In today’s hearing in the Industrial Relations Commission, the Union and Department reached agreement that there will be no deductions from members’ leave records for any errors that occurred prior to 1 January 2003. Members who have been advised that they had lost leave due to an error in 2002 or earlier will therefore have any leave that was deducted in the recent leave audit automatically re-credited. Of course, members should check their leave records to ensure that this does in fact occur.Going forward, when it comes to change of annual leave groups the Department has also agreed that:
If a credit is generated as a result of you changing leave groups, you will be credited with a corresponding amount of consolidated leave; and
If a deficit is generated as a result of you changing leave groups, and that change was not at your request, then the shortfall will be written off. In other words the Department will wear the loss, not you.
Despite this settlement, from the information we’ve already received from members it is clear that there will still be errors for those deductions made after 1 January 2003. For this reason, members are again urged to check and pursue any deductions made for the 2003-2009 period in the following manner;
You should firstly email the Department requesting all information on each of the deductions made.
On receipt of the information, you should then check the records against the leave audit deductions to verify that the correct leave has been deducted.
If an error still remains, you should then email the Department with the specific details of the error.
If you are still not satisfied with the Department’s response, or the Department refuses to correct the error, you should then email the Union including all previous emails and information so that an Industrial Officer may follow up your individual case.
In the final wash up, the leave audited resulted in members recovering over 39,000 hours of leave. While the Department also recovered some 21,000 hours for leave which it had previously failed to deduct over the last six years, it was prevented from clawing back the 23,000 hours of leave for debits it failed to make prior to 2003. In other words, what started out a little over a week ago as a 5000 hour bonus for the Department has ended today as an 18,000 hour loss.
It would be remiss to conclude here without noting that a failure by members to regularly check their pay/leave records had eventually allowed the Department to short-change members by over 39,000 hours. If there’s a lesson to be taken from this dispute, it’s to check your pay/leave records every fortnight.