Department of Justice

Tasmanian Industrial Commission
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T13227 T13228 T13229 T13230 T13231 T13232 T13303


Industrial Relations Act 1984
s.23 application for an award or variation of an award
s.32(7) application to rescind an award

Minister administering the State Service Act 2000
(T13227 of 2008)
of 2008)
Community and Health Services (Public Sector) Award
(T13229 of 2008)
of 2008)
rescission of professional employees award

(T13231 of 2008)
rescission of operational employees award
(T13232 of 2008)
rescission of technical employees award
(T13303 of 2008)




HOBART, 1 December 2008

Award variations - insertion of a new scope clause - new classification descriptors – new career structures – adjustments to allowances – renaming of awards – new conditions clauses – operative date 27 November 2008 except for salary increases, which operate ffpp 27 November 2008.


[1] These are applications to:

(i) approve The State Service Union Agreement 2008 (SSUA2008) [T13303 of 2008];

(ii) approve variations to and to change the name of the General Conditions of Employment Award (GCOE) to the Tasmanian State Service Award (TSSA) [T13227 of 2008]; and

(iii) approve variations to and to change the name of the Community and Health Services (Public Sector) Award to the Health and Human Services (Tasmanian State Service) Award [T13228 of 2008];

(iv) rescind the following awards:

Administrative and Clerical Employees Award;
Professional Employees Award;
Operational Employees Award; and
Technical Employees Award.


[2] The applications are made by consent between the Minister administering the State Service Act 2000 (the Minister); the Association of Professional Engineers Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA); the Australian Education Union, Tasmanian Branch (AEU); the Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union AMACSU); the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing & Allied Services Union of Australia CEEEIPPASU); the Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union (AFMEPKIU); the Community and Public Sector Union (State Public Services Federation Tasmania) Inc (CPSU); the Health Services Union of Australia, Tasmania No 1 Branch (HSUA); the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union - Tasmanian Branch (LHMU) and The Australian Workers’ Union, Tasmania Branch (AWU).



[3] The variations to the awards are a continuation of the process commenced as part of the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement of 2007 (PSUWA 2007) which prescribed a process framework with certain outcomes and outputs to be achieved.  The framework required a comprehensive review of classification standards, structures and salaries. The parties would develop a contemporary model of classification standards, structures, progression with a focus on work value and individual capability and organisational productivity and provide parity arrangements compared to mainland State Service employees who undertake similar work with similar work value. The changes would be phased in over a period of time.

[4] Mr Ogle for the Minister said:


I suppose in summary the approach that was taken was a number of stages. The first stage between July ’07, when PSUWA [2007] was signed, and December ’07 I would categorise as the research stage. Then from December ’07 to September ’08 was the lengthy negotiation stage. An important stage was once we had reached agreement from September till today’s date to come up with the industrial instruments that will be used for the future. One would have hoped that would have been the end of it but really, in many ways it is the start of what is an important implementation.


So from today’s date through to March I think you could categorise that stage as the preliminary implementation, the review process and evaluation of standards and conditions. ……I don’t think I could stand here and say everything is going to be perfect, and we have addressed some of that in the words we have put in the agreement. Once we get to March ’09 hopefully we will have removed some of those review processes, and there is an implementation, a true implementation stage, but we’ve still got some reviews to be undertaken and from March ’09 also to monitor the reform stage.” [Transcript p4 line 6]


[5] Further, Mr Ogle said that the Minister believed the result was the “most comprehensive package involving a state service agreement and awards.”

[6] In respect to the awards he said:


“There has been an extensive restructure of the awards and the different levels within the state service. For instance, there has been an  amalgamation of three awards and 28 levels into the one general stream in the state service and slightly different in the health and human services area. We have established a professional stream with six levels and you will notice that there are correlations between the levels. We have established a separate health and human services award, introduced advancement within levels, basically assessed on performance but as we go through the award there is still a work in progress there, and we implement the new structures, classification standards with effect from 5 March. [2009]


Obviously we provide salary increases and changes to conditions.”


