The Services Union - By Your Side Magazine - Autum/Winter 2021

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BY YO U R S I D E Autumn/Winter 2021

100 Y E A R S O F T H E M U N I C I PA L O F F I C E R S A S S O C I AT I O N : A Strong History L A B O U R DAY 2021: Celebrating Across Queensland WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY - A Focus On Mental Health & Workplace HSRs S P EC I A L R E P O R T: Your Super Guarantee - What You Need To Know A U T H O R I S E D BY N E I L H E N D E R S O N, B R A N C H S E C R E TA R Y, A U S T R A L I A N M U N I C I PA L , A D M I N I S T R AT I V E, C L E R I C A L A N D S E R V I C E S U N I O N Q U E E N S L A N D (S E R V I C E S A N D N O R T H E R N A D M I N I S T R AT I V E) B R A N C H A N D T H E Q U E E N S L A N D S E R V I C E S, I N D U S T R I A L U N I O N O F E M P L OY E E S.


Mental Health

CONTENTS BY YO U R S I D E BY YOUR SIDE MAGAZINE www.theservicesunion.com.au PRESIDENT: Lindy Henson SECRETARY: Neil Henderson EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT: Jennifer Thomas Published by the Australian Services Union, Queensland (Services and Northern Administrative) Branch EDITOR: Neil Henderson PRINTED BY: Harding Colour Printing T: 07 3907 6500 SERVICES CONNECT T: 07 3844 5300 F: 07 3846 5046 E: general@theservicesunion.com.au BRISBANE OFFICE 32 Peel Street (PO Box 3347) South Brisbane Q 4101 CENTRAL QUEENSLAND OFFICE 178 Quay Street (PO Box 5160) Red Hill, Rockhampton Q 4701 NORTH QUEENSLAND OFFICE 485 Flinders Street (PO Box 135) Townsville Q 4810 INDUSTRIAL TEAM: INDUSTRIAL COORDINATOR: Rebecca Girard SENIOR INDUSTRIAL OFFICERS: Jack Donaghy, Merinda Foster, Michelle Robertson LEAD INDUSTRIAL OFFICER: Drew Cutler INDUSTRIAL OFFICERS: Sig Boman, Maddy McGinnity, Josh Maguire, Jessica Wiggan, Samarah Wilson

30th Way

IN T H I S I S S U E ... 03 W E L C O M E From The Secretary Members Tackling The Big Issues 05 B R A N C H P R E S I D E N T REPORT Celebrating Our Members 06 E X EC U T I V E P R E S I D E N T REPORT Our 30th Way Campaign Focusing on Mental Health and Wellbeing 07 W O M E N Standing Up Against Domestic & Family Violence & Sexual Harassment 09 W O R K P L A C E H E A LT H & SAFETY Why HSR’s Are Important In Workplaces

DEVELOPMENT TEAM: DEVELOPMENT AND SACS COORDINATOR: Justine Moran SACS LEAD ORGANISER: Stuart Maggs GOC LEAD ORGANISER: Danny Reeves LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEAD ORGANISER: Ben Jones LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEAD ORGANISER: Tom Rivers ORGANISERS: Cianan Beaton, Tracey Coorey, John Denny, Glenn Desmond, Eddie Dey, Craig Dunn, Lachlan Enshaw, Tawanda Karasa,Chiara Millard, Chris McJannett, Jacqui Pedersen, Imogen Smith, Darci Wanamaker, Jeremy Young

10 S A C S I N D U S T RY N E W S Big Wins In The Industry Why Lobbying Pays Off

MEMBER BENEFITS TEAM: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION MANAGER: Zach Walsh GROWTH AND RETENTION LEAD: Juliet Salmon MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS OFFICERS: Tahlia Clowes Jayde Hagger, Dominic Skelton

15 E N E R GY I N D U S T RY NEWS With Big Changes, Collaboration Is Key

OFFICE ADMINISTRATION MANAGER: Jane Grey ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COORDINATOR: Cary Pollock FINANCE AND GENERAL ADMIN. OFFICER: Danny Cambow MEDIA/COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER: Belinda Hogan-Collis TRAINER/ORGANISER: Jim Oliver ADMINISTRATION OFFICERS: Karen Davis, Debbie Draper, Chevaughan Grey, Diana Sparke

02 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

12 LO C A L G OV E R N M E N T I N D U S T RY N E W S Members Stay Strong During EBA Negotiations

16 TA N A I N D U S T RY N E W S Rail And The New QR Rostering System QANTAS - Heading For The High Court

17 L A B O U R DAY C E L E B R AT I O N S 2021 See All The Photos From Celebrations Across Queensland 20 C E N T E N A RY O F T H E MOA Celebrating 100 Years Of The Municipal Officers Association 23 G L A M C O M M I T T E E Equality Is Our Core Business 24 YO U T H C O M M I T T E E How To Get Involved 25 S T U D E N T B U R S A RY WINNER Meet Emma Donovan 26 D E L EG AT E S T R A I N I N G Empowering Our Union’s Leaders 28 F R O M T H E I N D U S T R I A L C O O R D I N ATO R How We Provide Support To Our Members 30 S P EC I A L R E P O R T F R O M H A L L PAY N E L AW Y E R S Your Superannuation Guarantee - What You Must Know

We have been able to maintain the fantastic level of membership benefits without increasing the fees this year.


F R O M T H E S EC R E TA RY

ABOVE: SECRETARY NEIL HENDERSON CELEBRATES LABOUR DAY 2021 WITH ACTU PRESIDENT MICHELE O’NEIL, IN BRISBANE.

M E M B E R S TA C K L I N G T H E B I G I S S U E S BY N E I L H E N D E R S O N IT WAS GREAT TO BE BACK MARCHING AND CELEBRATING LABOUR DAY THIS YEAR AND TO CATCH UP WITH OLD FRIENDS LIKE ACTU PRESIDENT, MICHELE O’NEILL. Our members turned out in big numbers across Queensland to mark the centenary of the Municipal Officers Association (MOA). Just like back in the days of the MOA, The Services Union is still providing strong representation for our members to get well deserved pay rises and decent conditions in Local Government. Members at Hinchinbrook Regional Council have taken industrial action and are now engaged in proceedings in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, as are members in Mackay Regional Council. Our members at Mareeba Shire Council are waiting on a decision of the QIRC about whether there should be paid maternity leave, something which Mareeba Council says “...the community does not get any benefit from...”

We are also engaged in significant and complex proceedings in the Industrial Court of Queensland where the Moreton Bay Regional Council would rather try to trash the whole Award system than pay weekend penalty rates to our members in Libraries.

involved in assisting members who want to change their work arrangements through flexible working agreements.

Our Union and our Rail Industry lost a great friend and supporter with the passing of our Rail Industry Vice President Tehanne DenhamJarvis in May. Tehanne’s contribution to our Executive and Union will be greatly missed.

