All the latest news and views from the CPSU team
Member Advice and Support Team Quarterly Update, April 2013.
EVERY DAY the CPSU is working to help Members individually and collectively.
Since the start of 2013 until today the Member Advice and Support Team’s seen 210 cases come in. There’s a more detailed description in a table at the bottom of this update.
You can read number of examples of how, with the CPSU’s help, Members have achieved real wins that impact on their working and personal lives.
These are only a few examples of the cases that the CPSU are working on. These are real cases where Tasmanian workers are now better off thanks to their union. You never know when you might need help.
Tell your colleagues to join the CPSU, who works for the best interest of Members.
If something goes wrong it pays to have the CPSU on your side. It doesn’t pay to wait, as joining with a pre-existing issue can mean paying a significant entrance fee. Sometimes the outcomes of these cases not only benefit the Member directly affected but other employees as well.
Direct your colleagues to https://www.cpsu.com.au/join-now/
Department must back track after flawed process
CPSU won a selection review conference in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission in March after a DPIPWE Member raised concerns about how the process was run.
Flaws in the process included that the selection panel had no training and reference checks weren’t done for all candidates.
After the conference, the Department agreed to re-run the process,
This will include a new selection panel who will undertake training, reference checks will be done for all candidates and applicants have a chance to add to their answers for the selection criteria.
The Member wanted a fair, transparent process, and this is likely to be the case after this result.
Employee wins back hours
A Service Tasmania employee won back her substantive hours after DPIPWE with the help of the CPSU.
As a result of the Service Provision Review, which changed shop hours, there were nine hours effectively removed from the employee’s permanent hours. To fill these hours the Department agreed to find meaningful duties for the member while looking for work to make up the nine hours she was entitled to. The Member lived in a remote region, and it was difficult to find other work. Another staff Member at the same Service Tasmania shop then moved to another outlet, which meant there were hours of work available, which the Member could work. However, the Department was difficult about this and the CPSU needed to lodge an application with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
Finally the Department saw reason, and now this CPSU Member has her full substantive hours and a new roster, without needing to go to the Commission.
This was a terrific outcome for this Member, who was finally given the hours that were rightly hers.
New Award for Radio Dispatch Operators
AFTER two long years of negotiations and disputes around bargaining in good faith, Radio Dispatch Operators are now covered by the Tasmanian State Service Award (TSSA), with a specific appendix of conditions.
This means Radio Dispatch Operators have complete TSSA coverage when it comes to leave, allowances, workplace flexibility, consultation and change provisions and grievance and dispute settling procedures, and many more provisions.
Previously these workers were covered by the Police Departmental Employees Award and the out-dated Radio Dispatch Agreement. The conditions of employment for these workers hadn’t been updated since 2005.
Benefits of this change include:
- Standard hours for shift workers
- Right to refuse overtime
- A clearly defined and updated salary table
This is a great outcome for these workers, who now have clarity and certainty when it comes to their conditions.
CPSU fights for fairer remuneration at prisons
The CPSU’s working to secure Correctional Facilities Allowance (CFA) for Members at the Tasmanian Prison Service.
So far the CPSU’s lodged 8 applications in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, with 25 more to be lodged as well.
This allowance is 7.5% of an employee’s salary, paid to employees (excluding Correctional Officers) who regularly supervise inmates.
The CPSU asked for a review of the CFA application in December last year but got no response. Then the CPSU made applications to the Department of Justice on behalf of Members but again received no response.
Finally the CPSU lodged a dispute with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, with the TIC setting strict timelines for the applications.
The ongoing advocacy’s been appreciated by these Members: “Thank you very much to the CPSU for your support, professionalism and efficiency in this dispute. This work is a credit to your union.”
Right payment thanks to CPSU
A DHHS Member received a fair redundancy pay out thanks to the CPSU.
The Member was acting in a higher position when she was made redundant. Despite acting up in a higher role, the Member’s recreation leave was paid at the substantive level.
