Education: wages policy and our arbitration this week

Posted on September 23, 2019

As some members would have seen over the weekend the government announced a change to their wages policy – saying that now the wages policy is for 2.5% plus a $1250 one-off payment.

Given the comments in the press release that you can see here it is unclear whether this will be applied to you as Department of Education employees or not.

Media reporting of the release has been varied. Certainly it has not provided certainty to us about what it means for you yet.

What we do know is that this week we will have the final four days of our arbitration hearings. We will now be asking questions of the senior government officials about what this means, how this applies, to whom and when.

What we also know is that this week is a critical week for our arbitration and making arguments about why it is deeply unfair that you should be treated differently to your colleagues. You more than deserve a fair pay rise, equity with your colleagues in this Department and in Queensland Health, and to know that you are respected and acknowledged for the incredibly important work you do.

As you may also be aware, while we are waiting for the outcome of our arbitration we are seeking that a 3% pay rise be applied to you from 1 September this year through the State Wage Case. This is another case that will be heard in October.

We are also pursuing back pay in the arbitration, but as you know that is part of the case to be determined by the Commission.

It's frustrating waiting, however, it's also important that you know on Tuesday this week more of your colleagues are testifying about your work and why it matters. Then for the rest of this week we will be cross-examining government witnesses and trying to get everything on the record.

Without you as union members standing up and voting to reject an unfair offer last year you wouldn’t have put yourself in a position to achieve more.

If you want a reminder of what we are fighting for you can see the full determination we are asking for here.

After this week's arbitration hearings your delegates will meet next week and put forward more submissions to government.

We are not taking a backward step. It's time to see real movement and recognition of your essential work.

PS: In good news, also announced on the weekend were the government response to the Gender Pay Equity Review and two matters that Together members have lobbied for over many years: that part-time workers should progress through increments based on an annual increment process, regardless of annualised hours; and that parental leave should be available to every worker, not just women. These announcements will be progressed into industrial instruments ASAP.

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