This week at the Joint Consultative Committee meeting, GCC Management raised their intention to commence a Classification Review.
This is covered in Part 11- Reserved Matters of the Glenorchy City Council Enterprise Agreement 2016. The Agreement specified a timeline of commencement this work within the first 12 months and completion within the life of the Agreement.
Until now GCC has not commenced this process or consulted with employees or the union about any review.
GCC Management suggested implementing a Mercer classification structure. Mercer is often found in high-level administrative environments and senior roles. Some known challenges have existed in the assessment of roles specifically in trades, practical and specialised roles.
Employees often get the best outcomes when jobs are independently assessed for the skills and duties performed.
The conversation at the consultative committee meeting included discussion about the impact a classification review would have on salaries and again this should concern employees. Classification reviews should be entered into to assess the skills and duties of roles and not with any aim of cost-saving.
When Management was asked for their terms of reference or timelines on undertaking the review they did not have any and indicated it may be done as part of Enterprise Bargaining negotiations.
A decision to implement the Mercer classification structure without consulting widely with employees and the union could be considered to be in breach of the current Consultation clause (clause 7.2) of the GCC Enterprise Agreement.
If the changes are tabled during negotiations, it will be up to you all as employees to vote no to any changes that disadvantage employees.
Debunking the “better off overall” of the BOOT Test
Management suggested that no one should be concerned as any classification changes would be subject to the Fair Work Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) and in their words stated it existed to ensure “no-one was worse off.”
Let’s unpack this. The BOOT test looks at the overall package of a proposed Enterprise Agreement and compares it against the relevant Modern Award, it does not compare it against the current Enterprise Agreement (current pay and conditions) which have traditionally always been far better than the Modern Award.
The BOOT test certainly would not prevent a move backward in pay and conditions. We would welcome a commitment from Management that ensures no employee is worse off under any new structure now and into the future.
Tell us what you think? Does the current classification structure need reviewing? What’s working? What’s not?
You can view current classification information on pages 67-95 of the current Enterprise Agreement: https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/agreements/fwa/ae421516.pdf
- Do you perform Higher Duties? Are you a Schedule B employee? It appears some of you may have been underpaid Higher Duties allowances. Complete our survey and find out more here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5Y2HJQC
- Shift Worker classification fought off! The ASU recently stopped management implementing a change to shift workers which would have seen them lose in excess of $150 per pay, and all just before Christmas! We need to keep this in mind when negotiating the upcoming Enterprise Agreement renewal. They may try this one again.