Through the ASU National Office we have been engaging with the Commonwealth Department of Health to ensure access to vaccines at the earliest possible time for Disability Care workers. We are also dealing with the impact of increasing employer interest in electronic surveillance of employee activity while they are working remotely.

We got a demonstration of the risks our members face every day to deliver electricity into Queensland when Callide C Power Station caught fire. Such a relief that there were no injuries and that the evacuation plan all worked so well.

We also can’t lose sight of the need to hold the Morrison Government to account with a Federal election looming. Without the ACTU inspired Jobkeeper scheme, many of our members would have suffered significant financial stress during the pandemic.

The big issues remaining for us in the second half of 2021 are to continue to deal with the impact on work of the COVID pandemic and a possible federal election. Our Union is heavily

We need a government that has some vision and that doesn’t need to be dragged kicking and screaming to do what’s necessary to keep the economy going and to look after all Australians.

BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 03


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FROM THE BRANCH PRESIDENT

ABOVE FROM LEFT: SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER, MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH, AND MEMBER OF THE SERVICES UNION TERRI BUTLER, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY AND FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER ANTHONY ALBANESE AND PRESIDENT OF THE SERVICES UNION LINDY HENSON, CELEBRATE LABOUR DAY IN BRISBANE.

S U P P O R T I N G A N D C E L E B R AT I N G O U R M E M B E R S BY L I N DY H E N S O N WE’RE HALFWAY THROUGH 2021 AND WHAT A BUSY SIX MONTHS THE SERVICES UNION HAS ALREADY HAD. We’ve been heavily involved raising awareness about Mental Health and Wellbeing as a workplace issue as part of our ongoing 27 Ways and Growing Campaign. It’s not surprising, mental health has been prevalent with members’ grappling with workload issues, as well as isolation over the past year. We have assisted our members as they return to work and have been helping them deal with any issues arising from work from home arrangements. It’s certainly kept our Organisers and Industrial Officers very immersed, and we thank them for always being by the side of our members. Training about our 30th Way is being achieved through educational sessions in our members’ workplaces and also via our Workplace Delegates Roadshow which took place in Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane earlier this year. We will continue this roll out until all our members have mental health and wellbeing policies in their workplaces. Getting back to almost normal meant we were able to celebrate Labour Day across Queensland in May. It was amazing to be in Brisbane for the

celebrations and participation from our members across Queensland was huge. The fact we also celebrated the centenary of the Municipal Officers Association (MOA) on Labour Day, of which I was a member, made it extra special. Thanks to all who attended an event. This will be my last year as President of The Services Union. In 2022, I have plans in place to commence my retirement from Townsville City Council. I am proud to have been the first female Vice President for the Local Government Industry Committee, the first Female Deputy President and the first female President of the Queensland Services Union. At the February Branch Executive meeting we unanimously voted for our current Treasurer, Kate Cotter to succeed me in 2022. Congratulations to Kate who will do an excellent job at leading our Union alongside our Secretary Neil Henderson and Executive President Jennifer Thomas and our amazing member based executive team. Finally, I would like to pay respect to my Branch Executive colleague, Tehanne Denham-Jarvis who recently passed away. Tehanne was a hardworking and respected Vice President of the Rail Industry Division Committee and a dear colleague and friend. I will miss her greatly.

BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 05


Mental Health

F R O M T H E E X EC U T I V E P R E S I D E N T

30th Way

ABOVE FROM LEFT: EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT JENNIFER THOMAS ADDRESSES WORKPLACE DELEGATES AT OUR 30TH WAY - MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING CONFERENCE ALONG WITH PANEL MEMBERS INDUSTRIAL COORDINATOR REBECCA GIRARD, WORKERS’ PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT SERVICE SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER KARINA MAXWELL AND CEO OF MATES IN CONSTRUCTION (QLD AND NT) JORGEN GULLESTRUP.

M E N TA L H E A LT H A N D W E L L B E I N G I S A W O R K P L A C E R I G H T BY J E N N I F E R T H O M A S THERE ARE BENEFITS TO WORKERS, EMPLOYERS AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY FROM IMPROVEMENTS TO WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING POLICIES WHICH COULD LOWER EMPLOYEE ABSENTEEISM, INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCE THE $17 BILLION A YEAR IT’S CURRENTLY COSTING AUSTRALIA. The Services Union has been playing a vital role in raising awareness of mental health as a workplace issue as well as supporting members with mental health problems, especially during the COVID pandemic, through our industrial services and more broadly via the Queensland Unions Workers’ Psychological Support Service. At our recent Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Delegates Conference, we not only examined what good model clauses and policies looked like, we also discussed issues relating to our community mental health system, the industrial legislative framework and the steps employers can take to minimise risks and support their employees. We also focused on the increased risks for people experiencing mental illness during the current COVID pandemic and together with our partners HESTA, Energy Super, LGIA Super and QSuper, delved into the issue of mental health and its impacts on people and their retirement wealth. 06 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

Our Union has already secured model Mental Health and Wellbeing initiatives for many members in their Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs) at such workplaces as Logan City Council and Brisbane City Council. More recently, we’ve had the likes of Gladstone and Bundaberg Regional Councils signing up to roll out our Mental Health and Wellbeing initiatives which includes training from Work Safe. This collaboration means we’re working with employers to ensure they provide assistance and support to employees in relation to accessing mental health services as well as identifying and taking reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce factors that contribute to work-related stress and ill health. After the recent fire at Callide Power Station, it was our Union which took the lead, initiating consultation with Queensland Unions Health and Safety Representative Support Service Coordinator Damien McGarry, for all the Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) on site as well as engaging Mates in Construction for their support. Our Union is focusing on the development of Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) in members’ workplaces. Every workplace has Workplace Health and Safety issues, from psychological risks to manual handling, slips, trips and falls. It’s important we are building the skills and knowledge of our HSR members to perform their role effectively.


WOMEN

ABOVE FROM LEFT: DIRECTOR OF BASIC RIGHTS QUEENSLAND (QLD) FIONA HUNT, LIFE MEMBER LURLINE COMERFORD, PROJECT WORKER FOR BASIC RIGHTS QLD AND MEMBER SIAN TOOKER, EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT JENNIFER THOMAS, SERVICE MANAGER FOR THE CENTRE FOR WOMEN AND CO. DYANA MILLER AND LYDIA CHAU AT THE 2021 WORKPLACE DELEGATES CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BREAKFAST.

