CSYW: What's happening with my pay increase?
While we remain in negotiations with the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for a new collective agreement, they have offered us nothing meaningful to address the serious and significant matters we have highlighted in our log of claims. Members should keep an eye out for a full report-back about the status of negotiations coming soon. At this same time, they have attempted to offer an effective zero percent (0%) EB pay increase. Read more on this below.
This is an award safety net adjustment that has been awarded by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, flowing on the national minimum wage adjustment to you.
Importantly, this is not your EB pay rise.
Why am I getting this increase?
Minimum wages and award rates go up because every year Australian unions run the national minimum wage case before the Fair Work Commission. At these hearings, union representatives argue that workers need a pay rise and that the minimum wages should be lifted. The decision of the Fair Work Commission is then adopted by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) and they flow it on to the award minimum wage rates here in Queensland.
Thanks to you and the millions of other union members across Australia, this minimum wage adjustment, with back pay dated to 1 September, has either arrived in your pay or will arrive between now and approximately 10 October.
For many members this is the first time you will have ever noticed the minimum wage adjustment, because until now your EB pay rate has been higher than the award.
This year, for the first time, the award minimum wage has caught up to every single pay point up to AO8, PO6, OO6 etc.
The extent to which your award rate of pay has overtaken your EB pay rate makes a difference to how much your wage has been adjusted this month.
As union members, you know that we are currently bargaining with the government for an EB pay rise and improvements to other conditions as well. The 1 September minimum pay adjustment is not a result of the bargaining process.
What about my EB pay increase?
It's great that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission have adjusted your award minimum rate up.
Now, just like your colleagues in Queensland Health, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, you should also be able to bargain for an EB pay increase above the minimum award rate.
The pay increase that we are asking government to deliver as part of your EB would be in addition to the Award safety net adjustment.
But the government are arguing against this, attempting to discount the effect of the adjustment. The government is saying you are 'double dipping' but that's just not true. They are simply not giving you the same opportunity as other workers.
An AO2(8) in Transport and Main Roads has an EB pay rate of $2,215.80 per fortnight. The current government offer to you for an AO2(8) is $2,155.50. The government are not offering you equal pay for equal work.
Every other worker in the public sector has an EB pay rate that is higher than the Award safety net. You should too. The government has to come back to the table and bargain in good faith.
Right now the government is trying to take credit for the wage rises decided by the independent umpire, instead of negotiating with you about a fair pay rise in your collective agreement and dealing with the many other issues that need to be addressed.
Together we will keep working for a better workplace and fair conditions.