Education: Urgent poll - an offer has been made for your EB

Posted on December 10, 2018

The Department of Education have (finally) made an offer to settle an agreement with you about your wages and conditions for the next 3 years.

The offer was made via email on Thursday afternoon, just as we were about to start the conciliation conference about AO2s and appropriate classifications in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The offer document came as a surprise, and the timing of the offer just before the conciliation conference was interesting.

Here is the offer document, signed by Director General Tony Cook.

The Department have also clarified that the offer would have an 'operative date' or start date of 1 September this year – so if this offer was acceptable to members then eventually there would be a back-dating of changes to 1 September 2018 once the agreement is certified.  

This vote or poll is simply on what is in this offer so that you as a member can have you say on whether to accept it or reject it.

It is an important part of our union democracy that the union office or even your delegates do not decide on things like this without you, the members. That is why we are asking for your opinion on this offer.

This member poll is being run online and via SMS. Given the very short time frames unfortunately we won’t have the time to send everyone a postal option.

While members vote on this offer via the Together poll we agree to SUSPEND ALL CURRENT INDUSTRIAL ACTION AND WORK BANS. 

All industrial action is suspended as of Monday 10 December to Friday 14 December while this poll is conducted.

If you have any questions about this offer please do not hesitate to contact us on schools@together.org.au.

The member poll will close on Friday 14 December at 11:00am.

Together DoE delegates will then receive the results of the poll and decide the final position and communicate this back to members and to the Department by Friday afternoon.

If the answer in the Together member poll is "yes" then the next step is drafting the agreement. This process takes some weeks, and then when the agreement is drafted then you have another opportunity to vote on the actual wording of a fully-written draft. That will be an official ballot on the proposed, drafted, agreement.

If the answer in the Together member poll is "no" then the next step is to go back to the Industrial Relations Commission on 18 December and continue the conciliation process and recommence or escalate industrial action. The conciliation process will then run through until at least March 2019.

Key points of the offer on wages and job security:

  1. The wages offer to public servants remains unchanged from the government position in September. For more on wages go here.
  2. Employment security – there is a proposal to improve the temporary to permanent conversion process and a new process to allow permanent part-time workers to gain permanency for their ongoing extra hours.

Key wins in the offer:

  1. HP Pay Parity for therapists. This is a big win! And one that has been hard fought for many years. The translation being proposed is at therapists substantive level, as per the original HP agreement in 2007. Here is the translation table from HPEB1.
  2. Translation of Science Operations Officers to the Technical Stream. See the document that was provided on Monday morning here.
  3. Occupational Violence clause for the Office of Industrial Relations which will enshrine a new procedure developed with union delegates about how to deal with occupational violence against the inspectorate and better protect inspectors during complaints.
  4. The restoration of 'school cleaning adviser' roles and expanding those roles to also look after schools officers – these are the  new 'school facilities operations adviser' roles in each region.

Points of clarification

  1. At point 5 – we think the Department mean Directive 15/13 (not Directive 15/03) and that this is about being clearer that managers CAN appoint people to long term higher duties in many circumstances, which currently is being applied very inconsistently.
  2. In point 10 this is the long-awaited "school endorsement form" or guideline for schools to ensure that Principals and others know that they need to pay school staff at the appropriate level when asking them to do higher level tasks. These guidelines should also facilitate better local decision making about roles and structures. It would still all be school funded.

What's missing?

  1. Movement on wages (see above)
  2. The Regional office review is not in this offer, however the Department is talking about doing that through a separate process.
  3. There is nothing in the offer about centrally reclassifying AO2 roles in schools. It would still be a local school decision to reclassify roles.
  4. There is nothing in the offer about reclassification for Agricultural Assistants or Unit Support Officers.
  5. Restoring the Regional CEC position (in FNQ) is not in the offer.
  6. There is nothing in the offer about embedding IT officer roles in the allocative model.
  7. The improvements or additional allowances that we were seeking for WHS representatives, rehabilitation and return to work coordinators, etc. are not in the offer.
  8. There is nothing in the offer on progression arrangements for the inspectorate in OIR.
  9. There is nothing about being paid overtime when on call for OIR Inspectors above pay point A05.4. However however the Department is talking about addressing that issue through an exchange of letters.
  10. If you would like a reminder of our full claim that members voted on at the start of bargaining you can see that here.

Remind your colleagues who didn't get this email that if they are union members please get in touch so we can send them a link to vote in the poll, and if they aren't members that it is only union members who get a say, as you have all been taking action, giving feedback and turning up to negotiate a new EB!

Click here to vote. Please have your say by Friday 11:00am.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au