Overview of Proposed 2005 Awards

February 17, 2005

Below is a summary of the changes within the proposed new 2005 Awards which members are being asked to vote upon at next week’s SGM (see Union Notice dated 16 February for meeting details). Both Awards will provide 4% wage increases per annum commencing from 4 March in the case of permanent members, and 1 April in the case of retained. Together with last year’s 4%, that makes a cumulative increase just shy of 17% over 4 years. Both Awards will be of three years duration, and will be fully funded by New South Wales Treasury budgetary allocations and will not be conditional on productivity offsets. There shall be no variation of the abovementioned awards except with the express agreement of both parties.

The new awards shall also contain the following enhancements to leave conditions:

1. The introduction of one (1) week of paid paternity leave;
2. Increasing paid maternity leave and paid adoption leave from the current nine (9) weeks to 14 weeks at full pay or 28 weeks at half pay;
3. Permitting access to pro-rata long service leave after 7 years service, in contrast to the current arrangements where access is usually granted after 10 years;
4. Allowing employees to take a period of long service leave at double pay, ie. an employee may use their entitlement to 2 months long service leave by taking 1 months leave and receiving 2 months pay for that 1 month period; and
5. Public holidays that fall while an employee is on a period of long service leave will be paid and not debited from an employee’s leave entitlement.

The Union will withdraw its Special Case before the Full Bench (MIC No 4 of 2004) and recognises that:

• the above mentioned wage increases compensate for all work value changes, special case considerations, and productivity and efficiency improvements up to 24 February 2005; &

• that the datum point for any future work value claims will be 24 February 2005.

[Proposed Wage Increases – The copy of this notice that was faxed to all stations contained the new wage rates for both permanent and retained members offered under the two proposed awards – Click here for a copy of the faxed version of this notice containing the rates.]

The Union and Department are in the process of finalising variations to the Awards to give effect to the wage increases and enhancements to leave conditions and other technical matters such as title, and duration of the awards. No other changes to the Awards will be made. It is expected that this will be concluded tomorrow – but given we are dealing with the Department, Public Employment Office and Treasury it may not be.

Nonetheless the variations are relatively straightforward and not contentious. As soon as the variations are agreed – which should be tomorrow – complete Permanent and Retained Awards will be posted on the Union’s website.

I would urge members to attend one of the meetings scheduled next week to debate and vote on the proposed Awards.

Craig Harris
Acting State Secretary

17 February 2005