Education - quick update
I hope you are travelling OK this week. It’s been such an eventful start to 2020, make sure you are looking after yourself.
Here are some quick updates for you about your rights at work:
EB (new employment conditions) and $1250
We have been working with the Department on drafting the EB agreement and it is coming along! We hope to have a full draft of the new agreement soon.
Remember the percentage wage increase is still to be arbitrated by the Industrial Relations Commission (that will occur in the middle of this year) – and the issue of back-pay will be subject to this arbitration.
We are also following up daily with government officers about the $1250 payment. This payment is for everyone in the Education agreement who are in the AO, OO, PO, and TO streams right now. The one-off payment of $1250 is pro rata for part-time and casual staff and will be taxed as salary. The payment will be made before the agreement is certified in the Commission (this means it will apply to Education therapists while you are still POs and before you are translated to the HP stream).
We still don't have a pay date for this but will let you know as soon as we do. We hope it’s soon!!
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.
Senior Officers (who are not covered by the EB but by a Directive) will also receive a 2.5% pay increase this year. If you would like more information about the Senior Officers Directive and bargaining process for SOs please get in touch with me.
The department is currently doing a compliance 'blitz' on Blue Cards. This is part of the "no card no start" policy required by changes in the Blue Card legislation. Please make sure you have a current Blue Card and check your Blue Card expiry date! If you have any concerns about Blue Card policy or need assistance make sure and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1800 177 244.
Criminal History Checks
There is a new policy across the Department and all workers will now be required to have a criminal history check every two years. Sharon Abbott, your union President, made representations earlier this year and this has resulted in a clarification of the policy to ensure that no existing staff are stood-down or need to take a break while the check is done! See here for a clarification of the policy.
The Department have been distributing important information about the current novel coronavirus emergency and the management of it. This information is certainly out there in schools and in the community. Remember as workers your safety is important so follow the advice of the department and public health officials. Here is a short summary.
We’ll be in touch again soon when there is a new draft of the EB to circulate, there will be an all staff ballot on the EB before it is finally certified by the Commission. We’ll also be able to share more information about the review of public sector employment legislation soon too!
We hope you have a lovely weekend when you eventually get there!