Safety at Work and your TMR EB
On Friday 1 May we received a reassurance from Minister Grace and then Deputy Premier and Treasurer Trad that back-pay and arrangements overdue from 2019 would be implemented. Your delegates and union office met with Minister Bailey on the 5th of May to emphasise the importance of your back-pay to be paid in this financial year. Minister Bailey committed to taking these concerns to Government and understood the importance of this request.
On Tuesday, following repeated requests for action to senior staff in the department and conversations with Deputy Premier we have written to the new Treasurer Cameron Dick to seek urgent approvals for your back pay and agreements to be administratively applied, as per the commitment.
Safety and COVID-19
Your safety at work is always important, but right now with the new hazard of COVID-19, it is even more important that our safety systems are in place and running well.
Importantly the Department are maintaining the appropriate and clear message regarding ensuring vulnerable staff are supported to work safely which may mean working remotely from their usual workplace.
For members in office environments the rules are evolving and we are working with the Office of Industrial Relations, the Government Accommodation Office, the Public Service Commission and the Department on these important issues.
As this work continues we want to make sure you are represented locally as well as at a state-wide level.
In many workplaces across the public sector you will have Health and Safety Representatives who represent you as the workforce, alongside your other union delegates, with management who will be instrumental in the next phase of easing restrictions and ensuring all workers are safe in this process.
CSC Review Committee Report-back
On Thursday we had another CSC review committee. This meeting was a lot more positive in comparison to the last meeting. Your delegates, Eleanor and I were able to have a really positive conversation with the Department about improvements both groups would like to see made to the progression scheme in customer service centres. While we do not have a proposed document we can share yet we believe the conversation was very productive. Further to this the Department reflected on how well the customer service centre workforce has adapted to the changes in how they work during this time including the transition to assisting on online services, and contact centre tasks.
The Department are putting together their draft of recommendations to form part of our joint recommendations to be submitted to the Minister. Unfortunately the Department are still firm on not including agreed updated position descriptions but instead want this part of the review to be continued through the establishment of the local consultative committee (LCC) with the first one to be set up within the next two months. Let us know if this is something you support in this quick poll.
After the last CSC review committee meeting Together raised significant concerns in response to the Department seeking to hire the external consultancy Hudson to complete position description reviews and evaluations. In good news at yesterday's meeting the Department confirmed that Queensland Shared Services will undertake that task instead. This is an important win for members as we know QSS have the expertise and knowledge of public service agencies. We also know how important it is to have an impartial evaluation of CSC roles.
We understand the Department will still be engaging Hudson to provide “environmental scanning data” which essentially is a report on how similar work is done across sectors and how technology plays a role in that.
Over the coming weeks we will be sending out documents for members to provide feedback on, this will include proposed role descriptions, updated recommendations for the application of the progression scheme, and recruitment and selection process to name a few. Please keep a look out and provide any feedback you have as this will form part of our joint submissions.
Departmental Consultative Committee (DCC)
On Wednesday 20 May, Together delegates and organisers had our DCC with the Department.
Alternative working arrangements:
The Department gave an update on what the CSB Branch will look like post COVID-19, including the future of work. Specifically identifying high productivity levels for the employees who were working remotely, on alternative arrangements or from home, lower rates of sick leave cautioning the risks associated to employees in properly maintaining healthy work/life balance and overall positive feedback from employees.
It was broadly acknowledged that while not all units have the ability to work from home due to the nature of their roles, those that are able to have provided positive feedback.
Townsville Compliance Office – vacant positions:
The recruitment has been finalised however the Department have not commenced appointment to the role as they were still working out how to provide the training under the current circumstances. TMR have since advised this will be delivered online in their regions.
We sought a date to commence the uniform review for CSB. TMR advised they would need to come back to us as they needed to determine who would be participating from their end.
We noted that the uniform review should be relatively straight forward where the supply and replacement of uniforms can be amended to reflect the Minister's commitments in the bargaining period. That was full time employees be provided up to 5 uniforms upon commencement and the top ups as per fair wear and tear basis. The department noted this and agreed if we are able to come to an agreement on an updated uniform policy quickly that would be ideal.
NOTE: If you received an unsuitable item (i.e. incorrect size) in the recent uniform top up, you can request a replacement item and the item that was not suitable will be added to the uniform pool.
TMR EBA 2019
Once again we asked the Department when the agreement would be sent out for consultation and the all staff ballot conducted. The Department's position was that they could not process your Enterprise Bargaining Agreement without direct instructions from the Public Service Commission and Office of Industrial Relations.
Your delegates asked if instruction had been given to stop the Department processing the Enterprise Agreement including taking it to an all employee ballot. The Department responded by saying that they hadn’t received instructions from government to proceed. The question was then asked if the instruction had been provided by the Department not to proceed. The committee members advised they are awaiting advice from PSC and OIR.
It was also raised that both the Education and Core Enterprise Bargaining Agreements had gone to ballot but not the TMR Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, which got in principle agreement prior to these two bargains!
Delegates expressed members’ extremely high levels of frustration with this process and the implications for members and their families if wages owed are not paid before the end of the financial year.
As mentioned above – this week we have written to the Treasurer to seek urgent payment of your back-pay this financial year and as soon as we receive a response we will let all members know.
SNO Leave Loading
Good news this matter is progressing – the calculations have been done. The department are now seeking confirmation from the Office of Industrial Relations that their application is correct. You can see a full update from the Department here.
Heavy Vehicle testing
After significant consultation driving examiners will be recommencing priority heavy vehicle testing from Monday – if members have any concerns please email through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week we asked you to clarify what you understood was happening with your flexible hours of work arrangements – the results showed that there was definitely confusion and the vote run by the Department was unclear.
What we can do is provide clarity around the Department's position – if you opt in to assist on border control activities, regardless of if it is on an ‘ad hoc basis’ or a regular basis, the Department have expressed it is too hard for Transport Inspectors to be rotated between the required 8 hour shift for border control and individual hours of work arrangements.
We know members are disappointed that the Department didn’t consult appropriately at the commencement of border control and took so long to engage in meaningful consultation. Members and the Industrial Relations Commission have made it clear to the Department that not consulting meaningfully, and in line with industrial instruments will not be tolerated. Since this time we have seen the Department significantly improve consultation.
As union members you should all be proud of ensuring adequate consultation occurs across all regions.
The environment at the moment is constantly changing with managing the health pandemic and we know this is difficult. As union members you are never alone – remember you have a say in any changes to your role and working conditions.
Please continue to keep in touch and raise any concerns or questions you have.
Remember if you have any questions or concerns about your safety your union office is here to help.
You can get in touch with us on 1800 177 244 or by emailing email@example.com.