December 16, 2011

Inside this issue:

  • Additional public holidays – Christmas/New Year
  • Additional public holidays – who gets the leave?
  • Additional public holidays – overtime
  • Easter Sunday public holiday and consolidated leave – update
  • Marine 1 dispute – back pay for members

Additional public holidays – Christmas/New Year

The Union can confirm that Sunday 25 December 2011 and Monday 2 January 2012 have been declared as additional public holidays so subclause 6.4 of the permanent award will see members who work on either of these days credited for consolidated leave for all hours actually worked.

For 25 December 2011, this means 14 hours leave for C Platoon (0001 to 0800 hours, and 1800 to 2400 hours), 10 hours leave for B Platoon (0800 to 1800 hours), and 12 hours leave for F Platoon. Beyond this, all members (including Ops Support members) will be credited for any hours actually worked.

For 2 January 2012, this means 14 hours leave for C Platoon (0001 to 0800 hours, and 1800 to 2400 hours), 10 hours leave for B Platoon (0800 to 1800 hours), 12 hours leave for F Platoon and 8.5 hours leave for members on the Special Roster (0800 to 1630 hours). Again any members, (including Ops Support members) will be credited for any hours actually worked.

Why is the additional public holiday on Christmas Day itself, rather than 26 December? In accordance with section 4 (j) of the Public Holidays Act when 25 December is a Sunday, the following day (Monday) is to be a (standard) public holiday. The additional public holiday on 25 December was declared by the previous Keneally government by way of the Public Holidays Order 2011.

Additional public holidays – who gets the leave?

Permanent members are entitled to consolidated leave for any and all hours actually worked within the 24 hours of each additional (not standard) public holiday. If members perform a part-change of shift then the member who actually works the additional public holiday gets the consolidated leave, not the member who was originally rostered to work that day.

Additional public holidays – overtime

Permanent members who work overtime within a 24 hour additional public holiday period should also be credited with consolidated leave for any and all such hours worked. Subclause 6.4 is clear in providing that “employees who actually work on such days, in the area covered by the public holiday, shall be credited with the same number of hours of consolidated leave as those hours actually worked on each such day”. There is no exception made for overtime, so a member who is required to stay back for two hours after a rostered day shift would be entitled to 12 hours’ consolidated leave, not 10. Similarly, members on recall should also receive consolidated leave for all hours worked within that calendar day, as should members in Operational Support positions who perform any work on an additional public holiday.

Easter Sunday Public Holiday and consolidated leave – update

Further to SITREP’s 16, 18, 21, 28 and 33, the Union’s case for compensation for the new Easter Sunday public holiday was heard by Justice Haylen in the IRC on 6 December. He reserved his decision, and members will be notified when it’s handed down.

Marine 1 dispute – back pay for members

Following conciliation and arbitration before the Industrial Relations Commission a decision regarding the payment of the Marine Allowance has now been handed down. The Union’s claim was that the Marine Allowance should be paid for all purposes (ie when on annual, consolidated, long service and sick leave and for superannuation purposes) to those members who had completed the agreed Marine Training Program on and from 18 June 2008.

The Department however argued for an arbitrary date of 1 June 2009 as this is when it alleged the training program had most likely been completed and prior to that members were not qualified. The IRC decision, whilst not nominating a date, recommended that the allowance be paid from  ‘…the date that the assessment on the final unit(s) of competency took place and was assessed as successfully completed’. 

During the case the evidence revealed that whilst most members had completed all of the training by June 2008, they were not actually assessed in two of the units of competency until February 2009. This delay was because the Department had erred in determining who could conduct the assessments and didn’t remedy the situation until February 2009 when it engaged OTEN to undertake this role. Following the decision the Department has agreed to now pay the Marine Allowance for all purposes back to February 2009 – frankly how could it not!

Whilst this is a partial win for members, there were some conclusions reached by Commissioner Ritchie that have the potential of creating more disputes down the track regarding qualifications and dates for progression and promotion. This is why the Union will be appealing the decision.

The Union in its application has made it clear that there should be no impediment to the Department paying the outstanding monies owed to members and shall be calling on it to do so as soon as possible. Until such payments have been made the paper work bans currently in place at affected stations (12, 17, and 22) are to remain in force.

Jim Casey
State Secretary