TMR Update - March 2021

Posted on March 19, 2021

Mid-March already! We hope everyone is keeping well. We have a fair bit to report back in this update so it is a long one!

IVMS

Since our last update we had a meeting with TMR, the Office of Industrial Relations, the Public Service Commission and DAF. 

During this meeting it was clear that DAF, who has developed the same system, has taken a less punitive approach to ensuring staff safety when operating fleet vehicles while performing their role. Some of the key differences were the inclusion of staff training so they understand what unsafe driving behaviour looks like. After each trip staff are sent an email so they can be informed immediately if there were any identified unsafe driving behaviours on that trip. This is designed to educate workers at the time with the goal to improve driving behaviours.

At this stage your Department is not suggesting a similar approach. Together continues to ask the Department to provide further information on the following:

  1. Accuracy of the IVMS technology
  2. Consistency of application across the Department
  3. The selection of driving behaviours identified for monitoring
  4. The basis on which the thresholds have been set
  5. The arbitrary scoring process that is linked to discipline
  6. No identified training for staff and managers
  7. The discretion on managers to determine seriousness of driving behaviours and appropriate actions
  8. Obligations on employees

We were due to have another meeting with the Department, OIR and PSC this week as a follow up from the previous meeting however TMR requested that meeting be cancelled and advised they would contact your union directly - we have not yet received any further correspondence from the Department in relation to this matter.

Where does this leave us:

  1. The system is activated so it can and will pick up unsafe speeding behaviours. Management may raise any speeding issues with you in an informal conversation to alert you to the behaviour. There should be no formal conversations or action taken against employees. It is important that all members obey the speed limits on roads. 
  2. We are awaiting further correspondence from your employer. Until then the implementation of IVMS should not progress - if you find it is, please let us know immediately. 

Customer Service Centres

Flexible work arrangements

Concerningly we have had an increase in members being told their flexible work agreement would not be supported with no attempt to identify an arrangement that was suitable. This is a real concern – you have a right to request a flexible work arrangement and the employer has an obligation to proactively work with you to come to an agreed outcome where possible and not just say no. Please get in touch if you are having any issues with this.

Leave at half pay

Members have raised concerns with being advised that there is a blanket rule that no one can access leave at half pay – this is simply not true. The employer can not put in place a blanket rule that restricts your industrial rights. Delegate Grant Williams and Together Representative Lloyd Abbott met with Regional Director Steve Beck and confirmed there were no blanket rules and all leave requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are having issues with this please let us know.

CSC review

What a long unpleasant ride this has been over the last 5 months. 

Last November we met with TMR in a half-day workshop to finalise your role descriptions. The changes made were to represent more accurately your core duties and responsibilities. 

These role descriptions were then sent to Queensland Shared Services in November.

Evaluation meetings were held over two days to allow the QSS JEMs team the ability to ask clarifying questions and really understand what each role does. Initially the Department did not want your union involved in this part of the process however your delegates and Together representatives successfully advocated the importance of your ongoing involvement in the review that union members fought for and won. Your Delegate Jamie Parker attended these sessions and did a great job at ensuring QSS knew what your roles involve.

This JEMs assessment process usually takes 10 days however after the interview stage we heard nothing. Your union delegates and representatives followed up regularly with the Department and when we received a response we were advised QSS was seeking further clarification. However, the department refused to share with your union delegates and representatives exactly what clarification QSS JEMs evaluators were seeking clarity on or for your Together delegates and representatives to be a part of those discussions. Instead the Department had different departmental representatives participate in that part of the process and intentionally left out any union representatives.

The outcome of this was the Department sending through new versions of the role descriptions with significant changes that also meant changes to the core duties of some roles. For example changing the Multi’s role description to say that Multis now only perform light vehicle testing and some transactions.

A meeting was held on the Wednesday 10 February to discuss these changes. At the meeting was yet again different departmental representatives from those who made changes to the role descriptions or were a part of the meetings held with QSS. This meeting was largely unproductive because the department couldn’t explain why they were proposing  significant changes and how it linked to QSS’s request for clarification. Therefore it was agreed we would provide a tracked changes document outlining your questions and concerns to the changes the department were proposing. It has then taken another month to get the next meeting to work through this feedback. 