S TA N D I N G U P A G A I N S T D O M E S T I C V I O L E N C E A N D S E X UA L H A R A S S M E N T THIS YEAR, THE PALASZCZUK GOVERNMENT WILL LEGISLATE AND IMPLEMENT COMMUNITY MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE ROLE OF COERCIVE CONTROL IN DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE (DFV) WITH THE SERVICES UNION CONTINUING TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY SECTOR TO ACHIEVE THIS OUTCOME. At our recent Delegates Conference Roadshow which took in Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane we hosted a Women’s Breakfast at each location focusing on the proposed new law and the impacts of Coercive Control and Domestic Violence (DV). Speakers included, North Queensland DV Resource Centre Manager Mandy Thompson, Women Health Information and Referral Service Central Queensland Inc Manager Janis Littleboy and Service Manager for The Centre for Women and Co. Dyana Miller. In Brisbane, we were joined by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman who explained timelines in regard to the legislation. Project Worker from DFV Work Aware Sian Tooker also spoke about our DFV training with organisations and workplaces.

Our Union, along with partner services where many on our DFV frontline members work, collaborated in the lead up to the 2020 Queensland Election to lobby for this legislation. We are pleased that the Palaszczuk Government has taken such decisive action and is taking the time for broad consultation and careful crafting of the legislation to ensure we get it right. In other news, the Morrison Government finally published their Roadmap for Respect, allowing it to collect dust for 15 months. This was a response to all 55 of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s recommendations outlined in the Respect@WorkReport. Australia is also lagging behind the comparative OECD countries in responding to sexual harassment and it’s our Union’s business to ensure the Morrison Government acts. We were a key union during the March4Justice rallies, and its our business to ensure the Morrison Government does the right thing by all women. This also means campaigning for 10 days DV Leave which is critical for women’s economic security when making a decision to escape domestic violence. BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 07


Avoid taxing times

It’s almost tax time – and this could impact you if you’ve hit the magical age of 31 or if your earnings are creeping past the $90,000pa mark. This is due to the government’s “stick and carrot” approach to private health insurance.

Firstly, it’s the 30-somethings

If you were born between 1 July 1989 and 30 June 1990, you’ve reached a critical age for private health insurance. This is the age at which the Australian Government applies a levy — called Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading — on top of your premium if you put off getting private hospital insurance until you’re older. LHC loading increases your premiums by 2% for each year you are over 30. For example, if you wait until you’re 40, you could pay an extra 20% on the cost of your hospital cover. If you wait until you’re 50, you could pay 40% more, and so on, up to 70%. To avoid paying the loading, you’d need to get hospital cover by 1 July following your 31st birthday.

Moving up the earnings ladder?

As your income starts to grow, you may be liable to pay an extra Medicare levy if you don’t have private hospital cover. Depending on your income and marital status, you could pay from $900 to over $4200 per year in extra tax, as the table below shows.

Medicare Levy Surcharge Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Singles

$90,001 - $105,000

$105,001 - $140,000

$140,001 +

Families

$180,001 - $210,000

$210,001 - $280,000

$280,001 +

Medicare Levy Surcharge

1% $900-$2100

1.25% $1312-$3500

1.5% $2100-$4200+

Source: www.privatehealth.gov.au

Even taking out a basic hospital cover will save you from paying this extra tax – and you may even qualify for a rebate on your premiums from the government to help you pay for it. Right now’s a great time to consider taking out private health insurance with Union Health – an Aussie health fund that delivers affordable health insurance cover to union members and their families. We’re 100% member-owned and all about your health, not shareholders’ wealth. As a member of The Services Union, you’ll get a $100 eGift Card when you take out hospital and extras cover with Union Health.

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W O R K P L A C E H E A LT H A N D S A F E T Y

U N I O N W O R K P L A C E S A R E S A F E R! T H E R O L E O F A H E A LT H & S A F E T Y R E P. BY B E N J O N E S - LO C A L G OV E R N M E N T L E A D O R G A N I S E R

THE 2017 LYONS REVIEW OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY (WHS) IN QUEENSLAND CLEARLY IDENTIFIED THAT A UNIONISED WORKPLACE IS A SAFER WORKPLACE! Thanks to the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD), there has never been a better time for unions to be involved in the pursuit of safer workplaces. As a starting point, The Services Union has begun a review of our Workplace Delegates’ and members’ current involvement in health and safety structures in their workplaces, and the level of interest and engagement in safety matters of those members who are not elected Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs). Parallel to this process, we are working closely with the Queensland Council of Unions’ dedicated WHS resources to develop a strategy of engagement and development for those members and Workplace Delegates involved in or interested in WHS. Of course the most effective way for members to help make their workplaces safer is to be elected by your colleagues as a Health and Safety Representative.

Some key points from the WHS Act 2011 to consider are: • HSRs must be elected by the workers they represent (their Designated Work Group or DWG), not appointed by the employer. • Before an HSR election can occur, an employer and the affected employees (who can be represented by the Union) must negotiate the parameters of that election including the composition of the DWG and the number of HSRs. • HSRs have a three-year term once elected, at which point new elections must occur. • Even if HSR elections have happened recently in your workplace, your Union can assist in renegotiating the composition of the existing DWGs and representative structures if you believe that they do not provide adequate representation. • Your employer must display a list of current HSRs that all employees can access. The above points are a very basic summary of your entitlements. If you have any questions or are interested in becoming more involved in making your workplace safer, talk to your Workplace Delegate or organiser. Alternatively contact us at Services Connect on 3844 5300. The bottom line is that union involvement leads to safer workplaces!

BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 09


I N D U S T RY N E W S

ABOVE FROM LEFT: MEMBERS TOLA, TERSIA, TERESE AND RIKKI, WHO WORK ON THE FRONTLINE IN DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES, CAMPAIGNED AT LENGTH FOR PORTABLE LONG SERVICE LEAVE AS WELL AS INCREASES TO HOUSING AND HOMELESS FUNDING AND IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SCHADS AWARD.

LO B BY I N G PAYS O F F - C A M PA I G N W I N S I N T H E S A C S I N D U S T RY CAMPAIGNING AND GOVERNMENT LOBBYING HAS SEEN MEMBERS IN THE SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE SECTOR (SACS) WIN FOR THEIR INDUSTRY ON A STATE AND NATIONAL LEVEL. After months of campaigning by members nationally, the Federal Government finally committed to paying their share of housing and homelessness funding. Without it, 565 front line workers’ jobs were on the line Australia wide with approximately 114 of those workers residing in Queensland! Members signed petitions, made phone calls, sent emails, lobbied politicians and as a result, the Federal Government has committed to fund $57 million - protecting jobs and services. This is a huge win however, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn’t committed any additional funding of affordable or public housing and there’s nothing in the Budget to deal with long-term problems like poverty and homelessness. In May, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued a provisional decision in its review of the minimum terms and conditions that apply to workers in the Disability and Community Services Industry, the SCHADS Award. It’s taken five years of work by our members to win this campaign. 10 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

The FWC agreed with the ASU that: • Travel time should be paid time. • There should be a 2-hour minimum shift for disability workers (including each part of a broken shift). • There can only be 2 breaks in a broken shift (i.e. 3 2-hour periods • Workers who work a broken shift should be paid an allowance • Additional hours should be voluntary. • Part-timers should be able to ask their employer to increase their contract hours if they regularly work more than their contract hours over 12 months. • Employee should be able to swap shifts between themselves. This decision applies to all workers covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award. Our Union and QLeave continue to educate members around the processes involved in registering for Portable Long Service Leave (PLSL). Employers will have made their first quarterly remittance to QLeave which means members should receive correspondence from them advising they have been registered. If members have any concerns they should talk to their employer or contact our Union for advice.



