Union News: June 2018

Posted on June 18, 2018

Welcome to the June edition of Union News!

Read on for news from around our union!

No news on wages from the budget

As you all know the Queensland state budget was handed down last Tuesday. It was a no surprises budget with election commitments being rolled out. You can hear some of my commentary on ABC Radio here at the 29:00 mark.

The budget did not include any announcement about a change to government wages policy.

However, the budget assumes that wages in Queensland will increase to 3% by 2019-20 - higher than the current government wages policy of 2.5%.

The Queensland government's own figures tell us that public servants will fall behind in the years to come unless the government changes their own policy and delivers more to in bargaining for public service agreements this year.

As union members we will continue our campaign to have politicians take this matter seriously and recognise that #wagesmatter.
Members have already done a fantastic job so far in this campaign. We've had meetings with politicians and we have joined forces with members of other unions like United Voice. Together members have been telling politicians directly that your wages are just not keeping pace and this needs to change.

We'll be continuing this great work in conjunction with members of other unions and we'll be continuing to highlight that Queensland's public sector workforce is at risk of being left behind. As union members we will not let that happen. Our campaign continues.

Working Together, RTA members made change!

Congratulations to Residential Tenancy Authority members who won a pause to an interchange arrangement that would have seen three staff moved to another department without consultation or a guarantee of their job security within the RTA.

RTA members came together and agreed to take stop work action unless management listened to their concerns and as a result they will now have a genuine say in this process.

Well done! Working together, RTA members made change!

Reviews deliver big back pay in Schools!

In excellent news for members in Schools, the reviews into pay of both Agricultural Assistants and Science Officers, which union delegates pushed for, have already delivered.

Following an assessment of the qualifications and length of service for these officers (21 people in total) the Department of Education has now back-paid $81,496 in unpaid wages to Agricultural Assistants and $18,647 to Science Operations Officers.

Without Together delegates continuing to ask for improvements this would not have happened. Well done to Peter, Toni, Andrew, Sandra, Megan, Nikki, Wendy and all the delegates from Education who made this happen!

Private sector minimum wage to increase on 1 July

On 1 July, workers in the private sector who rely on the award will be getting an 3.5% pay rise after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down the decision on the minimum wage earlier this month.

This is the highest increase awarded to these workers by the FWC in some time and comes on the back of a 3.3% increase last year. It means 2.3 million Australians who rely on these wages will get a pay rise that would not have been possible without union members like you.

While this is a positive step, we know that more is needed to pull Australian workers out of this wage slump.

We know that economists are telling us that higher wage increases will be good for the economy. We also know that both the federal and state governments are predicting higher wage increases, but will not budge from their wages policies (federal at 2% and state at 2.5%)

There is still work that needs to be done to ensure that we are all getting a fair share of the growth in our economy and no worker is living in poverty. If our wages crisis is not addressed now Queensland's economy will suffer, and communities all around the state will be affected.

Clinical assistants, join together for better wages and conditions!

Over the last few months, in almost 40 hospitals and health facilities across Queensland, Clinical Assistants have been meeting, organising and communicating with each other to secure a new classification structure that recognises the clinical work they do.

They have established an active and dedicated steering committee of delegates which has grown to almost 40 members, with 9 Hospital and Health Services represented. Delegates have created materials, drafted ideas for a possible new structure and recruited new members to the union - all for the purpose of getting our clinical roles out of the Operational stream, and winning new conditions that respect the clinical work that we do.

Already members have petitioned Queensland Health to set down a November 30 deadline to wrap up a review into their claims.

Congratulations to members who went out and talked to their colleagues about this. Word is spreading and more and more people are joining the union and getting on board with the campaign.

Clinical Assistants - keep an eye out for more details on the next stage of the campaign coming soon.

Election Notice

Nominations are now open for a number of casual vacancies for the position of Branch Conference Delegates. Please click here for the election notice listing the available positions, including information on how to nominate, and click here for the nomination form. Nominations will be open until 9 July 2018.

Membership fees for 2018-19

Please note that from 1 July your union fees will increase by around 2.5%. This amount is in line with the current wage outcome achieved in most members' collective bargaining agreements. You can see the schedule of fees here.

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