The following meeting was held this Monday 15 March. The departmental representatives present at times appeared perplexed about the state of the role descriptions and why some core duties were removed despite them being removed by one of the other departmental representatives. This has caused a lot of frustration from your union representatives and delegates. We have expressed this repeatedly to the Department. The Department have now confirmed the representatives at Monday's meeting will be the ongoing departmental representatives. This included your Executive Director Lisa Dynes, Regional Director Steve Beck, Project Manager Sharyn O’Toole, CSC Manager Kristen Jensen, Manager CSD Darryn Minehan and Employee Relations Director Elle Ackland.

Concerningly at the most recent meeting held on Monday the departmental representatives continued to explicitly express their views that they wanted to ensure the role descriptions for CSC’s were “basic” and reflected that the requirement of the roles is really just to follow a ‘checklist’ of duties. Delegates and Together representatives took offence to the downplaying of the knowledge and skills required to work in CSC. It was particularly disappointing to see this position coming from representatives that have previously and currently do work in a CSC directly.

The outcome of Monday's meeting was that the Department needed to get some final advice on some elements of the role descriptions and will provide their response by COB Thursday 18 March for our review. We have then committed to providing our response by COB Wednesday 24 March. From here the agreed role descriptions will be sent to QSS for evaluation which should take approximately 10 working days.

Watch this space!

Transport Inspectors

STI/TI review

We are waiting for the Department to come back to us with a date for the first meeting. We have also put this on the TMR consultative Committee agenda.

You representatives that are participating in the working party are:

  1. Grant Williams
  2. Blake Holzberger
  3. Gary Wiseman
  4. Fred Ifopo

If you are keen to be involved but haven’t had a chance to let me know yet - please do ASAP!

Uniforms

Members raised concerns with the new long sleeved shirts and recent direction from management that these shirts must be worn at all times with the exception of when rostered for PVI’s. Members are concerned that the material of these new shirts cause heat stress, and sought that these shirts are only required to be worn when rostered to activities out in the sun rather than also while they are undertaking indoor duties. The Department have rejected this suggestion and provided no alternative to address the concerns for members nor have they provided any reasonable justification for why staff MUST wear these shirts when performing their indoor activities. As a result we have escalated this WHS issue to the Workplace Health and Safety Inspectorate. A copy of our correspondence is here.

Name badges

Recently at the Local Consultative Committee the Department advised of the new requirement for your badges to now have your full name rather than your Q number on them. Delegates raised safety concerns and explained that the reason the Q number badges were provided was to reduce the risk of the public automatically having members' names to then look up and gain personal information to take action against the individual. The Department have responded saying “Our Safety Advisor and the Department’s Internal Security Unit have been consulted on this matter. There is no quantitative data or evidence to support a negative impact concerning workplace health and safety in displaying the full name on a TI’s name badge. “

We need to know how members feel about this decision – please fill out the very short survey.

Transport Inspector Meal Breaks

Following feedback about how Transport Inspector meal allowances are being processed inconsistently for members across the state, Together delegates, Grant Williams and Greg Weir, raised this at the last Local Consultative Committee.

We asked for the Department’s interpretation on meal allowances where the Directive and Award are in contravention of one another. The Department agreed with Together’s position on this matter, that is, as the Directive is the better entitlement (allowance after 1 hour not 2 hours) the following section applies;

The Hours, Overtime and Excess Travel Directive 02/18, applies to permanent public servants, and provides for an overtime meal allowance of $12.60 in schedule 1 of the Queensland Public Service Officers and Other Employees Award – State 2015 (‘Award’);

8. Overtime meal allowance

8.3 A public service employee required to work overtime is to be paid meal allowances in accordance with schedule one, provided that a meal allowance is not payable where a meal of reasonable quality and adequate quantity is supplied in lieu.

Schedule one – overtime meal allowances

On days with “ordinary starting or ceasing times”

(i) Where an employee is required to work for more than one (1) hour before or after his or her “ordinary starting or ceasing time”    

(i) $12.60 Allowance

 

Senior Network Officers

At the TransLink LCC TMR advised that your leave loading rectification has still not occurred and that the Department cannot advise of a time frame – this is not acceptable so we are looking to seek the assistance of the QIRC again in resolving this matter as a priority as it is clearly not a priority of the Department.

 

BSO/BSC

At the TransLink LCC TMR advised that your leave loading rectification has still not occurred.

