As winter draws to an end and the blossoms start to add a bit of colour to nature strips and roadsides, the latest meeting with the government about your next wages agreement did not leave us as hopeful as the change of season does.
The first issue is the $2000 offer for the COVID allowance. We’re still confused about whether it is related to your claim for a $3000 retention bonus, and we’re still not entirely clear on who is in and who is not. We’re not convinced that it should be connected to the current allowance for working at escalation level 3 and above. It may be good for those who are eligible, but we need to be cautious when so many strings are attached, and we’ll be out to talk to you more about this.
The positive news is that we had some constructive discussions about several issues, including minimum breaks, minimum engagement for casuals and overtime provisions. We want to make sure that all workers get the same deal for the same thing – for example, everyone being able to use all of their personal leave for carers leave or the same penalty for the same shift irrespective of whether you are a health professional or an operational worker.
We sadly did not receive any wage offer from the government, nor did we get any indication of what could be expected. This is beyond frustrating.
We’ll be out to talk to you over the next week and we’ll be organising member meetings to chat about where to from here.
It’s time for us to show that we are serious about getting an agreement and we need a decent pay offer now, not when it’s “on the agenda”.