UPDATE: As reported in SITREP 03/14, the Union had listed a dispute before the IRC in relation to the Department’s attempt to insert fixed 3-year term appointment into an advertisement for what has always been a permanent position. The Union sought to have the advertisement withdrawn and replaced by one advertising a permanent position, with no 3-year term. In proceedings today, the Department agreed to withdraw the fixed term aspect of the advertisement, and instead to re-advertise the position as a permanent position. Any applications received thus far will not need to be resubmitted, and the deadline for applications will be extended to 17 March 2014.
Sanity prevails. But for how long? Today in the Commission the Department made clear that they had every intention of pursuing such an approach for “a number of positions” over the coming period. Which positions? And why? Will it be only Op Support positions? Or will the three year spill and fill appointments be applied to operational positions that hold allowances? Or beyond? More to follow.
Camping out at Skoda
As reported in SITREP 49/13, the Union contested the Departments claim that firefighters who attended the major bushfires in October 2013, and who were then “accommodated” by the Department on stretchers at Skoda Stadium, had been adequately looked after. The IRC found that stretchers in a stadium did not meet the required level of amenity, and consequently instructed the Department to make a $200 payment for each member for each night that they were left at the Skoda in the camp style accommodation. Retained members are reminded to inform the Union if they’ve not received payment.
AMP Show Cause – call us.
Members who receive an AMP Show Cause letter are reminded to not reply to the Department until they have contacted the Union Office. This is particularly important if it is the second such letter you have received. The Union’s staff do a fantastic job in representing members, but there is not much they can do if members fail to take basic advice, so please – call us.
Abetz’s wage explosion fantasy
Senator Eric Abetz, the Federal Government’s Minister for Employment, and grand-nephew of Adolf Hitler’s Ambassador to Vichy France during World War II, has lectured Australian workers against making wage claims lest they eat into corporate profits. This, after 22 years of uninterrupted economic growth and with the profit share of GDP at record highs, and of course conversely, wages at record (relative) lows. You have to wonder when workers are going to get something more than the crumbs off the master’s table. Certainly, if we wait for their generosity it will be a very long time indeed.