Union News and TMR update

Posted on April 26, 2020

We know it has been a couple of weeks since our last email out to members – your delegates and union office have been working closely with TMR almost daily on the management of COVID-19 across the department but also on your EB and EB matters.

COVID-19

We hope you are all doing as well as you can during these times. We know there are a lot of changes occurring both within your work life but also members' personal lives.

The Office of Industrial Relations has issued an updated version of the implementation guide for the health pandemic directive – you can see this here.

The important take away from the updated version is the category of vulnerable workers and the reinforcement of your rights to continue to access your industrial entitlements such as ADO accrual.

ADO accrual has been a big issue across the Department. Incorrect advice has been given in many cases. The Department have been working with your union delegates and union office to get the correct information out as quickly as possible. A copy of a communication they have provided to senior levels of management is here.

If you have any questions or concerns about the advice being provided in your area please get in contact and we are happy to assist where needed.

Working from home in 2020

Members of Together are working from home in unprecedented numbers and we want to make sure we are there for members throughout this. We are speaking up and advocating about the issues members face, with members fighting for their rights in the public and private sector, but we want to do more.

To enable the union office to assist and support members we are conducting a survey on working from home to get information on how members are working, what issues you face and what we can do to support you. The survey takes just a couple of minutes to fill out – let us know what is going on.

Flexibility and your rights in working from home

The Queensland government have released this document about workers' rights and the ability to work from home when also having school-aged children at home.

Part of this guide speaks to the potential for union members to negotiate an amended spread of hours when telecommuting/working from home and for the period of the pandemic. This must be done in consultation with unions and be an agreed document.

In TMR the spread of hours is able to be used is already 6am-10pm. This may assist staff who need to balance the need for home based learning and work. Talk to your manager and local union delegate.

Remember if you need support about telecommuting, spread of hours or working from home issues please get in touch with us - you can call 1800 177 244 or send an email.

New courses for you on ASU Career Launchpad

ASU Career Launchpad has two videos now available on demand and an upcoming new live webinar to help you deal with stress, mental health and anxiety.

The recent session on JobKeeper payments was booked out and will shortly be available on their site as an on-demand video. Check the site for courses like these:

Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace: Understanding the Basics 

Thursday 30 April – Day Session

Mental Health awareness is going to be very important over the coming months as we are all making significant changes to our lives and routines. Run by qualified psychologist Olivia Downing, this session will explain the basics of mental health awareness. 

Understanding Stress to Avoid Burnout

Presenter: Claire Campbell

This webinar focuses on understanding and managing stress levels within the workplace setting to avoid burnout.  Our presenter Claire will take you through an examination of what stress is, how to identify stress triggers and some self-care techniques you can apply to your own working life.

Work life Balance, Resilience, Stress Management and Self-Care

Presenter: Jenny Carmuciano

Let Jenny introduce you to what overall wellbeing and resilience at work looks like, how to recognise stress in ourselves and others, how to build resilience at work as well as some tips and techniques to achieve work life balance.

Catch up on these webinars whenever and wherever you want. All courses are completely free, delivered by subject matter experts and exclusive for ASU members.

Head to the ASU member portal to find out more and register for these and other courses.

Labour Day Monday 4 May

Monday 4 May is Labour Day. Unfortunately as we protect workers' health we won't be able to hold our customary celebrations but union members will still be able to celebrate the day! Email yourunion@together.org.au if you do not already have a Together t-shirt to wear so that we can arrange to send one to you.

CSC review

We have our next CSC review committee meeting on Wednesday 29 April where we will be discussing the creation of updated role descriptions that consider the future of work that members perform in customer service centres, as well as the review of the work level of that work.

Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic the Minister has approved a one month extension to the CSC review. We thought this was important to ensuring members were able to participate in this process while they are also trying to manage their lives in the current environment. Your review must now be completed and joint recommendations given to the Minister by 30 June 2020.

Casuals

During previous meetings, delegates and your union office representatives have raised concerns about the high use of casual employment to perform ongoing roles in CSCs. The Department have been reporting long term casuals in customer service centres remain casual at their election.

At the last CSC review committee meeting the Department confirmed that all casuals employees are advised of the process for requesting conversion to permanency upon their engagement during their induction, again at their six month review mark and upon reaching the required two years.

This is not what members have told us, however what is important now is that all casuals know their rights and if they have been employed continuously for two or more years, and they would like to request a review to become permanent then they can – we can help any member in that situation, you just need to email us at tmr@together.org.au or call us on 1800 177 244.

Workload Management and Staff Ratios

TMR have committed to providing a draft document that looks into what the workload mix and staff ratios look like now and what they think it might begin to look like in the future to help inform our discussion around roles and career development.

Transport inspectors

Members have raised concerns with us about changes to their hours of work and rosters without consultation or consideration to current flexible working arrangements or the applicable rostering principles.

Together with your delegates we have been trying to work with the Department to understand the changes required, why they are required, consult on the changes and ensure all rosters have the rostering principles applied. Unfortunately the Department have not been prepared to provide this information or give a commitment that any suspended flexible work arrangements would be re-instate at the time the workplace returns to normal functions until such a time the normal flexible work arrangement reviews could be conducted. As a result your union wrote to your DG. You can see this letter here, and his response here.

As a result last week we lodged a dispute in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on these issues. During this hearing the Department reported to the Commission on a number of occasions that they say  "all Transport Inspectors participating in the border patrol volunteered and we aware their rosters would be change". They said "No Transport Inspector was directed". "All Transport Inspectors were individually spoken to either by phone, email or text and consulted with about the changes". All Transport Inspectors participating in the border patrol have regularly expressed the honour and gratitude in being allowed to participate. The Department believe the concerns and view of no consultation is the view of one Transport Inspector and that other Transport Inspectors have reached out to the Department to reflect they do not share that view.

The commission reflected there is a difference between telling employees about the change and employees participating because they think they need to in these times than having actually consulted about the changes. The Commissioner also reflected that while she is sympathetic to the current environment and the fast and uncertain nature changes are occurring, it does not provide a avenue for industrial rights and entitlements to be ignored. The outcome of yesterday's hearing was that the Department were required to consult and give employees options. We will send more specific information about this on Monday.

Senior network officers

We have sought an update on the leave loading issue; otherwise we will reinstate the dispute that was started at the end of last year.

Enterprise bargaining agreement

Transport and Main Roads Enterprise Bargaining Certified Agreement

Good news - Your final draft is almost completed! You can see a copy here. Final feedback is due on 1 May so if you have any concerns please email them through by COB 30 May. The Department must provide two weeks for all TMR staff to review the draft and then we will commence the all staff ballot. Once we have the dates for those process we will let you know.

Transport and Main Roads Operational Employees' Certified Agreement 2016

Your negotiations are still ongoing – we will send a more specific update out to you very soon.

We have noticed some members under this agreement have outdated details on our membership system and as such might be getting caught up in the wrong email groups – if you believe you are under this agreement can you please email tmr@together.org.au so we can ensure we have your details correct.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au