[7] The awards provide specific employment categories for young Tasmanians but also for people re-entering the workforce. The awards deliver conditions that are contemporary and flexible and recognise and establish a State Service reform agenda.

[8] In respect to the Agreement and the new Awards Mr Ogle said:


“……what we have done is left the broad issues, the forward-looking issues, if you like, in the agreement, and we have endeavoured to put all conditions into one document; salaries through to conditions. We’ve gone back over many, many agreements to extract those provisions that, if you like, have been hanging around for years and years. I think we’ve gone back as far as 1988, grabbed some of those conditions, so there will be a rescinding progress we go through for some of those agreements.


As I indicated before, I don’t think the task is completely finished. There are ministerial directions and, if you like, custom and practice that have occurred. Where possible we have tried to grab those and incorporate those in the award, but again, that is a work in progress.”


[9] Ms Jackson on behalf of the CPSU and the HSUA said:


 “…… state servants currently draw their conditions from either the General Conditions of Employment Award, which acts as an umbrella for the four stream awards – the Administrative and Clerical, Operational, Technical and Professional – or in the case of employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Community and Health Services Award which contains the four streams.


The four streams were introduced in the mid ‘90s and since then salaries and other conditions have come from an array of agreements ………… and for some years now the parties have been mindful of the need to review, revamp and possibly replace the four streams because they are somewhat out of date and have fallen into disrepair and often disrepute. They reflect different work practices and really haven’t kept pace with changes to work and workplace practices, that kind of thing.


The parties agreed in 2004, and then again in 2007, to enter into a process to develop a more contemporary system with contemporary classification descriptors and a more relevant structure. In 2007 we registered the interim agreement which gave us the time and space to conduct a comprehensive review of the award classification structures.”


[10] The objectives of this ‘”entire undertaking” are, Ms Jackson said:


“To provide for a job classification methodology that is flexible, adaptable, dynamic and which has strong, consistent work value integrity and clearly delineates between levels to fairly assess work value in a public service environment, to meet the challenges of a changing workforce demographic, workforce planning and advances in technology; to encourage recruitment attraction, development and retention of employees with particular consideration for women, youth, workers from a disadvantaged background, and to recognise the development of skill and expertise acquired through learning and development that increases organisational productivity to reward the higher value contribution of individual employees through active performance management, and finally, to provide better workforce management, tools and improvements in the workplace relationships and culture.”


[11] The above sets out a collaborative and co-operative arrangement between the parties to allow them to “tackle such a wide-ranging and complicated issue.”

[12] Mr Flanagan, for the AWU, noted that the classification structure which is to be incorporated into the TSSA will be incorporated into the AWU Tasmanian State Sector Award (AWU Award) and that the AWU award will continue in place but will reflect the classification structure found in the new TSSA.


The Tasmanian State Service Award:

[13] It was submitted that the new TSSA would apply to all employees employed under the State Service Act 2000 other than employees employed by the Department of Health and Human Services. It was noted that the award does not apply to Nurses, Teachers, Police or Fire Service employees who are all party to separate and individual awards.

[14] It is the intent of the parties that the TSSA would prescribe all conditions of employment which were previously found in a number of agreements and awards and in particular the GCOE which, it was submitted, did not provide a comprehensive record of entitlements. Mr Ogle said that the cross referencing of conditions from various sources was a work in progress and as such it was necessary to:


“…leave it open to keep continuing to develop this award to ensure that it does become the one document that covers the conditions of employment for state service employees.” [Transcript p15, line 32]


[15] The award is a paid rates award, which means that it provides the actual and total rate of pay for each classification, other than for allowances or penalty payments. It was noted that the actual rates of pay for the classifications are negotiated rates and are not based solely on work value considerations. [Transcript  p17, line 15]

