Professionals Australia has criticised Geoscience Australia’s move to force staff to work an extra nine minutes a day and slash entitlements.
One of the first agencies to be bargaining over an agreement in the federal public service, Geoscience Australia, had already asked staff to agree to work an extra nine minutes a day.
Professionals Australia’s David Smith said the Defence Department had held consultations about lengthening the working week from 37.5 hours to 38 hours.
Mr Smith said Defence had floated the idea of taking away leave over Christmas – now paid but not counted as annual leave – and there could be an attempt to force staff to work or take annual leave during this period.He said both of these measures would result in an average daily increase of nine to 10 minutes.
“Most employees work additional, unpaid hours already – this will change their baseline hours and may affect their attitude to that additional effort that they provide effectively for free,” Mr Smith said.
“It does have a particular effect on part-time employees who may not be able to change their hours – effectively for those largely with family responsibilities this will be a pay cut no matter how effective they are at their job.
Bargaining push to make public servants work nine extra minutes a day , Phillip Thomson, Canberra Times. 19 June 2014.
Professionals Australia says Geoscience wants to slash personal leave
Geoscience Australia has placed the reduction of personal leave, restrictions on how to use leave entitlements and access to higher duties, and changes to allowances on the table at the commencement of enterprise bargaining this month.
Professionals Australia said Geoscience Australia wanted to slash travel entitlements after it already revealed there would be a battle over working an extra nine minutes a day yesterday.
Professionals Australia ACT director David Smith said Geoscience Australia had also proposed changes to the redundancy retention period for employees. The proposed reduction would affect people older than 45 who have not done 20 years service who have been made involuntarily redundant.
“At the moment a staff member made involuntarily redundant would have about 13 months before they would be forced to leave the organisation – a vital time when they could attempt to find another job. Mr Smith said Geoscience’s proposal would effectively reduce this by six months.
In a message to staff, Professionals Australia said there was a chasm between the parties in the negotiations and that was before any negotiation on remuneration.
In its tough bargaining framework released earlier this year, the federal government said there would be no pay rises for 160,000 federal public servants in the next three years, unless their departments or agencies could prove wage increases were linked to productivity gains.
Professionals Australia says Geoscience Australia wants to slash personal leave , Phillip Thomson, Canberra Times, 18 June 2014.