November 28, 2014

Alarm ClockInside this issue:

  • New improved A/L roster – update #1
  • Retained to Permanent Recruitment
  • 24 hour shifts and roster flexibility – update #1

New improved A/L roster – update #1

It’s not surprising, given the complexity of the change, that the new Annual Leave rosters published in this week’s Commissioner’s Orders have resulted in some issues and complaints. Our leave rosters might look simple, but they’re not. Some in management were arguing to delay the new rosters until everything had been triple checked and modelled, delaying implementation for many months – and perhaps longer.

The Union and, to its credit, the Department instead decided to proceed with an early launch date on the understanding that everyone benefited from the new rosters, and that any problems that did arise would be worked through quickly. This understanding was also supported by the new subclause 17.2.2 which ensures that no member will be disadvantaged in terms of leave or pay as a result of the new roster.

The B4 leave group is an example of the parties working through these issues cooperatively. Members on B4 were previously scheduled to commence leave on 26 December, but are now scheduled to commence on 28 December, following their 2nd night shift rather than their 2nd day shift. It has emerged that some B4 members do not want to work these nights and do not want to have use their own leave in order to avoid doing so. In response, the Union has now proposed that any member on B4 who does not want to work to the new roster in December can elect to defer it for that and the next leave period in September 2015. Members who exercise this option (which would need to be confirmed asap) would then proceed on leave on 26 December, but would also then return from their next leave period on Friday 2 October 2015 instead of the new roster’s Thursday 8 October. Problem solved.

The new Annual Leave roster is a better deal, period. Members who are concerned about the changeover should contact the Union, not panic. The Union will be meeting with the Department to review and work through any issues as they emerge, starting this coming Monday.

Retained to Permanent Recruitment

The Union’s officials have been fielding calls from retained members understandably interested in the possibility of permanent recruitment on the back of last week’s announcement of 40 new permanent jobs. As reported in SITREP 40, the Union’s position is that all 40 new positions should be drawn from the retained ranks. The Union will continue to press for this to occur.

Meanwhile, the Department continues to assert that a 4 week recruit course will be adequate, a position not shared by the Union’s officials, training staff at the College and many of the potential recruits. The two issues are related. If all 40 recruits were drawn from the retained membership then they would be online sooner, saving overtime, even if the recruit course was of standard length. More to follow.

24 hour shifts and roster flexibility – update #1

The first 24 hour shift has already been worked, with enterprising members organising to work A Platoon’s last night shift followed by C Platoon’s first day shift. And the world did not stop turning. Work is progressing on a 24 hour roster, but in the interim I encourage interested members to explore how PCOS provisions may allow something approximating a full 24 hour shift roster to be worked.

Jim Casey
State Secretary

For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.