Yesterday your representatives returned to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to seek to progress our claims for a new EB.
At our last meeting QAS produced a document detailing their position, what they perceived our position was, and their suggested clauses/changes to the existing document. Whether by incompetence or intentionally, none of our claims were included on the governments list.
Frankly, the exclusion by the government of matters that you and other members voted to be included in our log of claims treats you, your representatives, and the entire conciliation process with contempt.
The government’s position, even in conciliation, seems to be to just say no to all of our claims.
We also asked QAS a number of questions to be better able to model the impact of their proposals across the service - if it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.
Your representatives sought the government’s assurance that, due to them starting negotiations late, and not having information available on their aggregate wage proposal, members would not be penalised by having the operative date of the agreement moved from the 1st October. The government flat out refused to budge – meaning that due to the governments own delaying tactics, they will not be obliged to pay back pay from the expiry of the old determination – THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
We have reaffirmed our position that we are committed to a genuine negotiation process, and to reaching a deal by agreement, but the Government is pushing for arbitration. QAS seems to be saying that they won’t consider any of our log, and will not move on any of theirs.
Our survey of members showed that there was support for genuine negotiation, and preparedness on behalf of Ambulance Officers to bargain in good faith – the government’s position, unfortunately, remains “their way - or the highway”.
We have agreed to meet with the government to explore their aggregate rate proposal, and at this point it is planned that we will return to the Commission in mid December to again seek to conciliate our differences, and gain agreement on an EB.