'Unders and Overs' IRC Dispute: NSWA Moves to 'Actuals'
Published April 6, 2021
Late September last year, ADHSU released a newsletter and vote on member views on how NSWA should ‘balance’ annual leave credits/debits that might occur when they change roster lines when returning from Annual Leave mid roster cycle.
Just over 81% of respondents said they would prefer the status quo, being ‘swings and roundabouts’ rather than going to ‘actuals’ and risking flexibility. There is an IRC process occurring which is beyond ADHSU members’ control. As instructed by members, ADHSU made it clear throughout the IRC process that 81% of our members want the status quo.
Unfortunately, the ongoing application in the IRC has resulted in a determination that will abolish that status quo.
In a nutshell, the decision allows for reconciliation of hours. This means that rostered employees can claim overtime for those times they work more than an average of 38 hours over a roster period due to a mid-cycle annual leave line change. The decision may lead to extra money in workers’ pockets. However, the employer has indicated that it is responding by moving to ‘actuals’ in upcoming roster cycles. The Service has indicated that they will roster additional days off based on operational needs, to balance any hours ‘over’ during the cycle – rather than pay overtime into the future.
Members who remain ‘over hours’ can claim overtime for those hours (details on how to do this are coming shortly).
This decision has prompted NSWA to make it clear that they will be requiring members to work additional shifts during the roster cycle to make up hours.
This results in a reduction in flexibility as all hours in the roster cycle must be accounted for, both positive and negative.
However, it is the delegates’ assumption that the choice of these shifts will suit the Service with little input from our members. Other parties have suggested that the extra shift on (for when the worker ‘owes’ hours), should not be added on to a block of shifts, e.g., a ‘fifth shift. in the 4 x 5.
ADHSU delegates have concerns that this will result in the additional shifts being placed in the middle of members’ days off. We are unsure of the WHS implications of these decisions and would like further feedback on the consequences that a move to ‘actuals’ as described above will have on members. Please provide your opinion here so delegates can take your views to the NSWA.
Secretary, HSU NSW/ACT/QLD