August 7, 2009

Water Cooler


Inside this issue:

  • Super delays?
  • SAP does not determine entitlements – our Awards do
  • Water coolers live to see another day

Super delays?

Members often ask why the Department takes weeks on end to forward their salary sacrifice contributions to their super fund.

Unfortunately (and unfairly), employers are legally only required to forward any salary sacrifice contributions that you elect to make by the 28th day of the month after the month in which you made the contribution. If, for example, you are paid (and therefore make your salary sacrifice contribution) on the 31st of the month then the Department has only 28 days to forward your salary sacrifice contribution to your super fund. If, however, you are paid on the 1st of the month then the the Department has until the 28th of the following month – ie, 59 days – to forward your contribution on. The rules for the 9% compulsory Superannuation Guarantee Levy (SGL) contributions are even worse, because employers only required to forward your super once every three months.

The Department has traditionally attempted to forward both SGL and salary sacrifice contributions on a monthly basis and as a result has not only been within the law on the timing of its transfers to members’ super funds, but ahead of it. That said, members who believe their super contributions are not being made within the statutory limits should contact the Union office for further assistance.

SAP does not determine entitlements – our Awards do

We recently caught management out telling permanent members that NMCs cannot be taken adjacent to a period of certified sick leave or Personal Carers leave. Why? Because SAP won’t allow it, apparently. There is no such limit in the Permanent Award and the only rules for the taking NMC sick leave are that:

a) NMC’s cannot be taken on more than 3 separate occasions in any calendar year; and
b) NMC’s cannot be taken on consecutive days; and
c) NMC’s cannot be taken on public holidays; and
d) NMC’s cannot not be taken in relation to any workers compensation claim.

Water coolers live to see another day

We last week came across a copy of a Zone Memo that took the Rees Government’s directive to stop purchasing bottled water to another level by instructing all stations within the zone to immediately cease the purchase of water bottles for their station water coolers and to return all water coolers to the supplier asap.

The Union has intervened, the instruction has been rescinded and sanity has prevailed. It’s just water under the bridge now.

Jim Casey
State Secretary