Together has since requested for an update on the progress of the payment of the Leave Loading and Majority of Shift Payments for the BSO and BSC’s. The Department has advised us that the payment for the BSOs and BSCs will be made in the pay run for the week ending 26/03/2021. This means that employees will receive calculations to check their pay by 1 April 2021.

We don’t currently have a BSO/BSC representative on the TransLink LCC – if you would like to be a part of it please let us know and we can send you the meeting details.

 

Christmas Eve Public Holiday

Together has sought a declaration for employees who are not Monday to Friday workers (excluding casuals) that they be paid a day's pay or a day's leave for the Christmas Eve public holiday. We are awaiting the hearing dates and will keep members updated.

 

Compliance Administration Review

On Monday 22 February, your union representatives attended the Compliance Administration Role Review Committee.

The Together representatives were Melanie de Groot (CQ) who flew down to attend in person, and Liz Campbell (NQ), Jill Brown (SEQ), and Jo Reynolds (NQ), who dialled into the meeting. Your representatives did a phenomenal job of articulating the challenges, responsibilities, and concerns of Compliance Administration Officers across the state, and it is a true credit to their experience and skills.

The TMR representatives in attendance were Nick Marsden (CQ), Jarrod Wilson (SEQ), Kath Clarke (HR), and Sharyn O’Toole (Employee Relations).

 

  1. Position description

    Following the initial meeting between Together and TMR, TMR sought feedback across the regions in December 2020/ January 2021.

    Attached is a copy of the Administrative Officer (Compliance) draft with Together’s feedback provided in person.

    TMR confirmed we would receive an updated (and TMR endorsed) position description today, so as soon as I have this, I will distribute it. I expect we’ll have some counter-feedback.

  2. Job analysis questionnaire

    At the Review Committee meeting we confirmed with the Department that we would provide them with Together’s (completed) job analysis questionnaire. While we didn’t provide any strict timeline, I’m expecting we will finalise this and send it back over the coming weeks.

    On Wednesday 3 March, Together members attended a teleconference to populate the job analysis questionnaire and to return to the Department, which has since been sent to members. There are a few sections that we didn’t get to that members are continuing to provide their feedback on.

    If you could get back to Eleanor with your feedback on the parts of the questionnaire we didn’t get to by COB Wednesday 24 March that would be greatly appreciated!

We have since received feedback from members that local managers are asking Compliance Administrative Officers across the state to discontinue performing a number of their duties. It is going to be really important that if this is the case, members and non-members show solidarity and do not perform these duties. It will quickly become apparent if Compliance Administrative Officers aren’t doing these duties they won’t get done. With this said, I’ve drafted a sentence that everyone across the state can use if and when they’re asked to do duties they're to no longer perform;

              As per the direction given to me on [date] to no longer perform particular duties, I believe this is outside my role description as a Compliance Administrative Officer.

While this may be difficult to do because you don’t want to let down your region/team, it’s really important that all Compliance Administrative Officers aren’t doing these duties when they’ve been directed not to. It’s the only way we can send a message about the duties Compliance Administrative Officers perform regularly in their roles that aren’t in the role description.

 

Road Safety Officer Review

Following the wins seen by union members in the Customer Services Branch, a number of Road Safety Officers have reached out and joined their union!

Your workplace delegates, Ros Naude and Sue Renfrey, have helped develop a survey for Together Road Safety members to fill out here.

We know there is a lot to do. The best thing you can do right now is fill out the survey and have a chat with your colleagues about why it's important to be involved in your union at TMR.

This survey will be used to guide the review of your AO3 classification, so it’s important that every Together member fills it out!

VTSO Review

Next Thursday 25 March, we are having our next VTSO Review Working Group with Maritime Safety Queensland.

The approved program of work, as per the VTSO Review Terms of Reference is as follows;

  1. Responsibilities / Role Description / Base Classification
  2. Recruitment protocols
  3. Training
  4. Rostering practices

If you have any feedback, concerns or questions about these matters in your region, please reach out to your Together delegates, Rob Webber and Ben Bentley, or Eleanor at tmr@together.org.au.

We are also expecting to receive the Department’s interpretation of five weeks' recreational leave for regional Queensland employees and continuous shift worker conditions. Another issue raised by members since the start of the review process is single operators. The Department is coming back with Public Service case studies as reference for our discussions ongoing.

If you are not receiving the meal allowance you are entitled to, please make sure you get in touch with us at tmr@together.org.au.

Reminder that the next TMR DCC is on 24 March.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au