Protective Services: Report back from conciliation conference
On Tuesday, Paul Lessmann, Iain Bowles, Philip Sander and I attended a conciliation conference before Vice President O’Connor. Appearing for the service were Chief Superintendent Ben Marcus, Superintendent Hill, Maureen Kelly and representatives from PSBA HR and the Office of Industrial Relations.
The most important issue we raised first up in the conference was the concerns reported by some members that they had been given misinformation about your industrial action and told to complete training and wear ties contrary to that action. Some members also reported feeling threatened that there would be consequences if they did not.
In discussions with the Vice President in relation to the good faith bargaining requirements of the act, the Service agreed to issue an email in consultation with delegates to again clarify your rights to take protected industrial action without reprisal.
That communication should go to all staff shortly.
It is against the law for an employer to take action against a union member for being a member, engaging in lawful industrial activity or taking protected industrial action.
If you have concerns about something said to you or another member that you think may breach these provisions or be inappropriate please take the time (if possible) to write down what you saw or heard and contact the union office for advice on 1800 177 244.
We also discussed a list of priority matters from your log of claims which you can see here. If you think there are important matters that are not on this list please reply to this email and let us know. It is important at this stage of the process that we focus our energy on the most important claims.
While the Vice President listened to our claims and explanation he also thought that we needed more justification and clarity about the exact wording of what we are seeking. He has asked the parties to put together a draft agreement with each parties preferred position and to return to the Commission in about three weeks. Remember the Commission's role in this process is to help the parties reach an agreement or to narrow the issues in dispute – not to make a decision. If we can’t get agreement in the next short period through this process we will be able to seek that a full bench of the Commission make a binding decision.
Both Delegates and the union office will be working hard over the next few weeks to finalise the required documents for your endorsement.
Now is the most important time for your colleagues to join you in the union so that we can escalate industrial action, if required, to get a fair and reasonable outcome. New members can join online here or speak with a union delegate from your group.