CSYW Update: Your EB referred to arbitration
This afternoon, Vice President O’Connor has referred the ongoing process of negotiating your wages and conditions to arbitration.
We started bargaining with the government for a wage increase and improvements to working conditions more than 9 months ago.
Together members voted in 2018 to put forward a list of claims for fair wages, caseload capping, safer workplaces and so much more.
In late February, members voted on the offer from the Department as it stood. 93% of members rejected the offer as it still didn’t address your key concerns. There was still no improvement in wages for workers at the lowest pay levels and not much else of note.
While an agreed outcome would always be our preference, after nine months we are just too far away on key matters like wages and caseloads. The Department noted the significant pressure that members’ industrial action had created, and that they were not able to sustain this any longer.
Thank you for all of the perseverance and hard work that delegates, especially your negotiating team, Steering Committee and members have put in throughout this process. Your actions have improved what the Department has put on the table, but not to the extent that you deserve.
What does this mean for you?
The immediate effect of this referral is that any members currently taking protected industrial action must now stop doing that. We cannot take protected action while we are in arbitration.
If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact the union office.
The process of arbitration takes time. It is not a quick fix, but members have clearly said what the government has offered is not good enough. So the good part of arbitration is that your claims are still alive but there will not be a quick breakthrough.
Child Safety & Youth Justice delegates met last week to work through some of the key claims that we will be looking to pursue through arbitration.
I will send more information as we have it about the interim processes and the timeframes for the arbitration.
I know that this is not where we expected to be when you and your fellow members voted on your claims early last year. However, we are now in the hands of the independent umpire.
Congratulations on standing strong for a fair deal. You deserve more!
Thank you for the work you do.