Some clarification on issues raised by members is provided.

1.  Application to the Employment Court – Holidays Act
The Application has nothing at all to do with the present Days in Lieu for working on Public Holidays case.

The Application is to seek an Employment Court determination that the present averaging of payments in the Total Weekly Wage is lawful.

The Holidays Act, on the surface, provides that the payment for working on any Public Holiday must be made in the pay period in which the holiday occurs.

Presently, along with a number of penal rate payments (e.g. weekend work), the total annual amount that is earned is averaged on a weekly basis and paid as the Total Weekly Wage.
If this were not done then weekly or fortnightly pay would vary considerably. For Public Holidays, the T.W.W. would be less for 45-45 weeks a year and then larger for 7-8 weeks of the
year, when a Public Holiday is worked.

It has long been a position of the Union that averaging of payments is a benefit because it delivers a standard/consistent weekly pay. This allows for easier budgeting etc.

The Application to the Employment Court, supported by the employer, is on the basis that such an averaging mechanism provides a benefit over and above the minimum provisions of the
Holidays Act.

2. The 2.1% increase
This increase and the two lump sums must be seen in the context of the six month term and the backdating to 1 July 2006.

This increase plus the lump sums causes a significant direct payroll increase over the six months period – well in excess of the present inflation rate. Even without the lump sums, 2.1% is
significantly more advantageous than the 3% annually over the previous 3 years.

3. Black Watch Workers
There is a three step procedure in the proposed Settlement:

a)  2.1% on existing rates plus the lump sums.
b) A Working Party to establish progression onto the 3 step proposal.
c) Individual translation onto the new steps on the basis of individual circumstances relative to the new criteria established.

This is the same process as undertaken 2 years ago for Comm. Centre workers.

4. The reference in the newsletter that with backdating, effectively two lump sums will be paid on
ratification means:

  • One lump sum is automatically paid – in the newsletter titled “Lump Sum”.
  • If ratification is completed say on 1 November 2006, the backdating of 4 months will be paid as a further lump sum.
  • The lump sum due for SMS2 rostering is a further payment if the target date is achieved.

5. Six Month Term
The logic behind this as mentioned in the newsletter is that two critical issues are not presently
known:

  • The Court of Appeal Decision
  • Finalization of TAPs

Any longer term Collective Agreement is problematic in the absence of certainty on finalization of both of these.

The short term proposal:

  • Guarantees backdating to 1 July 2006.
  • Should allow for more certainty on re-negotiation.

As well, if ratification is successfully completed, there will be considerable money in members’ pay packets when re-negotiations commence almost immediately.
Thank you to members who sought clarification as this is important in that we need to know where any concerns are.

If further clarification is required, please don’t hesitate to forward these through.

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