Months of Silence on Port Arthur Workplace Issues

Another month has passed since our last update to members on issues arising from the endorsed Port Arthur Agreement Log of Claims, as well as concerns over widespread underclassification of workers in Band 1 positions. You can catch up on our 1 June update from CPSU Organiser Nellie Metcalfe by Clicking Here

We have yet to receive any word on the progress towards reclassifying workers wrongly classified at Band 1. The CPSU blew the lid on this issue after members revealed they had been working for years in classifications principally intended for trainees – missing out on opportunities for progression, better pay, or moving their careers forward. When pushed by the CPSU earlier this year, PAHSMA communicated they had applied for additional funding to assist progress and required confirmation from the State Budget before a final response could be given. With the State Budget come and gone, and despite the Port Arthur Agreement expiring on 30 June 2022, we are seemingly no closer to answers.  

The expired Agreement included a commitment from the parties to undertake certain work during the life of the Agreement. These include: 

  • Undertaking a review of the arrangements for school student’s rates of pay; 
  • Undertaking a review of the statements of duties and classifications of positions at Port Arthur and to consider the potential for implementing broadbanding arrangements for certain roles; and, 
  • Undertaking a review of rostered day worker arrangements with the review to be completed before 14 April 2022 so that new RDW working arrangements are implemented from 1 July 2022 or for either party to refer this matter to the Industrial Commission for conciliation and/or arbitration. 

As with the Band 1 issue, the protracted review of Rostered Day Worker arrangements is seemingly no closer to being progressed either. Despite communicating that they had received a final report from KPMG in May, the results of this review have not been shared with workers or their union in accordance with your industrial right to meaningful consultation.  

In addition, Port Arthur committed in February this year to a further 16 matters which included continuing to conduct ICC meetings in accordance with the ICC Terms of Reference and reporting on 11 reviews/investigations it had committed to undertake. According to the last report provided dated 16 May 2022 only three of these matters had been completed with the remaining described as either ‘underway’ or ‘ongoing’. There has been no ICC meetings since then and there are none currently scheduled. 

The CPSU has attempted repeatedly to contact PAHSMA Human Resources and Culture Manager Jenny Goulding to get a briefing on progress on these important issues. Now, as then, we are still awaiting a response. This week CPSU Assistant Secretary Tom Lynch again wrote to Ms. Goulding regarding the outstanding issues requesting an urgent response and issuing an ultimatum.  

Members at Port Arthur are frustrated and disheartened by the lack of progress on these issues – and the lack of respect shown by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority. The commitment to open communication and urgent work towards resolving the many longstanding issues workers are facing has seemingly been abandoned. We believe the failure to progress the reviews detailed in the Agreement constitutes a breach of Agreement and we will be meeting with members to consider how we should be responding. 

If you have any questions, feedback or intel to share, please contact CPSU Assistant Secretary Tom Lynch at t.lynch@tas.cpsu.com.au

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