ARBITRATION OUTCOME - CERTIFIED AGREEMENT 2012

On the 23rd December 2014 the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) released its determination regarding the 2012 Certified Agreement.  The release of this determination sees the conclusion of a very long drawn out and complex process, a process which primarily involved QFES and the United Firefighters Union.

As members would be aware the SOU sought to obtain a separate agreement, given that our issues were fewer and less complex, with the majority of items having already been settled during negotiation.  Due to the Government's policy regarding the need to maintain a single bargaining unit, the SOU was unable to progress a separate agreement.

The determination is available here for review.  The determination now sees the following salary increases:

  • 2.2% from Sunday 8 December 2013 (the commencement date of this Determination);
  • 2.2% from Sunday 4 January 2015; and
  • 2.2% from Sunday 25 October 2015.

Additionaly the QIRC have decided that the 2013 Determination will nominally expire on Saturday 1 October 2016.

As members would be aware the SOU has for an extended period sought to address the issue of senior officers’ incomes having been reduced over time in comparison to their subordinates.  In responding to the issue, the QIRC stated:

[186] In addition to its arguments about senior officers’ incomes reducing over time in comparison to their subordinates, SOU also relied upon the evidence of Mr Cawcutt to the effect that equivalent level staff in the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and interstate Fire Services were better remunerated than senior officers employed by QFES.

[187] Given the nature of these proceedings, which provided very little opportunity to analyse the nature and scope of the duties of senior officers under the current [new] rank structure as compared to the previous structure, and the strictures imposed on us by the CBRC Minute referred to above, we have decided not to grant SOU’s claim. However in an endeavour to try to accommodate both the interests of QFES and senior officers we would strongly encourage the respective parties to jointly examine the level of the overall remuneration package of senior officers employed by QFES compared to comparable levels of senior officers employed by QPS and QAS and the “margin” between the pay levels of such senior officers and their subordinates. Information of this type, as well as the potential assessment of the work performed by senior officers within QFES by an organisation like Mercer, might help the parties reach an agreed, or partially agreed position in the lead up to the negotiation of a Certified Agreement in late 2016.

It is the intention of the incoming SOU State Council to continue efforts towards this important SOU goal.

In concluding this news item, the outgoing Executive Committee formally acknowlegde the members who assisted the SOU during the Certified Agreement and Arbitration proceedings.  Your efforts and contributions are sincerely appreciated.  

Regards

SOU Executive Committee