Youth Justice - Time to make a decision – please read and respond

Posted on July 10, 2020

Today we are asking you to consider an important question relating to your working conditions. A lot has changed since December/January when members last voted to give in-principle agreement to an offer to settle your EB.

Today we are asking you to consider an important question relating to your working conditions. A lot has changed since December/January when members last voted to give in-principle agreement to an offer to settle your EB.

As you may recall, the government 'paused' the employer ballot – a necessary step before certification of the agreement. After recent changes to legislation, it is no longer a requirement to for an employer ballot to occur. The government is now seeking that Together provide its consent to certify the agreement, amended only to reflect the wage freeze legislation (which does not impact your agreement, as your wages would be arbitrated regardless). You can see the document here.

Your Steering Committee delegates, who have guided this collective bargaining process since 2018, have very seriously considered the options on the table. The options are:

  • Accept the EB offer, seek its certification and proceed with implementation; or,
  • Reject the EB offer and return to arbitration proceedings.

Your fellow Together members in Child Safety, Youth & Women are also considering this question. As you would probably imagine, workload issues for Child Safety staff is of the most importance to them. You can see the email they have been sent here.

For Youth Justice, there are different considerations. As some members noted in December/January during the previous ballot, the offer did not contain much specific to Youth Justice (a commitment to review AO2 and Convenor roles, and to review a number of policies). Our original determination - what we were seeking through arbitration - contained more claims that were Youth Justice-specific.

Your annual wage increases were set to be arbitrated under this agreement, so that process would remain regardless of which option members choose.

Your Steering Committee's recommendation is that we return to arbitration.

To be clear, there are no guarantees in arbitration. We will run the best evidence and arguments possible, but at the end of the day it will be decided by Industrial Commissioners. Still, your delegates believe this is an opportunity that does not come along frequently. They believe it is worth the shot.

Of course, Together is a democratic organisation and every member gets to have their say on their wages and conditions.

Vote here by Close of Business Friday 17 July.

This is a lot of information, and it's a complicated process. There are no silly questions! Your YJ team in the union office is here to help you with any questions about this that you might have. Please contact us on youthjustice@together.org.au or 1800 177 244 if you have any questions.

Thank you for the work you do.

 

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au