January 20, 2020
We hope you are having a positive start to 2020 at work.
Together we can make great improvements to work this year.
As many members would recall in December 2019 Together members voted to accept a new proposal from the government to settle a large number of outstanding claims in the ongoing bargaining process.
The government has accepted many of your key claims and agreed to pay the $1250, and we will still be progressing our arbitration seeking a higher wage outcome later in the year.
Thanks to the hard work and persistence of union members the government made this much improved offer with better conditions. This ensures all public servants covered by the Core Agreement will be paid the $1250 'one off' payment while we will continue to prosecute the case for higher wages before the independent umpire.
Over the Christmas/New Year period the Office of Industrial Relations and your union office staff have been working on drafting the terms agreed into a full legal document. There is more to do this week.
Once the agreement is fully 'drafted' (written up) it will be distributed to you as union members.
While union members have already voted on the offer there will also need to be an all-staff ballot on the fully-drafted agreement before it can be 'certified' by the Industrial Relations Commission. You get to vote again!
The new entitlements and new wages arbitration process will not commence until the agreement is certified.
You will also vote in the all-staff ballot: you should remind your colleagues, who may not be union members, that none of these improvements, the one-off payment and opportunity for higher pay would have happened without union members like you and they should join you to make sure they are up to date and part of these exciting changes.
The good news is that your $1250 one-off payment (pro-rata for part-time staff) will be paid soon.
We have been following up with government decision makers and understand that payments will be processed in February/March. There are final approvals to be given by government before the payment is made.
We understand that if you are on leave (even unpaid leave) – you will be paid the one-off payment.
The one-off payment is part of your salary and will be paid in one of your normal fortnightly pays. The payment is taxed; tax treatment will vary based on your income (if you have other salary sacrificing arrangements or a HECS/HELP debt for example). We did ask if the payment could be paid separate to a scheduled pay run but that is not possible.
There is a new "Public Sector Reform Office" working on implementing changes recommended from the Bridgman Review and Coaldrake Review.
We are continuing to lobby for new legislation in 2020 to better protect job security and your rights at work. This will be an exciting and important achievement that Together members have been lobbying for over many years.
I look forward to updating you further soon.