Corrections Update: Protected Action orders have been made
QCS have confirmed at the negotiations that they only have authority from government to offer a total EB package that equates to a 2.5% pay rise. That means that any changes to the classification structure will impact on the overall wage offer from the employer.
This was always on the cards but the big question is how much will the impact be? It is the view of the steering committee that this change is long overdue and that CCOs shouldn't have to shoulder all the burden in paying for it – especially when the pressures on custodial staff due to over-crowding keep rising and there is no end in sight.
Corrections management keep saying they appreciate the work we do in dealing with the crisis in prisoner numbers – here's where they can give us something to show their appreciation!
Of course, in the end, we will need to show that we are serious in fixing the structure once and for all, that's why the steering committee endorsed lodging to take protected action. Before we can do that however we need to follow the legislation put in place and hold a Protected Action Ballot.
Under the LNP legislation the ballot must be a postal ballot and must be run by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ). ECQ are saying they need 5 weeks to run a ballot – with the earliest they can complete it being Monday 9 May. This shows the real rationale behind the LNP's ballots: not to verify that you want to take action, but to drag it out and delay it.
In the next week we will know the time frames for the ballots, and when you will be able to vote.
For a ballot to be successful, over half the members must return their ballots as well as voting for the action. Three years ago, some ballots went down – not because people didn't want to take action, but because they didn't vote. Let's make sure that doesn’t happen this time.
If you need to update your details, or to get more information on the collective agreement, you can visit the correctional officers homepage here.
And remember to vote and take action you must be a member, so talk to your colleagues! Send them to the website here so they can join.