory time" or the ten minutes required to be 'ready to work' in contact centres across government is work and must be included as paid time worked on that shift.

19. Regional, Rural and remote

  1. A restatement of the need for Cabinet approval before any position can be removed from a regional location.  It is not acceptable that a position remains within a region, if a position is removed from a vulnerable regional centre and placed in larger centre.  State Government shall actively look at placing more positions in vulnerable regional centres. Create a Steering Committee to examine what work could be performed in regional centres. This would potentially deliver savings to government due to the lower rental and accommodation costs.
  2. Members in regional centres report hardship when family members or themselves require specialist medical treatment or specialist services and training.  We seek additional leave for members in remote centres to attend medical appointments and educational/professional development opportunities.
  3. Together seeks an allowance to supplement costs in towns affected by mining booms and other economic barriers like remoteness. Additional rent assistance should be provided when accommodation costs are rising.
  4. Together seeks special consideration for member in remote and rural communities to access professional development opportunities.   All member located in the same area as the 5 weeks leave should be afforded $2000 in professional development.
  5. Add Emerald and Roma to the list of approved centres for 5 weeks paid recreation leave as it takes a much longer time to travel from these centres.
  6. Address the disparity in accommodation opportunities for regional and rural workers by providing more government housing. This housing should then be provided equitably to public servants in given locations, this includes 'local' staff who also require housing.
  7. Provide rent assistance for employees in regional locations with high rent prices like Emerald and Thursday Island.
  8. Provide 2 flights paid per year for officers from regional centres like Emerald to the main centres (eg. Brisbane) as part of the rural, remote incentive package.
  9. Provide a framework to allow and govern regional, rural and remote workers taking leave or undertaking personal travel or accommodation in conjunction with work related travel.   
  10. All regional and remote conditions are to apply to temporary workers.

20. Community Recovery

  1. Public service employees must be released to undertake Community Recovery duties through the Ready Reserve where roles need to be filled – including to the Regional Incident Management Team. 
  2. Agency (labour hire) staff should only be used when public service employees are unavailable. 
  3. Agency (labour hire) staff should not be used to undertake roles that might otherwise constitute as ‘higher duties’ opportunities for public service employees on the Ready Reserve.

21. Salary Sacrifice

  1. The government will review salary sacrifice arrangements across the core to ensure consistency (subject to federal legislation and tax arrangements).

22. Sick leave

  1. Recognition of military service or service in other government agencies for the purpose of meritorious sick leave.
  2. Access to sick leave for the purpose of attending medical appointments.
  3. Additional sick leave for workers in roles that deal with crisis situations (e.g., Police Comms room etc).  

23. Support for workers with mental illness

  1. Better support for mental illness in the workplace including additional leave provisions, requesting change of duties for a period of time and better acknowledgement of mental health in the workplace.

24. Fair treatment at work

  1. Review of all discipline, workplace investigations and complaint management processes, timelines and penalties
  2. A review of these areas in line with a review of the Public Service Act
  3. A review and clarification of how performance management works

25. Bullying and harassment

  1. There will be a process to identify ways that workers either by themselves, or as a group, can effectively blow the whistle on bullying and harassment.

26. No Disadvantage / no diminution

  1. No individual employee will be disadvantaged in their average ordinary earnings or overall entitlements and conditions as a result of the introduction of this Agreement.
  2. There shall be no diminution of existing conditions for employees under this Agreement
  3. Unless inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement, the entitlement of employees covered by this Agreement as contained in awards, agreements, Ministerial Directives, or determinations made under the Public Service Act 2008 effective at the date this Agreement was made will not be reduced for the life of this Agreement.

27 Award Issues

  1. Restore the definition of day shift to not start before 6.00am.
  2. Insert definition for overtime for shift workers,
  3. Clarify that overtime on public holiday is to be paid at twice the double time rate.
  4. Restore the spread of hours for casual employees to 9.00 am to 5pm.
  5. Each agency is to provide to the union the current agency hours of work arrangements to be reviewed and agreed at the relevant Consultative Committee.

28. MOHRI Review

Preamble:

On 20 July the Premier and the Treasurer announced a Review into Queensland public sector workforce reporting. This review is to be conducted in two stages with the first stage addressing current workforce reporting and the second stage to make recommendations in respect of “the public sector of tomorrow” including the rapidly changing nature of public work, the workforce and workplaces.

The Premier has also announced a commitment to employment security through this process and acknowledged the role of the public service – our members – in achieving the government priorities now and in the future.

The scope of the review has the potential to have significant industrial impacts for Together members and also raise matters of significant interest to our members in terms of the nature of their work, and the delivery of services to Queenslanders into the future.

Claim:

Together seeks:

  1. Confirmation that no employees will be forced into unemployment as a result of the review and its recommendations and that the employment security of our members will not be effected
  2. To be consulted throughout Stage 1 of the review and to be briefed on the issues paper or interim report from Stage 1 of the process as soon as possible after it has been provided to government.
  3. To be consulted throughout Stage 2 of the review and in relation to any recommendations prior to the final report being presented to government
  4. To be consulted in relation to government’s response to the review report and about the implementation of any recommendations of the review
  5. That any recommendations that impact on the employment security or otherwise significantly on Together members will only be implemented by agreement

29. Code of Conduct

Preamble:

The PSC is proposing significant changes to the Code of Conduct for the public service that go beyond what is currently provided for in the Public Sector Ethics Act and significantly impinge on the rights of Together members outside of work.

To that effect these appear to be changes to the conditions of employment of our members.

These changes have been distributed to public servants for comment despite the objections of our union and commitments made by the PSC to remove the offending provisions.

Claim:

  1. Together seeks for the current process of the PSC to amend the code of conduct be ceased and any significant change to the code be undertaken through EB negotiations in the Core Agreement.

30. Public Service Act Review

Preamble:

The Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet finalised its Queensland Public Service Commission Governance Review in December 2016. This review recommended significant changes to the governance of the Public Service Commission, which would require amendments to the Act.

Together Queensland continues to believe that the lack of an Equity Commissioner as existed in previous governance structures such as the Public Service Management Commission has been a significant contributor to gender pay inequity, which has increased since the 1996 changes to the Act.

Further the Act contains a number of other significant limitations and unintended consequences which should be addressed by the Queensland Government as a priority to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Queensland public service.

We believe that the Queensland ALP policy relating to the re-statement of the provision of Equality in Public Sector Employment legislation should also be included in any review or amendments to the Act.

Claim:

Given the importance of this legislation to the Queensland public service Together seeks an urgent review of this legislation to be commenced as part of the implementation of the 2016 review of the Public Service Commission including:

  1. Review of all performance management, discipline, workplace investigations and complaint management processes, timelines and penalties
  2. Review of appeal arrangements to provide fair treatment
  3. Include an Equity Commissioner in the governance structure of the PSC