Vote today in the employer ballot for your Child Safety EB.

Today, the employer ballot for your EB, or collective agreement, opens.

Union members have already heavily supported the offer in-principle in our member ballot last month, with over 85% of members voting in support. Since this vote, the wages outcome has also been successfully improved and guaranteed.

The employer ballot is a formality before the EB can be certified in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and then become operational. We encourage all members to once again vote in this ballot – your voice is important in this process!

While we know this is not everything we were hoping for in this round of bargaining, this EB represents a really significant step towards addressing the key issues of workloads, attraction and retention and wages overall for Child Safety. 

Your Steering Committee delegates have also been successful in leveraging this outcome to ensure that a range of other matters, in addition to those that are included in the EB, are addressed as a priority.

This includes:

  • Fast-tracking expanded incentive payments for CSOs in areas identified as having a high number of CSO vacancies;
  • Increasing permanency amongst existing staff and ensuring that future CSO vacancies are advertised as permanent (with Regions ‘risk managing’ additional CSO positions);
  • Developing workforce plans, based on data and evidence (including feedback from staff and consultation with unions) to address identified workplace issues; and,
  • Addressing leadership and culture issues within the workplace, including a review of the ACP process.

Highlights of the EB include:

Workloads and additional Child Safety positions

Through a commitment to employ 153.5 FTE additional positions (a mix of CSOs, Senior Team Leaders and Administration Officers), average caseloads of Ongoing Intervention CSOs will be reduced to 16 by June 2022.

*Please note that it has been clarified with the Department that Long-Term Guardianship to Chief Executive (LTGO-CE) cases are included and are weighted as 1, as per the existing Workload Management Manual and Policy.

In addition to these new positions, the Workload Management Manual (WMM) and Policy (WMP) will also be rolled out to other Child Safety work units within 12 months of certification of the EB. Further, there will be a workload redesign project, in consultation with Together, to look at different and better ways to do your critical work. 

AO2s in CSSCs - Classification Review 

In consultation with Together, the Department will review the characteristics, duties and capabilities for both AO2 and AO3 roles in CSSCs to ensure that any role undertaking work at the AO3 level is upgraded.  Where this occurs, existing permanent AO2 staff will be prioritized through direct appointment or, where appropriate, local limited applicant pools. This process will commence within 2 months of certification. 

Review of PO structure for CSOs

The EB contains a commitment to review the suitability of the PO stream for Child Safety Officers, with the intention to use the outcomes to inform discussions of your next agreement in 2023. This is similar to the pathway that Together members in Queensland Health took to reach agreement around the Health Practitioner (HP) stream – a new classification stream that resulted in a pay structure that recognized the work they did and addressed challenges around attraction and retention, which is exactly what is facing Child Safety right now. It is not an immediate outcome but it is a pathway to a structure that is fit for purpose in recognizing the important work that you do. 

Wages

In the settlement that was negotiated and supported by Together members last month, wages was still awaiting arbitration in the Industrial Commission; however, at the last minute the Government came to Together and made a wages offer which matched the position that Together had put forward to settle the outstanding wages dispute. This wages outcome will apply across those areas formerly in the Core EB, including Child Safety.

The government had effectively been offering a 0% wage increase for workers who had been previously covered by the Core Agreement. This is because the Newman government had let wage increases decline over time to below the minimum safety net wages contained in your Award. Together has consistently fought and won increases to the Award wages each year and deliver you a pay increase in September. This continued to push the minimum safety net wages above your EB wage rates and you ended up receiving the higher of the two rates. That meant that the previous offers by the government which were below the safety net wouldn’t have delivered any actual wage increase for most workers in Youth Justice.

Your new wage increases that Together members negotiated turn this unfair situation around. We won increases to your real wages of 7.5% over the next 18 months. 

To do this, your new EB wage rates will be caught up to your Award wage rates, and then you will receive three increases to your wages of 2.5% as follows:

  • 1 September 2021 – 2.5%
  • 1 March 2022 – 2.5%
  • 1 September 2022 – 2.5%

These new wage rates will go a long way towards bridging the gap with your colleagues in other departments such as Queensland Health and Transport and Main Roads.

None of this would have been possible without the patience and determination of Together members holding on through these prolonged campaign and negotiations – well done!

Progression

The PO2/3 progression policy will be reviewed in consultation with Together, in order to streamline and fast-track the process, which we know is not currently working like it should. This review will commence within 1 month of certification.

Additional improvements:

  • Reviews of the following policies, in consultation with Together:
    • Recruitment & Selection
    • Hours of Work
    • Flexible Working Arrangements
    • Regional & Remote Incentives
  • Creating a Transfers policy;
  • Additional funding for Training & Development;
  • Training for Mental Health First Aid Officers; and,
  • No loss of any existing conditions.

If you have any questions about the EB, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1800 177 244 or by emailing your.union@together.org.au.

Congratulations again to Together members for bringing the state government to the table to improve your wages and conditions.

