MSQ Enterprise Agreement update. JULY 2012

Posted August 1, 2012 by Alex Scott

Table of Parts to be Deleted or Modified 18 July 2012
Productivity initiatives DTMR July 2012
Draft no further claims clause 18 July

Please note below the current position in relation to the MSQ Certified agreement negotiations. Included are the productivity measures that the department are seeking as a trade off for the 2.2 % per annum wage increase each year over the next 3 years. I have also included a copy of the “draft” “no further claims clause” and a copy of the items in your current agreement that the department wishes to alter for your information. As you can see the department is totally stripping away and rights you have for engagement and to have a say in how your workplace is being run. Protections against forced redundancy and job security have been taken away or weakened with a range of other matters having been taken out of the agreement and in some cases put into policy (which your employer can change at any time) into a Directive (which the government can change at any time) or a reliance has been put back to the award.

So instead of having an agreement that is specific to MSQ most of the major conditions of employment will revert back to be covered by the Award, Policy or Directives. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that as this is occurring across all government departments to “simplify” all the agreements it will then be much easier for government to affect all agreements simply by changing award provisions.

As your current Agreement expires on the 31st July the Government will be pushing for staff to reach agreement in principal before the end of August for any back payment to be made by 1 August.

MSQ Offer

2.2% per annum provided the attached productivity measures are agreed

Stripping back of the agreement by placing some items into policy, adopting some from the award and relying on some provisions being covered by government directives.

Productivity initiatives (as attached) to fund the 2.2% (apologies for the handwritten notes on this document as I was seeking an electronic copy of the document before sending however this has not yet arrived so I have scanned my hard copy).

The productivity measures are :

Overtime for VTSOs

MSQ are seeking employees nominate their recreational leave 6 months in advance when taking leave of 1 week or greater to enable this leave to be built into the roster. Casual pools to be increased (not sure why if there is to be plenty of lead time for relief). If after all the planning someone is called in at short notice they will not attract overtime.

Additional overtime for permanent Marine Officers

It is MSQ’s view that currently some staff being paid 100 hrs overtime are not working these hours and others are having to be paid additional hours to work overtime above the 100 hrs, so there will be no more payments for overtime except in emergent situations such as major oil spills or grounding of a vessel.


Currently there are 15 week/ 8 week on call allowances that require the relevant staff to be on call for these periods for the year. Currently if additional hrs are worked this will attract further on call allowance. These additional on call allowances will no longer be applied unless major oil spill or grounding of a vessel.

Level 4 VTSO progression

Current progression of all permanent VTSOs to level 4 will cease. Currently there are 24 VTSOs at level 4 and this will remain the establishment. There are currently 12 VTSOs at levels 1 ; 2 and 3 and these staff will not progress to level 4.

Marine Officer Progression

First 12 months of the agreement will recognize progression by the gaining of competencies however the remaining 2 years progression will only be by those in receipt of salary maintenance, however only to the Marine Officer grade and level below their existing maintained salary. All other MOs won’t be eligible for competency attainment and progression.

The NO EXTRA CLAIMS CLAUSE attached also has some significant aspects.

The first paragraph states that if there are any provisions that are legislated or improved they will not be allowed to be adopted.

However under para 2 (a) MSQ reserves the right to change policies as long as they don’t

“remove or reduce any “express” term or condition of employment contained in this Agreement in a way that is detrimental to Employees”

Neither MSQ nor PSC can explain at this stage what “express” term or condition means.

Under 2(b) MSQ want the right to make changes and then

“advise Employees and their representatives of the changes prior to promulgating or implementing the change, whichever is the first in time”

So there will be no consultation possibly until implementation which leads to the last para which states if a change is made and is challenged through the disputes process then the change as made becomes the status quo not as usually occurs with a dispute that the status quo is the position before the change is made.

These issues along with management taking out consultative provisions such as having to reach agreement with staff to change rosters (rosters are proposed to be implemented to suit the business with no provision where the proposed roster has to be agreed) have taken away all the goodwill and opportunities for co – operation between staff and management.

Please read the above information as Together will be calling a telephone hook up in the next week or so to enable further feedback in relation to these issues.

In the interim could you please indicate whether you support the initiatives being proposed by MSQ by return email to



Should you have any further questions please contact this same email address or if you are a non member wishing to join Together please log on to and fill out our on line membership form.

MSQ are yet to respond to Together’s Log of Claims and so when this occurs we will inform you of the outcome.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
© 2020 Together | Privacy