Members protect school officers from underpayment
School officers and services staff working for a major Catholic employer have had their wage payments corrected after an employer error in calculating annualised wages left staff short-changed.
Staff employed by a major Catholic employing authority which annualised school officer wages – that is divide term-time wages across the calendar year – would have been left worse off financially had our union not intervened.
The error occurred because the 2018 year contained 53 pay weeks, rather than the usual 52.
IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said the employees’ collective agreement provided for annualisation to occur across 52 or 53 weeks, as the case may be in a given year.
“Where wages have been annualised in one calendar year, there should be a seamless transition into the next calendar year,” Mr Spriggs said.
Mr Spriggs said staff were initially short-changed hundreds of dollars due to the error.
“Once school officer members in one of our schools noticed the error, they met as a union Chapter to consider a collective response.
“Our union then wrote to the executive director for the employing authority to remind the employer of their obligations under the collective agreement.
“As a result of this intervention, staff were subsequently provided with their correct wage entitlements.”
Mr Spriggs said it was important for staff to remain vigilant in checking their wage payments and for Chapters to work together to ensure the entitlements of their collective agreement are being implemented correctly.
He also acknowledged the employer for taking action to reimburse employees once the error was explained.
“Checking your payslip regularly to ensure you are being paid your correct entitlements is something every member should take the time to do,” Mr Spriggs said.
“Where members believe they are not being paid correctly, they can raise this within their IEU Chapters or contact their IEU Organiser for support.
“In this case, member vigilance made all the difference in ensuring school officers and services staff were paid their correct entitlements.”
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