All the latest news and views from the CPSU team

Looking back on the year that’s been

IT’S been a busy 2013 at the CPSU. There are plenty of highlights and achievements we’ve made with the help and support of Delegates and Members.

We’ve provided a brief year in review below.

It’s by no means exhaustive but it’s important to take stock of what union Members have achieved over the past 12 months. Thanks again for your support and help during 2013. We wish you all a happy and safe festive season.






Unions fire appeal: After the devastating bushfires in the first two months of 2013 Tasmanian unions held fundraisers for the Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfires Appeal. CPSU staff and Members were quick to help out with fundraising barbecues, workplace fundraisers and a statewide collection day. In total Tasmanian unions raised $69,000 for the appeal. The CPSU caught up with Members who helped out in many ways.

These stories featured heavily in our 2012/13 Annual Report (find it here)


Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement

THIS Agreement, which sets the bar for other Agreements covering CPSU Members, dominated 2013. It started with an external satisfaction survey of a random sample of Public Sector employees that uncovered a range of issues and helped form the basis for negotiations. The overwhelming theme that emerged was the need for respect at work. During the course of the year, your union held Delegate meetings and four rounds of Member meetings around this agreement. Members overwhelmingly endorsed the Agreement and it was registered last week. Thanks to all of you who helped during the year by getting involved and keeping Members in their workplace informed.


Correctional Facilities Allowance

CPSU Members in the Department of Justice could finally receive back pay after a hard fight to prove they were eligible for the Correctional Facilities Allowance.

Non-custodial staff were knocked back several years ago and this time it took eight long months to finally get the nod.

This was a hard fought win that has opened the door for other Members in the Agency to make applications for the CFA. It demonstrates that when Members stick together with their union and stand by their convictions, we can achieve positive change.


Celebrated our CPSU Award winners

A number of Delegates and Members were honoured with the Annual CPSU Awards and commendations at our AGM in August.


These were:

CPSU Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Tasmanian Community

Maria Stacey (Port Arthur Historic Site)

CPSU Suzanne Pearce Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Children & Youth Services

Heath Lorkin (Child Protection)

CPSU Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Workplace Delegate

Melanie Smith (Tas Prison Service Programs Unit)

Commendations for Workplace Delegates:

Tamatha Creely (RHH – Patient Accounts)

Allen Stennings (DOJ – Prison Services)

Michelle Sharman (DHHS – Child & Youth Services)

Marc Nevah (TMD – Government Contact Centre)

Owen Hutchinson (DIER – Asset Management)


Organising Works Trainees graduate

THREE CPSU Organisers graduated from the year-long ACTU Organising Works course.

Last week Ruby Thomas-Thompson, Rosemary Stuart and Nick Duncombe graduated with Certificate 4 in Unionism and Industrial Relations. The ACTU course involved on the job training and course work over 2013. Congratulations to them for their hard work on the job and at the training course.


THE CPSU made a number of submissions during the course of 2013, including but not limited to:

  • Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Tribunal on politician’s salaries.
  • Draft Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2013
  • Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee, for an inquiry into the employment conditions of State Public Sector employees and the adequacy of protection of their rights compared to other employees.


Personal Leave provisions improved

AFTER months of negotiations important changes have been made to the Personal Leave provisions in the Tasmanian State Service Award.


These included:

Statutory declarations can be used to replace medical certificates. Under the new provisions a statutory declaration can be used if it isn’t reasonably practicable to obtain a medical certificate in all circumstances. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day of personal leave in a personal leave year or your 10th – if you can’t get a medical certificate you can complete a statutory declaration and your application will be accepted.

Carers leave is to provide care or support (previously care and support). While this change seems minor it will stop one department from refusing carers leave for parents supporting their child in hospital.    Read more here.

Manager’s Raising Concerns about Personal Leave. The manager must detail their concerns and give the employee a reasonable time to respond.

Read more here.



No forced redundancies

WE saw some great progress on public sector job security in 2013.

The CPSU’s always said forced redundancies weren’t necessary to make cuts the government said it had to make. In 2013 after the Remove the Threat, Restore the Confidence campaign, Premier Lara Giddings ruled out forced redundancies. The PSUWA also saw Employment Direction 25 revised so that there is no mechanism to use Section, a job security clause included in the registered PSUWA agreement. Although the Legislative Council rejected returning the redeployment period to 12 months it shouldn’t really make any practical difference at least for the next 3 years.


Our Organising & Campaigning and Member Advice & Support teams have worked hard to achieve great outcomes for individuals and groups of Members – far too many to list here.

Thanks again for your continued support over the course of 2013. We wish you a safe and happy festive season.



No Comments