This DHHS employee was ignored when she raised the issue herself, but with the CPSU’s help this Member received her leave pay out at the higher level.
She said this win made a huge difference as a single woman leaving the service. “Thank you so much for your persistence and for fighting on my behalf, I felt very alone before I sought your help”.
Not only has this helped this individual Member, it also sets a precedent for workers who are acting in a higher position and their position is abolished.
CPSU helps Members after January fires
THE CPSU’s Celeste Miller was busy at the start of 2013 in the wake of the Tasmanian bushfires.
Celeste’s support included:
- Negotiating with the State Service Management Office and Departments for Special Leave for those impacted by the bushfires;
- Support and referrals to other service providers for Members who’d been affected by the fire
- Ensuring Dunalley Primary School staff were fully briefed and participated in consultation meetings around conditions of employment, workplace health and safety and school days.
This was an amazing effort on behalf of Members.
CPSU stops dodgy process
CPSU Industrial Officer Celeste Miller helped a Member through a lengthy code of conduct process that lasted for six months,
Celeste demonstrated case and investigation deficiencies, with the Department finally agreeing the Code of Conduct shouldn’t have been used. As a result the Code of Conduct process was also to be reviewed, which ultimately means a fairer process for employees in the future. “Thank you for your continued efforts and support,” the Member said. “Where would an employee be in this situation without union representation?”
Member not hit in hip pocket, thanks to their union
THE CPSU helped a Member who was ordered to repay a large amount of money after an over-accrual of recreation leave.
After 18 months of negotiations and advocacy the CPSU lodged a review of action with the State Service Commission. The CPSU negotiated an outcome that means the Member won’t need to make any monetary repayment.
Member rightfully appointed to position
A MEMBER successfully won a senior position in their Agency after the CPSU stepped in.
Initially the Member was unsuccessful, but after a selection review was lodged in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission this employee won on both merit and process grounds – a great result!
Selection processes should be fair, and in this case it certainly was not – a wrong that’s been made right, thanks to the CPSU.
CPSU corrects process in DHHS
A process that was being misapplied in DHHS has now been changed after the CPSU helped a Member.
The Member contacted the CPSU after they were asked to attend a compulsory health assessment under the guise of Ministerial Direction 23 – Workplace Health & Wellbeing Programs.
This DHHS employee wasn’t required to undertake this assessment which wasn’t compulsory for their occupational group. The CPSU discovered that MD23 was being misapplied across the Agency.
Discovering this, the CPSU took the matter to the Industrial Commission, with the system changed as a result.
Now MD23 related programs are promoted on a non-compulsory basis, distinct from the mandatory health checks required of certain health workers
This is positive not only for the Member involved, but it also gives clarity to others working in DHHS.
Higher band, thanks to CPSU
A Member is now on a higher band after the CPSU helped with their translation review.
The CPSU made an application to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission on behalf of the Member.
This resulted in a move from Band 6 to 7 for this State Service employee.
A CPSU Member is now back working in their Agency thanks to the CPSU.
After the member was reinstated to a position at DHHS they were soon after made “surplus to requirements”. After the CPSU intervened the employee’s now working in a full-time permanent position in the agency they were working in.
It’s a great result for this Member who’d gone through a long and arduous process.
Agency pays up
A MEMBER is financially better off after the CPSU intervened.
This Member hadn’t been paid for a period of personal leave even though they had the necessary documentation.
The CPSU made an application to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
However, before the conference the Agency agreed to pay the Member the personal leave that was owed to them.
This is a great result for this Member who was paid what they were entitled to.
It’s great to be part of a union because a lot of voices are heard a lot more clearly than one little voice in the wilderness – it’s that power of collectiveness that’s so important. I’ve witnessed so many times where a group of people can make such a change.Tania
I believe in the power of collaboration. The CPSU works with the State Government to negotiate the best possible pay and conditions for its Members. It’s been proven that workplaces with strong unions pay higher wages, are safer and provide greater opportunities for training and career progression. The CPSU services also include advice, protection, and support at work –should you ever need it.Denny