Despite the Union first winning this matter in the Industrial Relations Commission in June 2007 and then again on appeal and again on a second appeal some five and a half months ago, the Department still does not agree on the method for paying outstanding four hour recall claims.
The Department argues that members who are claiming the minimum payment of four hours at overtime rates for recalls to maintain minimum staffing must prove that they were not given prior notice. The Union’s position which is supported by a fair reading of the Industrial Relations Act is that the Department should prove that it gave members prior notice for those recalls in order to avoid having to pay up member’s claims for back pay.
For the purpose of these recall claims, ‘prior notice’ is taken to mean any instance when a member was given prior notification of the need to perform a recall while that member was still on-duty on a rostered shift.
To avoid doubt, a member who is notified while on-duty (whether on a rostered shift or on recall) of the need to perform a recall has been given prior notice. Conversely, a member who is contacted and notified of the need to perform a recall at any time while off-duty has not been given prior notice. It’s really that simple.
So to progress the matter, the Union is instructing all members who performed recalls without prior notice to claim the minimum four hours back pay for each outstanding recall by sending a ‘groupwise’ email (and keeping a copy for yourself) describing the date of the recall and requesting payment to the pay office with a CC to your relevant duty commander.
When you are paid, well and good. Otherwise all those members whose claims are rejected or not processed should advise the Union office in writing of their rejected claims by completing and faxing the attached form by no later than 31 March 2009 to the Union office on (02) 9218 3488, so we can take the matter further.