News

CFA Update – Comprehensive CPSU Victory – TIC Allows CPSU Application To Proceed

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has tried unsuccessfully to stop Members’ Correctional Facilities Allowance (CFA) applications going ahead.

After lodging the first group of CFA applications on the 15th February with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, we received a conference date for 4th March before Deputy President Wells.  At the conference we discussed the first applications for the CFA for Program Facilitators.  DP Wells gave instructions for the applications to address the 8 criteria of the CFA as broken down in her previous decision and for applications to be divided up in to positions.

The Department of Justice raised a threshold issue alleging that the CPSU was breaching the “No Extra Claims” clause of the PSUWA Agreement by asserting that other employees should be entitled to the CFA.  They argued fervently that the CFA was only ever to apply to a certain list of agreed positions and by trying to seek retrospective application the CPSU was in breach of the Agreement.  Deputy President Wells said that as this was touched on in the previous PEaT case and determined she would hear it as a threshold matter and make a determination.

If the Department succeeded in arguing there was be a breach of the No Extra Claims clause then no one would be able to claim for the CFA members.  We had to ensure we gave strong arguments to ensure we could get a favourable decision and proceed the rest of the applications.

We had a hearing on this matter on the 29th April with Assistant General Secretary Mat Johnston and Celeste Miller appearing on behalf of the CPSU and Brett Charlton (DoJ), Phillip Baker (SSMO) and Heather Chaplin-Alomes (DoJ) appearing on behalf of the Minister.    The decision was handed down by DP Wells yesterday afternoon and she found in the CPSU’s favour (read the decision here).

This means we can continue with advancing Members’ applications!

We expect to have a decision from DoJ next week on whether the first applications for Program Facilitators are accepted.  We can then advise better on other applications of what to include in the remaining applications and proceed from there.

DP Wells has said in her decision that she will schedule another conference to address this issue and how she wants to proceed with hearing the applications.

We are developing a fact sheet to assist Members in drafting their applications and addressing the 8 criteria  so hopefully you will find this helpful if you haven’t started on the application yet, we will distribute this shortly.  For those of you who are waiting for feedback on your applications that you have sent to us that address the 8 criteria, we will be able to do this once we have a final decision on the Program Facilitator applications next week.

This will be a long process but hopefully the Department have learned pointless delaying tactics like this last application will not serve them well.  Even without further unnecessary delays from the Department, the number of cases and the Commission’s ability to schedule all the hearings will mean Members will have to be patient.  Given any final decision by the Commission to grant the Allowance is very likely to be applied retrospectively (like the PEaT decision), while frustrating, any delay will not adversely affect Member’s interests.

TIMELINE

27 Nov 2012

AEU Decision handed down by TIC

7 Dec 2012 

CPSU wrote to DoJ requesting an immediate review of CFA to all non-uniform positions

14 Jan  

DoJ says they will be in a position to respond fully by the end of the month

7 Feb    

After receiving no response, CPSU lodged Program Facilitators application to DoJ and requested a response by 14 February

14 Feb   

Received no response from DoJ

15 Feb 

Lodged TIC Dispute Application alleging DoJ breaching the Award

4 March

Held first conference for Applications

29 April  

Hearing on No Extra Claims

23 May  

TIC Decision handed down – comprehensive CPSU win.

No Comments