HPs and DOs: Your feedback required by Friday 12 December

Posted on December 3, 2014

As a Together member you need to make a decision about whether or not you would be prepared to accept a "proposal" put at the conclusion of our conciliation with Queensland Health about your wages and conditions for the next 2-3 years.

We ask that you carefully consider your position and indicate your view by voting in our ballot.

The ballot is only open to Together members and will close on Friday 12 December at 3pm.

The ballot will be conducted via email, online and SMS.

Here is a very quick summary of how the latest document stacks up. Note it is still below the Together "bottom line" we established just last week.

As we have advised you in many emails and meetings recently, the negotiations with Queensland Health about your wages and working conditions were referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission by Queensland Health because they would not move on critical issues like paying a wage offer that keeps pace with inflation or restoring important working conditions.

At the conclusion of the conciliation process run by the Commission on Monday the Commissioner put together a "proposal" for everyone’s consideration.

Importantly, the proposal is less than the bottom line that Together members had voted to put forward last week.

Your Together Steering Committee delegates have discussed the proposal and they are largely dissatisfied with it, as it does not meet the bottom line that you, as members, had previously determined.

While the Commissioner in her commentary does say that: "I am of the view that it is still within the reach of the parties to make an agreement as contemplated by s 149(5) of the Act" – that is predicated only on union members having a real say on these issues once again.

The Commissioner’s proposal is here.

The Commission refers to a previous arbitration by the Commission and a memo written by the Newman Government to the Commission about its wages policy being 2.2%. This is clearly not what the Premier is saying about the wages policy now in Parliament but there is no guarantee that an arbitration will produce a better wage outcome.

What an arbitration does mean is that you are still fighting for fair pay, fair conditions and that you don’t accept the Newman government breaking its promises to workers.

What happens now?

We are seeking your feedback as Together members on this proposal from the Commission.

Would you be satisfied with this proposal as a settlement for your wages and conditions for the next 2 years and 10 months? Yes or No. 

You have several options to vote which are outlined here.

For assistance with the ballot or more information please call 1800 177 244.

If a majority of  Together members accept this proposal then it would be drafted as an agreement and then likely certified in the New Year sometime. If the majority of Together members vote to reject this proposal then we will proceed to arbitration by the QIRC.

At any other time during this process or arbitration Queensland Health could come up with a different offer and put it to us.

Certainly, our experience in the medical officers dispute this year proves that if enough pressure is applied even Queensland Health will move.

As advised by Kate in her email on Friday the Commissioner is writing a conciliation report and then the matters in dispute between Together members and Queensland Health will be determined by a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission in Arbitration.

We are endeavouring to set up meetings at major facilities in the coming week to talk though the proposal with members. We will also advertise a teleconference briefing for members to hear more.

If you have any questions about the proposal please contact us at health@together.org.au or on 1800 177 244.

1800 177 244