TMR Negotiation update - last before agreement expiry

Posted on June 28, 2019

We are in the final days of your current collective bargaining agreement before it officially expires. The government wages policy suggests we need to reach agreement in the next month after expiry. Things are becoming more urgent.

Yesterday we had negotiations that discussed the following claims;

  • Senior Network Officers
  • Customer Service Centres
  • Driving Examiners
  • Uniforms

During this meeting your Delegates did an amazing job and spoke passionately about the issues that face these work groups and provided specific examples of why TMR needs to take these claims seriously and come to the table on making real change. TMR engaged in the discussions and provided some comments and information which we have broken down below to each claim grouping. 

Senior Network Officers

  • TMR are interested to understand what members think a permanent SNO trainer role would look like,
  • TMR advise they see the OST trainer role as a formal ongoing role. They have sought engagement of the current trainer through QPS to ensure the current standard is maintained.
  • TMR advised the current process of using WHS connect should provide the avenue for incidents to be reported, staff to be followed up and the tracking of incidents. However it was also acknowledge that there may be a gap in the education and understanding of the procedures to be followed by both staff and management.
  • TMR requested further information from SNOs as to what they think a progression scheme should look like to them.
  • TMR made note that recruitment to the SNO position is a significant process due to the criteria and the training applicants must complete. TMR advise they do find it difficult to recruit a full cohort due to these high standards and acknowledged there are vacancies as a result.

Where to from here - we need to hear from you about the following; 

  1. What do you think the permanent SNO trainer role would look like? What do members see as the role and responsibilities for this position?  How are these duties currently performed?
  2. WHS – what specifically do you feel is missing? Would updated training and a clear policy and procedure be what you are looking for?
  3. Career progression – what do you think this should look like?
  4. How do you think the Department could improve attraction issues for SNO recruitment?

Customer Service Centres

  • Your Delegates talked through in detail how roles in customer service centres have changed, and how the roles and responsibilities have grown and become more specialised. We talked about how CSC staff feel undervalued and left behind with no recognition of the expertise required for their roles, and lack of career progression currently available.
  • Present in the meeting was the Director of CSB – it was acknowledged that there is an increasing complex customer need in CSCs now and as a result what CSC staff are doing is growing increasingly complex.
  • Management also acknowledged that the Department has a job to do in recognising what each position in a CSC currently does and what they want them to do in the future. While there is nothing underfoot right now about progression or career pathways the Department acknowledges there needs to be.
  • Your Delegates welcomed the acknowledgement that work needs to be done in this space however also noted that work needs to be done specifically in consultation with CSC staff and with a clear process and time frame.
  • There was discussion regarding KPI’s and how these are determined for workload and performance management. It was committed by the Department that they would follow this up and come back to members with information.
  • Management agree that all inspection sites should meet a minimum standard that ensure WHS of employees and customers and committed to looking into this further. It was also agreed all staff required to do inspections should have regular training however what this would look like is something the Department needs to come back to us on.

Where to from here - we need to hear from you about the following;

  1. Progression scheme for CSCs – how do you think this should look? What do you think are the duties of an AO3 client service officer, AO4 Principal client service officer, AO5 Senior Advisor, AO6 CSC Manager and AO7 CSC manager of multiple CSCs are?
  2. We know every CSC has its own workload issues, client challenges, and service demands. We need a strong communication network across CSCs and across the different professional groups. Will you be a contact for you CSC to help build this network?
  3. Inspection sites – what do you think the minimum standard should include?

Driving Examiners

  • Management again acknowledged there has been some challenges about attraction and retention and are looking into it.
  • During the meeting your Delegates and I provided insight into why we believe there are attraction and retention issues. This included the high rate of casual employment and lack of job security, and the current classification of AO3 which doesn’t represent the level of knowledge and responsibilities of the role as all being  major contributors.
  • Management took on notice the request for cameras and acknowledged this had been a discussion in the past but would come back to the meeting in due course.

Where to from here - we need to hear from you about the following;

    1. What do you think would improve the attraction and retention issues for driving examiners?

Uniforms

  • Delegates and I noted that we have received over 300 signatures from staff in CSCs supporting the concerns raised with regards to the current uniform policy. Your Delegates talked about real examples of how the uniform allocation and quality is entirely inadequate.
  • Management advised that as a result of issues with the quality, the supplier was changed 6 months ago, and they haven’t received any complaints. However they are also unable to identify how many people have been issued uniforms from the new supplier.
  • Management confirmed their expectation that if a uniform is damaged or not correct, staff can request for them to be replaced by following the policy. The current policy that states staff should email their manager with their request. Managers should then be forwarding requests through to CSB for action.

Where to from here - we need to hear from you about the following;

  1. Have you had a new uniform in the past 6 months? How have you found the quality?
  2. Do you have a uniform that needs replacing? Email your manager and request the required uniform top up. Email us at tmr@together.org.au with how you go?

Updates from previous meetings:

  • TMR advised they were still in the process of getting together the information we asked for about the plans for the Redbank Plains CSC.
  • Mental Health strategy – the department are still in the process of sending this through
  • Busway safety officers roster issues – TMR still getting this information together and committed to provided an update as soon as possible.
  • Christmas closure – members raised some questions about a proposed change to how CSCs will operate this year for the Christmas period. A poll was done by the department and it was determined that status quo would remain. If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch.

Your agreement expires in 2 days! At the moment the Department are taking members claims on board for consideration but aren’t in a position to make decisions or provide you with a formal offer. It is getting more important than ever to build our strength, we need to consider as a membership group what we need to do to put pressure on the Department to make decision and decisions that will deal with the issues members are raising. These are your wages and working conditions, as union members you have the right to negotiate and fight for improvements and recognition for the work you do. The Government encourages you to be union members and to engage in this process. As members you can hold a meeting, speak with your Delegate or union organiser during work time. From next week union members can start taking protected industrial action – the question for you is, what does that look like for your area or your work group? Send through your ideas to tmr@together.org.au

Keep talking to your colleagues and encouraging them to join and make your union stronger.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au