I N D U S T RY N E W S

ABOVE: MEMBERS AT HINCHINBROOK SHIRE COUNCIL TAKE PROTECTED INDUSTRIAL ACTION IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR A FAIR AND JUST ENTERPRISE BARGAINING AGREEMENT. BELOW FROM LEFT: WORKPLACE DELEGATE FROM TORRES STRAIT ISLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL SOL LEWIN AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEAD ORGANISER TOM RIVERS. TOM RECENTLY VISITED OUR MEMBERS ON THURSDAY ISLAND.

EBA BARGAINING - MEMBERS REMAIN UNITED IN PURSUIT OF THEIR CLAIMS

MEMBERS CONTINUE TO BARGAIN FOR FAIR AND JUST ENTERPRISE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS (EBAS) IN MANY LOCAL COUNCILS ACROSS QUEENSLAND. WHILE SOME COUNCILS SEE THE VALUE IN MAKING SURE THEIR WORKFORCE IS REMUNERATED APPROPRIATELY, OTHERS DON’T! Members at Hinchinbrook Shire Council (HSC) recently took Protected Industrial Action (PIA) in their campaign for a fair and just EBA. HSC members are up against a very stubborn management who seem to have spent a lot of money on consultants, but are crying poor in regard to a pay rise for their workforce. HSC requested assistance from the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) and this issue has now been referred to arbitration. Unfortunately, overall it looks like this round of bargaining will not be as simple as rolling over EBAs with the reasonable wage increases we would have liked. This is leading to lengthy delays in getting agreements over the line and frustrating members who work hard to deliver vital services to their communities. Even when members have agreed to accept lower wage increases or wage freezes through COVID, they’re often finding that Councils are taking advantage and pushing for three or four year EBAs without any substantial wage increases.

12 BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

WORKPLACE RIGHTS IN INDIGENOUS COUNCILS Our Union is working closely with the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations to develop and deliver basic training on workplace entitlements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils. The training will begin in July and will focus on improving the understanding of existing entitlements in the Queensland Local Government Industry Awards (State) and the Industrial Relations Act 2016 for those Indigenous Councils who don’t have current Certified Agreements. In addition to delivering the training to Workplace Delegates, members and existing staff, our Union will also facilitate sessions for frontline managers to ensure better compliance with entitlements.


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I N D U S T RY N E W S

ABOVE FROM LEFT: WORKPLACE DELEGATE AT CALLIDE POWER STATION TROY LONSDALE, SECRETARY NEIL HENDERSON AND MINISTER FOR ENERGY, RENEWABLES AND HYDROGEN AND MINISTER FOR PUBLIC WORKS AND PROCUREMENT, AND MEMBER FOR SPRINGWOOD MICK DE BRENNI MET AT QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT HOUSE RECENTLY TO DISCUSS CHALLENGES FACING THE ENERGY INDUSTRY.

C H A N G E S I N T H E E N E R GY I N D U S T RY C O L L A B O R AT I O N I S K E Y THE ENERGY INDUSTRY IS GOING THROUGH ENORMOUS CHANGE AND MEMBERS CAN BE REASSURED THAT THE SERVICES UNION IS BY THEIR SIDE THROUGH TRANSITION. As well as being a strong industry advocate, our Union also has an excellent working relationship with the current Queensland Government. Recently, Workplace Delegate Troy Lonsdale and Secretary Neil Henderson met with Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni, MP to discuss the proposed closure of Callide Power Station and other issues concerning the Energy Industry. Regional employment was the focal point of this discussion and our Union briefed Minister De Brenni on member concerns regarding Callide and in relation to Energy Queensland Retail. There will be regular engagement with Minister De Brenni in the coming months and we’re fortunate to have someone of his calibre steering the Energy Industry through a period of great change. At the time of the writing, we are reeling from an explosion at Callide Power Station which has had a massive consequence for the network.

It’s a massive relief that no one was injured. Our thoughts are with our members at Callide at the moment. We’ve also had a further ‘transformation’ meeting with CS Energy in Biloela. Our position in relation to these discussions is that we’ll continue to engage with CS Energy in dialogue. However, the broader plan regarding transition will be initiated by the Queensland Government in consultation with our Union. We don’t want CS Energy looking at numbers and reductions before a plan is implemented and we’ll keep a close eye on any developments. Our Union continues to meet with Energy Queensland Limited over the high number of restructures occurring there. Our Union met with CEO Rod Duke to raise not only this issue but also issues around the future of Retail, regional employment and flexible working arrangements. Our message to Mr. Duke was to stop continuously restructuring! Members are experiencing change fatigue and stability is required. At Powerlink, there have been a number of resourcing discussions, as well as a review of the how performance and development is conducted. The Classification Structure Review is recommencing after it was held in abeyance for some time. Our Workplace Delegates at Powerlink will be heavily involved at every turn. BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 15


I N D U S T RY N E W S

ABOVE: QUEENSLAND RAIL WORKPLACE DELEGATES AND MEMBERS CELEBRATE LABOUR 2021 DAY IN BRISBANE. BELOW: SENIOR WORKPLACE DELEGATE ANDREW SOMERVILLE HAS BEEN WORKING OUT OF OUR UNION’S BRISBANE OFFICE AND ASSISTING HIS QR COLLEAGUES DURING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW ROSTERING SYSTEM.

W O R K P L A C E D E L EG AT E S I R O N O U T I S S U E S R E L AT I N G TO R O S T E R I N G SYS T E M WORKPLACE DELEGATES AT QUEENSLAND RAIL (QR) HAVE BEEN BUSILY IRONING OUT ISSUES RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW SAPIENS ROSTERING SYSTEM AND ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED FOR THEIR HARD WORK IN THIS AREA. The new system has raised many concerns for our members particularly where rosters aren’t in line with the Master Roster. There’s even been examples where a rostered start time at a certain location differs for a team member depending on whether they are viewing their personal roster or the group station roster. This was made more complex because of a series of long weekends earlier in the year, track closures and a decrease in COVID cleaning shifts. It’s been extremely frustrating for members and the general feeling has been one of instability. Luckily, our Workplace Delegates have been by the side of their workmates trying to sort things out. We’ve identified and raised the issues with management and our Union continues to work with them. It’s also been wonderful to have our QR Senior Delegate Andrew 16 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

Somerville, working in our Union’s Brisbane office to assist members through the implementation of the new rostering system. Andrew was able to provide information to members about their concerns, raise potential system improvements with Management and to ensure that everyone was fully informed and supported during this time of change.


