Through the Workplace Determination, many CPSU members will receive a salary advancement in their substantive classification and a one-off payment of $600 in October.
But did you know that there is a group of people, performing at or above expectations, who are automatically disqualified from receiving this?
Under Clause 2.10(a) of the Determination, an employee is only eligible if they have performed duties in the Department at or above their substantive classification for at least six of the previous twelve months.
The Department has interpreted this to mean that any employee who has taken paid leave – whether it be maternity leave, personal leave, long service leave or others – cannot receive these crucial entitlements. Excluding those on extended paid leave from salary advancement, or the one-off payment, significantly disadvantages those who were on accrued and approved leave.
This is, at its core, a gendered issue. Women are far more likely to access these forms of leave, not only with regards to maternity leave, but also as carers due to family structures that often shoulder the burden of caring responsibilities on women.
The gender pay gap is already at 14 per cent for women – let’s not add to that. It also impacts your colleagues who are at their most vulnerable – those who have experienced serious illnesses and need the time off work to get well. The Department’s interpretation of this clause amounts to discrimination. They want to kick people when they’re down – but we don’t.
Your union community has decided to take action on this matter and stand up for affected workers. We’ve tried meeting with management but the Department have provided only non-committal answers to these requests. Despite our best efforts, their silence on refusing to address this issue has been deafening.
So, we’re asking you to write to the Secretary, to make a compassionate plea on behalf of all your disadvantaged colleagues across Home Affairs.
Together, we’re asking him to revise the policy to incorporate paid leave into the definition of ‘performed duties’. Show the Secretary that the workforce cares about this issue.
We’ve drafted a template email – and all you have to do is copy and paste it, and send it off to the Secretary (make sure that you copy in email@example.com). Don’t forget, you are absolutely protected to do this – you are not breaking the APS Code of Conduct by raising concerns on staff welfare to the Department.
If you’re not a member of the union yet, you can join the CPSU online today.
Joining the CPSU community is the best way to protect yourself and your colleagues at work with your pay, conditions, health and safety.
Want to get involved in the union in other ways? Email your local workplace delegates or CPSU organiser and let us know.