The ballot will close at 4pm on Tuesday 6 April 2021 – make sure you have your say!

The employer ballot is a formality before the EB can be certified in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and then become operational. We encourage all members to once again vote in this ballot – your voice is important in this process!

While we know this is not everything we were hoping for in this round of bargaining, this EB represents a really significant step towards addressing the key issues of workloads, attraction and retention and wages overall for Child Safety.

 

Your Steering Committee delegates have also been successful in leveraging this outcome to ensure that a range of other matters, in addition to those that are included in the EB, are addressed as a priority.

 

This includes:

  • Fast-tracking expanded incentive payments for CSOs in areas identified as having a high number of CSO vacancies;
  • Increasing permanency amongst existing staff and ensuring that future CSO vacancies are advertised as permanent (with Regions ‘risk managing’ additional CSO positions);
  • Developing workforce plans, based on data and evidence (including feedback from staff and consultation with unions) to address identified workplace issues; and,
  • Addressing leadership and culture issues within the workplace, including a review of the ACP process.

Highlights of the EB include:

 

Workloads and additional Child Safety positions

 

Through a commitment to employ 153.5 FTE additional positions (a mix of CSOs, Senior Team Leaders and Administration Officers), average caseloads of Ongoing Intervention CSOs will be reduced to 16 by June 2022.

*Please note that it has been clarified with the Department that Long-Term Guardianship to Chief Executive (LTGO-CE) cases are included and are weighted as 1, as per the existing Workload Management Manual and Policy.

In addition to these new positions, the Workload Management Manual (WMM) and Policy (WMP) will also be rolled out to other Child Safety work units within 12 months of certification of the EB. Further, there will be a workload redesign project, in consultation with Together, to look at different and better ways to do your critical work. 

 

AO2s in CSSCs - Classification Review

 

In consultation with Together, the Department will review the characteristics, duties and capabilities for both AO2 and AO3 roles in CSSCs to ensure that any role undertaking work at the AO3 level is upgraded.  Where this occurs, existing permanent AO2 staff will be prioritized through direct appointment or, where appropriate, local limited applicant pools. This process will commence within 2 months of certification.

 

Review of PO structure for CSOs

 

The EB contains a commitment to review the suitability of the PO stream for Child Safety Officers, with the intention to use the outcomes to inform discussions of your next agreement in 2023. This is similar to the pathway that Together members in Queensland Health took to reach agreement around the Health Practitioner (HP) stream – a new classification stream that resulted in a pay structure that recognized the work they did and addressed challenges around attraction and retention, which is exactly what is facing Child Safety right now. It is not an immediate outcome but it is a pathway to a structure that is fit for purpose in recognizing the important work that you do.

 

Wages

 

In the settlement that was negotiated and supported by Together members last month, wages was still awaiting arbitration in the Industrial Commission; however, at the last minute the Government came to Together and made a wages offer which matched the position that Together had put forward to settle the outstanding wages dispute. This wages outcome will apply across those areas formerly in the Core EB, including Child Safety.

 

The government had effectively been offering a 0% wage increase for workers who had been previously covered by the Core Agreement. This is because the Newman government had let wage increases decline over time to below the minimum safety net wages contained in your Award. Together has consistently fought and won increases to the Award wages each year and deliver you a pay increase in September. This continued to push the minimum safety net wages above your EB wage rates and you ended up receiving the higher of the two rates. That meant that the previous offers by the government which were below the safety net wouldn’t have delivered any actual wage increase for most workers in Youth Justice.

 

Your new wage increases that Together members negotiated turn this unfair situation around. We won increases to your real wages of 7.5% over the next 18 months. 

 

To do this, your new EB wage rates will be caught up to your Award wage rates, and then you will receive three increases to your wages of 2.5% as follows:

  • 1 September 2021 – 2.5%
  • 1 March 2022 – 2.5%
  • 1 September 2022 – 2.5%

These new wage rates will go a long way towards bridging the gap with your colleagues in other departments such as Queensland Health and Transport and Main Roads.

 

None of this would have been possible without the patience and determination of Together members holding on through these prolonged campaign and negotiations – well done!

 

Progression

 

The PO2/3 progression policy will be reviewed in consultation with Together, in order to streamline and fast-track the process, which we know is not currently working like it should. This review will commence within 1 month of certification.

 

Additional improvements:

  • Reviews of the following policies, in consultation with Together:
    • Recruitment & Selection
    • Hours of Work
    • Flexible Working Arrangements
    • Regional & Remote Incentives
  • Creating a Transfers policy;
  • Additional funding for Training & Development;
  • Training for Mental Health First Aid Officers; and,
  • No loss of any existing conditions.

If you have any questions about the EB, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1800 177 244 or by emailing your.union@together.org.au.

 

Congratulations again to Together members for bringing the state government to the table to improve your wages and conditions.

 

The ballot will close at 4pm on Tuesday 6 April 2021 – make sure you have your say!

 

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au