I N D U S T RY N E W S

Q A N TA S D I S P U T E H E A D I N G F O R T H E H I G H C O U R T O F AU S T R A L I A THE DISPUTE ABOUT THE TIMING OF PENALTY/OVERTIME PAYMENTS AND THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT AT QANTAS IS NOW HEADING FOR THE HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA. The proceedings, which are being brought jointly by the ASU, the TWU and the Flight Attendants Association, concern a practice employed by Qantas which times the payment of overtime and penalty rate payments in a way that delivers a lower payment to workers through Jobkeeper than if the payments were made in the pay period immediately following when the penalty payment were accrued. The matter is listed for a Special Leave hearing on 25 June 2021. At the same time members are gearing up to commence negotiations for a new Agreement at Jetstar and to fight the two year wage freeze that Qantas has foreshadowed. There is never a dull moment in the Airline Industry and members have come through the worst of the Covid impact ready to stand up for a fair Agreement.

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BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 17


L A B O U R DAY 2021

Rockhampton

Toowoomba Mackay

Moranbah

A L L TO G E T H E R A G A I N C E L E B R AT I N G L A B O U R DAY I N 2021 W I T H T H E C O V I D-19 PA N D E M I C H A LT I N G O U R N O R M A L L A B O U R DAY M A R C H E S I N 2020, M E M B E R S M A D E S U R E T H E Y M A D E U P F O R I T AT T H I S Y E A R S C E L E B R AT I O N S. Safety at Work was a key theme with thousands of union members across Queensland joining forces to fight against sexual assault and harassment and new legislation to ensure better protection for workers. Our Union along with our colleagues at the Together Union also celebrated the centenary of the Municipal Officers Union - a precursor to both unions. Our Union held events in Brisbane, Biloela, Cairns, Gladstone, Ipswich, Mackay, Moranbah, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville. You can 18 BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

take a look at all the amazing photos from events across Queensland here: http://bit.ly/LabourDay21 Special thanks to members Bianca Merritt, Di Forsyth, Terese Kingston and Sandy Baumgart who organised the Moranbah, Cairns, Mackay and Biolela events, respectively. These events wouldn’t have happened without their assistance. Thank you very much. Terese Kingston said; “After so much that has happened across the world because of COVID, it was amazing to be able to celebrate our special union day with our colleagues, family and friends. I can’t wait to hopefully celebrate again in 2022!”


L A B O U R DAY 2021 Ipswich

Brisbane

Townsville

Cairns Gladstone

Biloela BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 19


100 Y E A R S O F T H E M O A - C E L E B R AT I N G O U R F O U N DAT I O N S

ABOVE FROM LEFT: PRESIDENT OF THE SERVICES UNION LINDY HENSON, LIFE MEMBERS DEBBIE HOOGERDYK, HENRIETTA MORAN AND RICHARD TARNAWSKI, SECRETARY NEIL HENDERSON AND LIFE MEMBER JOHN PAYNE - ALL MEMBERS OF THE MUNICIPAL OFFICERS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATING TOGETHER AT OUR RECENT MEMBER AWARDS CEREMONY. RIGHT: FORMER ASSISTANT BRANCH SECRETARY AND MOA MEMBER RON CURTIS AND FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY IAN BUCKLEY, CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF THE MOA AT THE RECENT LABOUR DAY MARCH IN BRISBANE.

C E L E B R AT I N G 100 Y E A R S O F T H E M U N I C I PA L O F F I C E R S A S S O C I AT I O N THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, WE’VE BEEN CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE MUNICIPAL OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (MOA) AND SHARING THE STORIES OF OUR INCREDIBLE MOA MEMBERS AT OUR DELEGATES CONFERENCE, LABOUR DAY AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA. The present-day Local Authorities Division of the Australian Services Union (ASU) began life as the (MOA), which was formed at a meeting of municipal officers held in Melbourne on the 24 February 1920. At this time, it had just one branch and 119 members Although it was a small and politically conservative organisation to start with, the MOA soon developed to become the principal union covering white collar employees in Australian local government authorities. Over time, various elements of traditional local government activities (such as water, electricity, ports etc) were rationalised into separate statutory authorities. The MOA followed its members into these new entities and became a diverse union that eventually amalgamated with several others to form the core of the modern-day ASU. In 1991, the MOA amalgamated with the Australian Transport Officers’ 20 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

Federation and the Technical Service Guild of Australia to form the Australian Municipal Transport Energy Water Ports Community and Information Services Union. This union then amalgamated with The Australian Social Welfare Union (ASWU) in 1992 which brought along 6,500 members employed in the non-government Social and Community Services Sector (SACS) nationally. These members provided a vital link into the private sector, bringing together workers in the SACS area within local government with their colleagues employed by non-government SACS agencies. In mid 1993, the Federated Clerks Union (FCU) and the Federated Shire Council and Municipal Employees Union (MEU) and the Australian Shipping and Travel Officers Association joined forces in what became the Australian Services Union (ASU). Subsequently a number of state based unions in the Rail Industry also amalgamated with the ASU around this time also. In 2011, the North Queensland Clerical and Administrative Branch and the Queensland Services Branch were merged to form the Queensland (Services and Northern Administration) Branch. Finally, the ASU Clerical and Administrative Branch merged with the Together Union, with them becoming part of the national ASU.


S EQ E B S T R I K E 1985

In February 1985, the Queensland Bjelke-Petersen Government sided with the South East Queensland Electrical Generating Board (SEQEB) in sacking 1100 electricity workers, all members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU). The Government and SEQEB wanted to employ cheaper casual staff to take away workers' job security, erode working conditions and increase the length of their working week. Premier Joh BjelkePetersen wanted to privatise the industry and remove unionised labour.

M A R R I A G E C A S E 1977 By 1977, MOA member Janine Marshall had worked for Rockhampton Regional Council for four years when she had her employment terminated because she was getting married. The MOA took her case to the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in Sydney where a Full Bench decided the policy to terminate a women’s employment upon her marriage was discriminatory and contrary to the ‘avowed aims of the International Labour Organisation and the Federal Government’. After the hearing, it was also concluded that the Municipal Officers (Qld) Consolidated Award (1975) be amended so as to provide: “...that no respondent to the Award shall at the point of engagement elicit from

any officer a commitment that he or she shall resign immediately on marriage and provide further, that no respondent to this Award shall by reason of the fact only that an officer enters matrimony terminate the employment of that officer.” A huge win for women in Local Government.

