December 14, 1999

In September the Department, true to its ongoing fixation with Y2K, wrote to us seeking revised pay arrangements for permanent members over the coming Christmas/New Year period. We have agreed to special pay arrangements over this time in recent years, but what they sought this year was something else again.

Fearing the banks might go bunk, the electricity grid might shut down and/or the state’s water supplies dry up, the Department intended to pay all members 6 weeks’ pay on 30 December – with members not being paid again until 10 February 2000. If you’ve ever been paid monthly (let alone in 6 week blocks) you’ll know how difficult it can be. Seriously, if the banks were going to pack it in on 1 January then they’d have to be the last place you’d want to keep 6 weeks pay! The State Committee rejected this approach in favour of last year’s arrangements.

WHAT THE DEPARTMENT WANTED

  • Normal pay on 30/12/99, less casual overtime and any performance related allowances for the period ending 16/12/99.
  • An additional 4 weeks’ pay in advance on 30/12/99 (for the pay periods 13/1/00 and 27/1/00), less casual overtime and any performance related allowances for this period.
  • All casual overtime and performance related allowances to be paid on 10/2/00, along with the resumption of normal pay arrangements.

OUR UNION’S POSITION

  • Normal pay on 16/12/99 (unaffected)
  • Normal pay on 30/12/99, less any casual overtime and any performance related allowances for the period ending 16/12/99.
  • Normal pay on 13/1/00, plus all casual overtime and performance related allowances for the period ending 16/12/99 and 30/12/99. 

The Department has assured us that its StarGarden pay system is fully Y2K compliant, as has just about every financial institution in the country. Of course, it is possible that our electricity and/or water supplies willfail on 1/1/00, but if that does happen then the pay period on 13/1/00 will be the least of your worries!

The Union has reminded the Department of its Award obligations (see Clause 6.8) and now expects either the above position, or normal arrangements, to apply.
Chris Read
State Secretary