Social and Community Services – November Industry Update
Another Award wage rate increase!!!
Thanks to the Equal Pay decision won for members by the Services Union, as of 1 December 2018, Award rates will again increase. Look out for this change in your first payslip after that date, and contact Services Connect on (07) 3844 5300 if you believe your employer is not correctly passing this increase on.
Re-classification of CPL staff including ex-FSG employees
The Services Union is pleased to advise that agreement has been reached to reclassify CPL’s staff who are currently being paid at Level 1 Award rates to Level 2, effective December 2018. Importantly, staff have been assured that this classification change will be backdated to July 2018, with the associated payment being made in time for Christmas.
The Union remains concerned about the worrying trend of organisations classifying staff at Level 1 of the Award as a way to address scarcity of funding. We maintain that disability support work should be classified at a minimum level of 2 and are confident that this view is correct. On this basis, we have commenced a dispute with Selectability, a Townsville-based disability support organisation. We will provide updates as they become available.
Safe Places For Children
Speaking of classification disputes, The Services Union remains in dispute with Safe Places for Children on this same issue. The matter is before the Fair Work Commission for determination.
In the meantime, wherever you work, if you are currently being paid at Level 1 of the Award and believe that this does not truly reflect the work that you do, please contact Services Connect on (07) 3844 5300 to discuss whether we can assist you to challenge this.
Employment entitlements for ex-FSG staff
Recently The Services Union brokered an agreement for CPL to take up the funding, clients and staff of FSG after FSG entered administration. Unfortunately, CPL was unable to commit to honoring the accrued leave entitlements of those staff. Former FSG employee members have been advised by the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (a government safety-net agency) that they are not entitled to a payment representing their long service leave entitlements, as they consider that the move of staff to CPL represented a ‘transfer of calling’ and that CPL is now legally liable for the long service leave entitlements. We are aware that CPL does not agree with this view.
Members should be aware that CPL is in the process of taking advice from the Office of Industrial Relations about whether there really has been a ‘transfer of calling’ in this case. We are therefore hopeful as a Union that we will have more news for members in the near future.
Work mobile phones
The Services Union has recently been contacted by numerous employees in the industry who are facing misconduct allegations on the basis of items or activities that took place using their work-owned mobile phones.
It is extremely important for members to bear in mind that at all times such phones remain the property of the employer. They can be taken from you and inspected at any time. Importantly, content discovered on work mobile phones after the end of the employment has been successfully used to defeat unfair dismissal claims.
Wesley Mission Queensland
Bargaining has concluded at Wesley Mission Queensland, and the proposed agreement is with staff for voting.
EBA negotiations at Yourtown are proceeding on a national level, led by the Queensland branch. Members should encourage their colleagues who have not yet signed up to do so, as this will grow our capacity to achieve fair outcomes for all.
For more information on these or any other topics affecting our industry, please contact Services Connect Industrial Officer Team on (07) 3844 5300 to discuss how your Union can be of assistance.
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