The Canberra Times Tuesday, 25 April 1978

The workers resisted! On 6 February, systems control, overhead linesmen, underground cable jinkers and trades' assistants withdrew their labour. On February 7, Bjelke-Petersen declared a state of emergency under the State Transport Act 1938 and sacked the striking workers. This action saw the power station operators who were members of the Municipal Officers Union (MOA) cut supply of electricity in support of the dismissed workers. This pushed Queensland into its ugliest, most-prolonged industrial dispute and meant 17,500 homes went into darkness in Brisbane each night.Domestic households and small business' within South East Queensland were forced to use candles, kerosene lamps and torches for lighting and power as “load shedding’ was employed to satisfy nightly demand for electricity for 14 days. For showing solidarity with the sacked SEQEB workers, members of the MOA were threatened by Bjelke-Petersen with fines of $1000 every time they refused to follow a directive to increase the supply of electricity. When the power station operators refused to be intimidated, Bjelke-Petersen went even further and threatened legal action. The workers were told they could face fines of $50,000 each and their union $250,000 if they did not follow directives. The MOA members continued to stand in solidarity. After negotiation, ETU officials agreed to turn the lights back on and ordered a return to work on March 6, 1985 but many of the sacked workers and their families rejected the ETU decision due to the demands within the offer,

which rolledback their conditions of employment as well as other requirements. The Bjelke-Petersen Government then tore up the industrial relations rule book when it rammed savage antiunion legislation through parliament. The Electricity Bill (Continuity of Supply) forbade strikes and picketing of electricity workers and made provision for confiscation of their property, including their homes if they went on strike. The Bill barred union officials from entering workplaces and made provision for the rapid deregistration of unions and seizure of their funds, the laws used by the Bjelke-Petersen government were in violation of the International Labor Organisation charter. What the Queensland Government did was replace the Queensland Industrial Commission with a one-man rule. The Qld Electricity Commissioner in 1985, acting at the behest of Bjelke-Petersen, had the power to decide what wages and conditions the workers could expect. Any worker that showed dissent at such decisions, however unjust, could be fined $1000 and dismissed. Under the Electricity Act, workers in the power industry were denied the right to serve a jail term rather than pay the fine. Emergency union funds rapidly ran out. Many of the workers returned to work under new agreements or in new positions. By April 1985, more than 200 people had been arrested protesting at rallies. By August 1985 striking unionists were threatened with $1000 fines and the Queensland Government de-registered the ETU in November for six months. SEQEB later claimed to have saved money from its operating costs, but the industrial climate in Queensland was changed forever. The strike had lasting impacts on both the Queensland union movement as well as nationally. The actions of the Government in this dispute ultimately helped to mobilise the labour movement within Queensland and led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption and Bjelke-Petersen's 1987 resignation.


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GLAM COMMITTEE

ABOVE FROM LEFT: MEMBER BENEFITS OFFICER FOR THE SERVICES UNION, TAHLIA CLOWES AND LEAD INDUSTRIAL OFFICER DREW CUTLER ENCOURAGE ALL LGBTQIA+ MEMBERS TO JOIN THE GLAM COMMITTEE TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THEM ON LEADING OUR UNION AROUND LGBTQIA+ ISSUES AND RIGHTS. BELOW: TSU GLAM COORDINATOR DARCI WANAMAKER ENCOURAGES ALL LGBTQIA+ MEMBERS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR UNION.

EQ UA L I T Y I S O U R C O R E B U S I N E S S GROWING OUR GLAM COMMITTEE BY DA R C I WA N A M A K E R - G L A M C O M M I T T E E C O O R D I N ATO R

THE SERVICES UNION CELEBRATES AND WELCOMES ALL WHO IDENTIFY AS MEMBERS OF THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY AND WE WOULD LOVE YOU TO JOIN OUR GLAM COMMITTEE. GLAM is the official LGBTQIA+ caucus of the Australian Services Union and members are in each Branch working together to educate and create change not only in workplaces but in the wider community. We know workers who identify at LGBTQIA+ experience significant workplace issues such as unsafe working environments and discrimination which is why it’s important to continue grow our GLAM Committee.

The GLAM Committee looks forward to a very busy second half of the year. We’ll be rolling out quarterly Conferences and establishing GLAM Delegates across Queensland to lead our Union on LGBTQIA+ objectives for our Branch. Together, we can shape our workplaces and communities to collectively improve workplaces where LGBTQIA+ rights are concerned. Please get in touch: darci.wanamaker@theservicesunion.com.au

So far this year, the GLAM Committee has celebrated Mardi Gras, Transgender Day of Visibility (31 March), Lesbian Day of Visibility (26 April), International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination (IDAHOBIT) (17 May) and raised awareness about the issues the LGBTQIA+ community experience with Domestic Violence (DV) during Domestic and Family Violence Month in May. During the same month we ran a whole of union census to ensure our membership records are truly reflective of our members’ identities. In June, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Queensland’s Queen’s Ball which heralds the achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s also the oldest LGBTQIA+ event in the world! BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 23


YO U T H

ABOVE FROM LEFT: YOUTH OFFICER IMOGEN SMITH AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR YOUTH ARIANA RUSSELL ENCOURAGE MEMBERS UNDER 35 YEARS OF AGE TO GET ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH OUR UNION.

YO U T H C O M M I T T E E - G E T I N VO LV E D TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR UNION BY I M O G E N S M I T H - YO U T H O F F I C E R ARE YOU A MEMBER OF OUR UNION, AGED 35 OR UNDER? IF SO, WE WOULD LOVE YOU TO BE A VOICE THAT DRIVES THE FUTURE PATHWAY OF THE SERVICES UNION BY BECOMING A MEMBER OF OUR YOUTH COMMITTEE. Any member 35 or under can nominate themselves to be part of the Committee and we meet every second month. Our current goals are to provide youth members a voice through participation as well as to organise social events, attend rallies together and work on projects together. The Committee is lead by our Vice President (VP) for Youth, Ariana Russell who is a member and active Workplace Delegate at Brisbane City Council (BBC) where she works as a librarian. Ariana works shifts in various libraries across Brisbane which gives her a chance to meet many of her BCC colleagues. Ariana says she is motivated to be an active member of our Union because she is committed to fighting for change and better conditions for working people. “Being a Workplace Delegate and part of the relief pool in BCC

24 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

Libraries, I get the opportunity to visit a wide variety of work sites and talk to a diversity of members about what issues affect them and matter to them the most.” Ariana also explains her motivation on becoming our Union’s Youth VP and what drives her to make a difference. “The revolution is in the hands of the young! It’s important to make sure that young people today are even more agitated, educated, and organised than previous generations were so we can make sure we have a sustainable future for workers.” Get involved! WE would love to have a larger base of Workplace Delegates and members under 35, to steer the direction of our Union. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Workplace Delegate or want to know more about the Youth Committee please get in touch at imogen.smith@theservicesunion.com.au


YO U T H

ABOVE: EMMA DONOVAN SAYS RECEIVING THE TSU BURSARY MEANS SHE HAS ADDED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO HELP HER STUDY AWAY FROM HOME.

