TMR report back: Friday 12 July

Posted on July 12, 2019

One again, Departmental bargaining representatives attended yesterday’s negotiations without any bargaining authority.

Your delegates, Dan and I went through the last of members' claims. You can see what was discussed below.

Career Paths, Classifications – General and Restoring merit-based career path

  • TMR expressed potential concerns with how they would determine merit.
  • Delegates expressed the desperate need for consistency across the department when it comes to recruitment both internal and external opportunities
  • Release to undertake higher duties opportunities or secondments should not be refused other than in exceptional circumstances.

Maintenance and improvement of allowances / Additional allowances

  • Discussed the gap created when these aren't increased regularly and adequately.  
  • Discussed how this related to staff who are giving these extra duties and responsibility which are not a part of their current roles and as such are not recognised in their current classification structure.

On call and recall

  • The current allowances and recognition for workers being on call and recalled to work is grossly insufficient compared to the significant impact on workers lives.
  • Delegates talked about the inability to take the time accrued in ATL/TOIL and as such staff are losing this time, including losing the time because the system simply cannot record the hours worked above a certain threshold.
  • TMR noted they do not support timesheets not been reflective of actual time worked. However, also noted there may be issues where time is being forfeited.
  • TMR notes they have a history of recognising issues of excess hours issues in the past so without making official comment note they have a good history of working to deal with issues of a similar nature.

Professional development and training

  • Based on the principles that everyone should have access to quality training – members claims are to ensure that occurs because in its current application it does not.

Community Recovery

  • Noted by TMR

Workplace health and safety

  • Regular training for all staff on how to report incidents, what an incident is, how the process works, and how they nominate workplace health and safety reps.

Annual rail passes

  • Delegates noted it was probably more appropriate that this becomes a general transport pass given the changes since the annual rail pass was provided.
  • TMR noted the annual rail passes is a very historic entitlement but would note our request.


Together with our comrades in Professionals Australia, we expressed;

  • the need for review of the current graduate program to better support students and the attraction and retention of graduates,
  • the need for a progression scheme for engineers that recognise their professional skills as well as managerial skills
  • the need for the EB to provide a provision that ensures no roles are downgraded or moved across streams without genuine consultation and agreement between the unions and the department.

Where are we now?

TMR continues to advise they have not received bargaining authority. The department is unable to provide reasons as to the hold up nor are they able to advise when they will receive the green light.

Your delegates asked if the Department could come back to members about their claims that are not cost items and focus on better processes. TMR advised while they have no bargaining authority, they are not able to provide any responses.

This is very frustrating. Members came to the table ready to bargain at the very start of May. Two and half months later TMR still isn't ready! Your delegates have attended every meeting prepared to talk seriously about their claims and have brought to the table real examples of why these claims are important to every meeting.

We have only two meetings scheduled before the end of the month. It is not good enough that the government have left your agreement to expire and failed to consider members claims or provide an offer to members. This year already we have seen Teachers have their bargaining agreement renegotiated, and we are seeing Queensland Health having real discussions about their claims. Do you think it is fair that TMR workers are being de-prioritised and ignored?

Better wages and working conditions are not going to be won at the negotiation table – we know that! They are won when workers stand together, take action and make the government deal with the issues that matter.

What’s next? – ACTION

Members in customer service centres have their protected action ballot closing tonight at 5:30pm - if you work in a customer service centre make so you get your vote in!

Next week Transport Inspectors and Senior Transport Inspectors will commence their protected action ballot. This will be open to members to vote from Tuesday – Friday 5:30pm.

After last week's negotiations, your delegates determined Wednesday 31 July to be a TMR EB day of action – this is the last day for members to reach an agreement that guarantees back pay.

This will be a state-wide day of action. We will send out badges for members to wear, calling on the Department to come to the table. Will you participate in the state-wide day of action on 31 July by wearing a badge? Vote in our poll below.

Members in areas that have held protected action ballots and had their proposed action authorised, by 31 July, will also be able to commence taking the authorised action.

If you have ideas for protected action and haven’t sent them in yet – please do ASAP so we can get that ball rolling and be ready for 31 July.

Now is the time we need to make sure we are all standing together to show the Department we are serious about our claims! Tell your colleagues what is happening and talk to them about how the more members we have, the stronger we are and the better chance we have at dealing with these long term issues like outdated classifications, employment security, career progression, workloads, work-life balance and that is just to name a few!

If you have any questions, please let me know.

1800 177 244