Further progress was made this week with the Department agreeing to remove the need for members who declared as ‘unavailable’ and then responded to an incident to explain why. Attendance means payment, with or without explanation. The Department has also agreed to adjust the system so that members can correct their own claims after signing off (but prior to payment) if necessary. Both fixes require re-programming and will therefore take some time, but the work is already underway.
It’s perhaps not surprising that the new system has had its share of teething problems but members are hopefully now appreciating its benefits, including:
elimination of paper processes for claiming ‘officer in charge’ and Major Emergency entitlements;
elimination of paper processes for applying for annual leave;
extension of the deadline for authorising pays to midnight on Wednesday instead of 1600hrs;
ability for members to check if their claims have been authorised before pays are processed; and
elimination of sign on/off entries in two separate systems (members are now only required to sign on and off in SMART).
We’re continuing to work through the membership feedback, as published in SITREP 10/16 and encourage further comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub-Branch Executive Committees
Congratulations to all members who were recently declared elected to their Sub-Branch Executive Committees for the 2016-2019 term. Eleven of the thirteen Committees were declared elected unopposed. Ballot papers for the remaining two Committees – the Retained Sub-Branch Executive and the Country Sub-Branch Executive – have been posted to all station delegates in accordance with Rule 51(10) and voting will close next Friday and the names of all elected members will be published shortly following.
Making up the rules as they go
According to one Zone, “each 24 hour shift taken on sick leave counts as 2 occurrences … because outduties, allowances, NMC’s etc also count as 2 occurrences, and in this regard [the] AMP is no different”. Incorrect. The Department has previously conceded in correspondence that “‘an instance’ of sick leave is not necessarily one shift. An instance is any continuous period of sick leave.” Members sent a show cause letter with a 24 hour shift marked as two occurrences should contact the Union office asap.
Another Zone was discovered this afternoon working a permanent member on a different platoon in order to make up a shortfall in his rostered hours. Wrong again. Members who do not work the required hours of their roster cycle due to management stand offs are not responsible for the shortfall. Members who are directed to work outside of their rostered hours for this reason shall be paid at overtime rates.
The lesson from both stories? 1. The Department is often wrong. 2. If in doubt, ask your Union.