S T U D E N T B U R S A RY AWA R D E E, E M M A D O N OVA N S T R I V I N G F O R J U S T I C E A N D EQ UA L I T Y CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SERVICES UNION’S 2021 STUDENT BURSARY AWARDEE, EMMA DONOVAN WHO’S STUDYING A BACHELOR OF LAW (HONOURS)/BACHELOR OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AT GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY. Born in Townsville and the daughter of Local Government Industry member Rebecca Stockdale, Emma spent much of her childhood in Darwin. On returning to Ayr in Queensland in 2010, she attended East Ayr State School and then Ayr High School where she went on to become Community Vice Captain. A hard worker in her academic a pursuits, Emma also played representative sport, performed in school musicals and was the President of her school’s Interact Club which organised fundraisers for an array of charities. Now at university in Brisbane, Emma says she’s always had an interest in the legal system from a young age. “I’m a person who likes structure, justice and equity, and helping people. Therefore, I was extremely drawn to the study of Law, “ Emma explained. “I liked that this degree at

Griffith enhances analytical, research and communication skills. I believe that having a psychological background will allow me to connect and understand the people I will be working with in the legal field.” Emma is thoroughly enjoying her course especially the freedom and new friends she has made from living on campus. “I love learning about how the law has shaped our society and how it can be used to help people. In Psychology, I am learning so much about myself and how the human brain works,” Emma says. “I can also study at a time that suits me and I love living at college with lots of like-minded individuals.” Being chosen as this year’s Student Bursary winner, Emma says was exciting. “Receiving this bursary is added financial assistance amongst the many costs associated with living and studying away from home. It has always been my goal to attend tertiary education and I have worked incredibly hard to achieve a high enough ATAR to be accepted into the course I have chosen. As they say, every little bit adds up, so this bursary is certainly appreciated.”

BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 25


D E L EG AT E S T R A I N I N G

ABOVE AND BELOW: WORKPLACE DELEGATES AT THE STAGE TWO TRAINING HELD IN MAY LEARNED ABOUT BUILDING POWER IN THEIR WORKPLACES.

W O R K P L A C E D E L EG AT E S T R A I N I N G BUILDING WORKPLACE POWER IT’S BEEN WONDERFUL SEEING OUR WORKPLACE DELEGATES IN OUR BRISBANE OFFICE FOR BOTH STAGE ONE AND STAGE TWO TRAINING SESSIONS OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS.

session held on the evening of 21 July. This will explore mental health and its warning signs as well as practical strategies and information around improving mental health in workplaces.

In the Stage Two raining held in May, Workplace Delegates analysed how industrial instruments such as Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and Awards can be used to build workplace power. They also workshopped how to support members with individual and collective issues as well as the best techniques in relation to workplace organising and mobilisation.

Make sure to also check out and access the On Demand Launchpad sessions which you can access via your personal member portal at www. asucareerlaunchpad.tln.org.au

Workplace Delegate Leonie Quick said she loved the Stage Two course because it gave her practical strategies that she can implement straight away in her workplace. “The training was excellent and highly beneficial to all Workplace Delegates. Hearing how other workplaces work inspires me to attain higher union involvement at my workplace!” Don’t forget members have exclusive access to the ASU Career Launchpad Professional Development Program! These online seminars have been extremely popular with members again in the first half of this year and have included brilliant sessions on Career Progression, IT and Your Rights At Work. Coming up, there will be a Mental Health in the Workplace

26 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au


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F R O M T H E I N D U S T R I A L C O O R D I N ATO R

ABOVE FROM LEFT: SENIOR INDUSTRIAL OFFICER MICHELLE ROBERSTON, INDUSTRIAL OFFICER JESSICA WIGGAN, INDUSTRIAL COORDINATOR REBECCA GIRARD, INDUSTRIAL OFFICER SAMARAH WILSON AND LEAD INDUSTRIAL OFFICER DREW CUTLER WORK EACH AND EVERY DAY TO PROVIDE WORKPLACE SUPPORT FOR OUR MEMBERS.

P R OV I D I N G W O R K P L A C E S U P P O R T A N D A DVO C A C Y F O R O U R M E M B E R S BY R E B EC C A G I R A R D AT THE SERVICES UNION, SUPPORTING AND ADVOCATING FOR OUR MEMBERS IS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO AND SERVICE DELIVERY IS OUR CORE BUSINESS. Over the past few years, our Union has introduced a number of changes to meet the needs of our members and in return we have seen an increase in positive outcomes for not just them, but also in the development of our Industrial Staff. We are capturing detailed information about the industrial operations of Services Connect now more than ever. This is allowing us to develop and review existing systems to ensure we are continually improving and responding to the increasing demand for our industrial services. In 2020, we opened 3378 member cases. This is our largest number of cases opened in a 12 month period. The majority of cases that were opened came from the Social and Community Services (SACS) Industry where we opened 1888 individual member cases. The next closest industry was Local Government with 940 cases followed by the Energy Industry with 278 cases Finally, our Industrial Team opened 272 individual member cases for in the Transport and North Administrative Industries. 28 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au

Whilst we did see an increase in enquiries to Services Connect during 2020 as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, our biggest industrial enquiry still related to disciplinary matters. The top 5 industrial issues for 2020 were: • • • • •

DISCIPLINARY MATTERS – 505 GRIEVANCES – 351 HARASSMENT AND BULLYING – 112 FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS – 104 COVID -19 INQUIRIES - 102


S E R V I C E S C O N N EC T - W O R K P L A C E S U P P O R T This is fairly consistent with the trends we have seen in previous years where our three biggest issues outside of disciplinary matters have been bullying and harassment, consultation and change and flexible work arrangements. We’ve been able to achieve some really great outcomes for our members in response to a greater need for flexibility in the workplace and we have resource kits available for members to assist with their requests.

As part of our 30th Way Campaign - Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace, our Union has also recognised the need for our staff to be considerate of our members’ mental health. With this in mind, we have rolled out mental health first aid training to all staff who offer frontline service to our members.

We are often asked by our members and Workplace Delegates, what regions bring in the most number of member cases to our Industrial Service Team. In 2020, the greatest volume of cases came from South East Queensland (SEQ) with 2072 cases opened. As you can see by the graph below this number far outweighed other regions. It is worth mentioning that nearly 70% of all cases are located in SEQ compared to nearly 60% of all membership.

