Breaking News on the DCYJMA Arbitration
Yesterday, Together witnesses from Child Safety and Youth Justice attended the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for the first day of hearings in the arbitration that will determine your wages and conditions.
Proceedings were set down to commence at 10:00am today. In a last-minute move from government, their representatives approached Together at 9:45am to request a delay until this Friday.
The reason for the request is to see if a suitable offer may be able to be made by government to avoid the arbitration going ahead and prior to Child Safety and Youth Justice witnesses taking the stand. Together has been advised that work is occurring towards providing an offer by the government.
On this basis the parties have agreed to change the dates to recommence this Friday. We will report back to the Commission this Thursday afternoon to advise about any progress. Regardless, we will be able to hear from all witnesses in the remaining dates available to us. Thank you to our witnesses – your fellow members – who have been so flexible in rearranging their appearances.
Yesterday morning, Together took the opportunity for one of our key witnesses to take the stand, Professor Bill Mitchell. Professor Mitchell is an economist who has presented his evidence on the economic background to the wages and conditions sought by Together members in this arbitration.
The arbitration has commenced and will be continuing Friday if there is not an acceptable offer for union members. Hearings were set down for two weeks, and we will be able to hear from all witnesses in our original timeframes.
We don't know for certain if the government will come to us with an offer, or if that offer will be enough for our members to consider a settlement. This last-minute offer is at least a positive sign that the government is concerned about our witnesses giving their evidence in the stand about the issues in Child Safety and Youth Justice and concerned about addressing the legitimate concerns you are raising.
We are talking with your Steering Committee delegates to discuss the latest developments and will be letting you know if we receive an offer from government this week to seek your guidance.
It's an important time to be a strong union group. We have come this far by standing together.
Our delegates, witnesses, and everyone who has bravely stood up for a better and fairer system for all – you do yourselves proud every day.