Members would recall that the 17% wage increases secured by our Union last year were to be delivered through two awards – a 12 month award in 2000 and a 3 year award in 2001. The 2000 award delivered the first 5% increases – 3% in February 2000 and a further 2% in August 2000. The Union lodged our 2001 award application with the Industrial Relations Commission yesterday to ensure payment of the remaining 12% increases, the details of which can be found on the attached table. As required by our Rules, Union dues will also rise by 3% on 9 August (up 22c to $7.70 per week).
Allowances: With the exception of the Country Officers’ Allowance (which remains fixed at $5.00 per week) and the Kilometre Rate, all of the allowances payable under Table 3 of the Award will be increased in line with the general wage rises – ie, 3%, 4% and 5%. The Kilometre Rate, however, will increase by the full 12% (from 71c to 80c) on 9 August. Table 4 (travelling and transfer) allowances are adjusted in line with general public sector movements and will therefore not be varied to automatically follow these wage increases.
Award Variations: Negotiations over recent weeks have seen the Union secure a number of improvements for the 2001 Award (see our website for the actual clauses):
Clause 6, Allowances: The Country S/O’s allowance will be extended to all include all Inspectors serving outside the GSA, N3, N7 and S3 (subclause 6.6.20).
Clause 8, Hours of Work: This change will align the hours of work for Recruits with all other members by moving them from a 38 to 40 hour week, thereby delivering an additional $50 per week to our lowest paid members. (Clauses 8.1 and 8.8).
Clause 13, Progression and Promotion: The wording regarding minimum service up to Qualified Firefighter will be varied (but not shortened) to minimise losses for members who cannot complete their modules on time (Clauses 13.4 and 13.5). The order of promotion from the SOPP will also be clarified to be by order of merit arising from each member’s performance in that SOPP’s assessments (Clause 13.9.2).
Clause 14, Operational Support Positions: All reference within the award to the term “special duties” will be replaced by the new title of “operational support”.
Clause 19, Examinations and Assessments: A new subclause (19.2) will be inserted to allow members seeking promotion to arrange their own external assessment (and be properly compensated for doing so) if the Dept. cannot assess you within 2 months.
Clause 29, Transferred Employees’ Compensation: Will be varied to clarify that any member transferred to the country by merit selection will be entitled to claim under this Clause for both their outgoing transfer, and for their return transfer to the GSA.