We further recognise the importance for members to be mentally well when dealing with workplace issues and we have developed a resource tool that connects members with a mental health provider. Our role as Industrial Officers is not to provide a counselling service, it is however, imperative that we support our members where they are finding things difficult. In some instances we will now directly transfer a member to a particular mental health service provider to ensure they get the help they need before tackling their workplace issue. This is working well both for our Industrial Officers and members who feel supported and understood when they are contacting us in distress. This is just a small sample of some of the feedback our Union’s Industrial Team has received in the last 12 months. It’s a real testament to the work that we have undertaken and the commitment from our Union to ensure we are delivering a quality service to our members.

“I can’t personally thank you and The Services Union enough for the assistance and support that you have been throughout this entire process. So professional and timely. I have been singing your praises and the Union’s to anyone here who will listen.” With these trends in mind, in 2019 our Union introduced a new ‘Intake System.’This is where one of our Member Benefits Officers sets up an appointment for a member with one of our Industrial Officers. This process has proven to be extremely successful and both members and our staff agree that it provides greater certainty on call back times and allows members to prepare in advance. In our first year of implementing this particular system we set up 1567 intake appointments. We saw a sharp increase last year where we processed 2445 appointments over a 12 month period; this is an increase of 64% from year to year. We are really proud within our Union’s Industrial Team about the improvements we have made to our member service and of particular note are the improvements we have made in relation to case resolution.

“I would like to thank the ASU and yourself for your help during the past month. The process of using the Fair Work Commission with the ASU was effortless, and I knew we were prepared when the phone rang for our conciliation. Your organisation has been very good to me and I’d like to thank you!” “I made a good choice in having you as my representative and that you are excellent at your job and extremely knowledgeable. Thought I would let you know. Thank you I really appreciate what you are doing for me.” Call Services Connect on (07) 3844 5300. The Services Union is always by your side. BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 29


S P EC I A L R E P O R T F R O M O U R PA R T N E R - H A L L PAY N E L AW Y E R S

30 BY YO U R S I D E | AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au


M Y E M P LOY E R H A S N’ T B E E N PAY I N G M Y S U P E R A N N UAT I O N G UA R A N T E E BY HALL PAYNE LAWYERS IN AUSTRALIA, EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY A MINIMUM PERCENTAGE OF ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES’ EARNINGS INTO A SUPERANNUATION FUND. THIS IS CALLED THE ‘SUPERANNUATION GUARANTEE’ AND IS DESIGNED TO FUND RETIREMENT. THE SUPERANNUATION GUARANTEE RATE IS CURRENTLY SET AT 9.5% OF EARNINGS.

1. for the period 1 July – 30 September: by 30 November; 2. for the period 1 October – 31 December: by 28 February; 3. for the period 1 January – 31 March: by 28 May; and 4. for the period 1 April – 30 June: by 28 August.

SOME EMPLOYERS ALSO MAKE ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS. IT IS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT A NUMBER OF EMPLOYERS ARE NOT PAYING THE REQUIRED SUPER GUARANTEE PAYMENTS WHICH LEADS US TO THE QUESTION, ‘WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT UNPAID EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUPERANNUATION?”

You should regularly check your superannuation balance and contribution history to ensure that your employer is complying with its legal obligations to pay your superannuation contributions.

Am I entitled to superannuation? Your employer is generally required to pay 9.5% superannuation, in addition to your wages, to a superannuation fund on your behalf.* If your employer is required to make superannuation contributions, your payslip must contain information about any amount that has been paid during the pay period, or the amount that your employer is liable to pay for that period. When is my employer required to pay my superannuation contributions? While some employers choose to pay superannuation contributions each pay period, they are not required to do so. Rather, your employer is required to pay your superannuation contributions (at least) once every three months. The quarterly payment schedule superannuation contributions is:

Regularly checking your superannuation balance will enable you to identify any issue early, and before your employer falls too far behind. What if my employer hasn’t been paying my superannuation contributions?

contributions to the ATO by: completing the ATO online form via the ATO website or by phone on 13 28 65. Getting legal help If you believe your employer has not been complying with its legal obligations to pay superannuation guarantee contributions on your behalf, contact Services Connect on 3844 5300 or contact your Super Fund. The employment and industrial relations team at Hall Payne Lawyers is also well equipped to provide you with the advice that you need. * The superannuation guarantee rate has been 9.5% since July 2014. It is due to increase from July 2021 by 0.05% and a further 0.05% each July thereafter until July 2025 when the rate will be 12%. This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or

If you have checked your superannuation account and noticed that your employer hasn’t been paying your superannuation guarantee contributions, in full, by the quarterly deadline, the Australian Taxation Office is generally the best place to direct your initial enquiries.

Federal level. The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall

The ATO is the government body responsible for taking complaints about unpaid superannuation contributions and will prioritise the investigation and, if relevant, the recovery of your unpaid superannuation contributions.

Payne Lawyers.

Where appropriate, the ATO will also require your employer to repay an additional amount to ensure that you are compensated for any lost interest as a result of your money not being available for investment by your superannuation fund.

for It is very easy to report unpaid superannuation BY YO U R S I D E |AU T U M N/W I N T E R 2021 | www.theservicesunion.com.au 31


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Articles inside

EQUALITY IS OUR CORE BUSINESS - GROWING OUR GLAM COMMITTEE

1min
page 23

30th Way

4min
pages 6-7

The Services Union - By Your Side Magazine -

3min
pages 30-31

EQUALITY IS OUR CORE BUSINESS - GROWING OUR GLAM COMMITTEE

1min
page 23

YOUTH COMMITTEE - GET INVOLVED TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR UNION

3min
pages 24-25

YOUTH COMMITTEE - GET INVOLVED TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF OUR UNION

3min
pages 24-25

PROVIDING WORKPLACE SUPPORT AND ADVOCACY FOR OUR MEMBERS BY REBECCA GIRARD

4min
pages 28-29

SPECIAL REPORT FROM HALL PAYNE LAWYERS

3min
pages 30-32

FROM THE INDUSTRIAL COORDINATOR

4min
pages 28-29

DELEGATES TRAINING

1min
pages 26-27

STUDENT BURSARY WINNER

1min
page 25

YOUTH COMMITTEE

1min
page 24

CENTENARY OF THE MOA

6min
pages 20-22

GLAM COMMITTEE

1min
page 23

LABOUR DAY CELEBRATIONS 2021

3min
pages 17-19

TANA INDUSTRY NEWS

1min
page 16

ENERGY INDUSTRY NEWS

2min
page 15

SACS INDUSTRY NEWS

2min
pages 10-11

WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

1min
page 9

EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT REPORT

2min
page 6

WOMEN

3min
pages 7-8

LOCAL GOVERNMENT INDUSTRY NEWS

3min
pages 12-14

WELCOME

3min
pages 3-4

BRANCH PRESIDENT REPORT

2min
page 5
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