New offer from TAFE

Posted on October 3, 2019

On Friday the 27 September 2019, TAFE Queensland made a new offer to members consistent with the changed wages policy of the Queensland Government - 2.5% plus a $1250 one-off payment. The $1250 payment is taxed and paid on a pro rata basis. See new offer here.

What still remains in this offer is the 2.5% payment will be paid at the lower pay rate of the current certified agreement rather than the current award.

As you may be aware, your current expired agreement says that you can't be paid less than the award rate and since September 2018, the award rate has been higher than the pay rate in your agreement.

Under this interpretation of wages policy, the majority of staff will only receive an increase of between 0.5% and 1.5% in the first year. This is the same issue that members in Child Safety, Education and other government departments have been arguing against and have therefore chosen to go to arbitration to have the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission set their wages and conditions. See the comparison of wage schedules here.

This offer divides Services into two groups - OO2 to AO4.3 and below (who will only receive an increase of between 0.5% and 1.5%) and AO4.4 and above (who will receive the full 2.5% increase).

While it's nice to get a cash bonus in your offer, one-off payments fail to increase your wage rate on an ongoing basis and therefore does not address the major issue that your ongoing EB pay rate will be stuck behind the award.

Your union delegates do not believe this is a fair or equitable offer and your workplace delegate steering committee has unanimously declined to give in principle agreement to the offer in its current form.

There are more issues still outstanding.

It is well known that TAFE Support Staff are facing some big issues that management need to address. Issues like:

  • The introduction of the SMS,
  • Being required to work excess overtime,
  • Not being able to access ADO or TOIL
  • Staff not being replaced when on leave,
  • Staff not being replaced when they leave employment,
  • Lack of meaningful consultation
  • Insecure employment (temporary and casual).

Unfortunately, if workers don’t take action to bring to the employer's attention to the issues above, identifying that they are already working in stressful conditions, those conditions will only continue to deteriorate and TAFE won't address them.

What's Next: Protected Action

Union members have voted in favour of taking protected action and on Friday, (27 September) Together received notice from the QIRC approving the actions. Here is what action union members have decided to do:

  1. stopping work for up to 2 hours
  2. a ban on working unrecorded hours.
  3. a ban on overtime.
  4. stopping work for up to a full day.

We know that industrial action works and will grab the attention of management in TAFE.

In the recent negotiations for Educators, the employer approached the union the night prior to the Educators proposed industrial action requesting the planned industrial action be called off and a new offer was put to the union at that time.

This industrial action moved the employer back to the negotiation table and resulted a significantly better offer including classification reviews, offer of a sign on bonus of $1250 and a review of temporary/casual to permanent conditions.

It is now time to encourage colleagues to support you on this matter and participate in the industrial action.

if you need any more information please get in touch with your union office at tafe@together.org.au

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au