You won better employment security!
Congratulations! Thanks to your hard work from next year temporary workers will have better rights and more employment security. Last week the government with the support of the independents and Katter party passed amended legislation that will give public sector workers the right to lodge an appeal regarding the decision made not to convert them to permanent status. This will take effect in the new year.
This is a huge win for union members!
We know, however, that the temporary conversion process did not result in permanent employment for many QSS Together members because of the poor processes used by QSS in the past and that while there have been many permanent appointments through the latest recruitment processes there have also been disappointments and concerns about the process.
Together Delegates Greg Walters, James Swan, Kathy Wacker and I, recently met with management to get an update on current recruitment processes within QSS and to discuss concerns that members have raised.
Once complete this process will have resulted in 51 additional permanent positions in the structure. This is good news and a direct result of your activity in the workplace.
While it is unfortunate that there were not more direct appointments to roles, the recruitment process does have a number of advantages over an “open merit” process to the open market and also provide for better opportunities in the future for those who have been through this merit process.
These positions have been recruited through a “closed merit” process which means that only QSS employees have been able to apply, this ensures that only current QSS employees have access to permanent employment in these roles. We have also confirmed with management that once these roles have been filled any vacancies created (e.g., by a permanent employee succeeding in one of the roles) will also be filled and we will be seeking that this process maximises employment of existing employees as well.
There were two main issues raised with us about these processes from members:
Firstly, some members have advised that despite being long-term employees, temporarily employed or acting in these roles, staff were not even given an interview in the shortlisting process. This is clearly, on the face of it, a real concern. Management were not aware of this issue when we raised it and it is very difficult to know how widespread the issue is or have meaningful discussions without details.
That is why it is so important for individual members, who have not been offered a permanent position or for an interview, seek feedback from the selection panel.
If you have concerns after considering this feedback then please call 1800 177 244 to get advice from an industrial officer.
The other issue raised was about the process for selecting candidates for the assessment centre process, and whether all applicants, including any late applicants, were subject to the same process. If not, then this is a real concern and management have committed to looking into these issues.
51 permanent positions is a good start, but we need to keep the pressure on QSS to convert temporary staff to permanent status and make higher duties arrangements permanent and we will continue to do so.
Finally, make sure your colleagues know what you achieved this week for your workplace and ask them to join your union.