Update on the Education arbitration - wages and conditions
Last week we had another four days of hearings as part of our arbitration before the independent umpire, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
This is the process where we are putting the case for equal pay, progression, better conditions and reasonable consultation – it is like a trial rather than a negotiation now.
Congratulations and thank you to the many amazing union delegates who have prepared witness statements, given evidence and have generally been amazing in very tense circumstances during the hearings.
Disappointingly, the Department, represented by Crown Law, were maintaining the position that most workers should not receive any pay rise this year. They also are arguing against pay parity, progression and TO translation for SOOs - vitally important points of concern.
Next Steps – What do you think?
Over the last two weeks Minister Grace has made media comment and written to the union office last Thursday suggesting that the Department could recommence negotiations and settle outside of arbitration.
Your delegates have made a clear list of priorities. This is the same list that we included when we wrote to the Director-General in February of this year, along with matters pertinent to members in OIR like occupational violence clauses and progression.
We have today sent another letter to the Director-General seeking to understand if they are serious and if the Department do want to settle our concerns. We have asked for the Department to outline their bargaining position.
We have two more days of hearings coming up for the arbitration. The last witness will be heard on 18 November and a final opportunity for the Full Bench to ask questions of the parties and to do any closing submissions on Monday 2 December. Following those dates a decision will be issued. The timing of the decision is not something we can be certain about other than that it will be after 2 December.
Thank you once again to our delegates who all did an amazing job at the hearings. It's not easy being cross-examined by a barrister but your fellow members did amazingly well because they spoke the truth and knew their stuff!
We'll update you again soon!