[16] In respect to the classification descriptors Mr Ogle said


 “I believe these are the most comprehensive classification standards written….not only do they set out standards and descriptors to be able to classify jobs, but they also highlight differences between the levels. We believe this will establish a better vehicle to classify a job, to establish differences between jobs.”  [Transcript p16, line 30]


[17] Ms Jackson submitted that the new award will contain ten (10) general stream bands and six (6) professional stream bands. The first eight (8) bands of the general scheme cover the twenty eight (28) levels previously found in the Administrative and Clerical Award and the Technical and Operational Awards. Bands nine (9) and ten (10) provide a new range to recognise high level skills where previously no such provisions was available. The six (6) professional bands encapsulate levels one (1) to five (5) of the Professional Award she said.  [Transcript p19, line 45, p20, line 5]

[18] Progression through the structure will continue as currently applies until such time as agreed guidelines are developed.


Health and Human Services Award:

[19] It was decided to maintain a separate award for employees of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as a large component of the service for the DHHS requires shiftwork and 24 hour rotational rosters, likewise the nature of the work is different to that of employees party to the TSSA.

[20] This award, in its general provisions, is in similar terms to the TSSA but is more specific in respect to the Health Service Officer classification level. There are more detailed provisions in respect to shiftwork requirements and in this award the trades qualified is found at level 8 whereas in the TSSA the trades qualified is level 7.

[21] The Availability and Re-Call clause (Part VII, Clause 6) reflects what actually happens in practice; trainees will be covered by the award and on successful completion of training they will move to an appropriate classification in the award.


Wage Increases:

[22] Both awards provide for wage increases as follows:


Annual increase of (4%) effective from the first full pay period on or after 27 November, 2008, the 4% comprises an annual increase as well as a structural realignment increase of 0.05%.


Structural adjustment increase of 1.5%

effective first full pay period on or after 5 March, 2009.


Annual increase of 3.5%

effective first full pay period on or after 26 November, 2009.


Annual increase of 3.5%

effective first full pay period on or after 25 November, 2010.


Structural adjustment increase of 2.0%

effective first full pay period on or after 3 March 2011.



[23] Effective from 27 November, 2008, all state service employees will translate into the new salary structure of each award on a ‘point to point’ basis which means they will follow their salary into the new structure. It was noted that some employees will go straight across into their new classification and salary structure. The next step in the translation process “is concerned with aligning work to the classification standards.” [Transcript p22, line 25]

[24] Ms Jackson said:


“Obviously part of the impetus for this whole thing was the fact that a lot of people feel they are not currently classified appropriately. Often this is due to restrictions in the awards as much as anything else. So moving people point-to-point with the new structure would not necessarily fix the whole problem. There would still be people who feel that they don’t align appropriately.


So the second part of this involves aligning the duties people are doing to the classification standards we now have. Agencies are currently examining everybody’s statement of duties - which is a task that should be commended – and assigning them to a classification band. This will result in a letter being sent to each employee to advise them of the band to which their duties will translate. This is to be concluded by 5 March [2009] for the Tasmanian State Service Award. 5 March is important because it serves as the date to which any backdating will be made if the translation letter is late, or if, subsequent to a review, people are translated higher than they were originally.


It’s also the date people get the one-and-a-half per cent structural adjustment increase and it’s also the date people who have been on the top of their current classification for more than 12 months will have now access to the new classification point…..”


[25] Employees who are dissatisfied with their translation classification will have an opportunity to request a review. The review commences with an internal review. A grievance in respect to an individual employee’s statement of duties where it is claimed the statement does not reflect the actual duties being performed would be referred to the office of the State Service Commissioner whereas a grievance about a classification, that is a claim that an employee is incorrectly classified, will be referred to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.


Variations and New Provisions:

[26] Both awards provide the following No Disadvantage clause:


“It is a term of this award that no employee is to be disadvantaged by the implementation of the new classification structure and any associated review including salary levels that employees were expected to progress to under the previous employment arrangements. This guarantee will be subject to normal satisfactory performance as required in the previous arrangements to access salary progression points.”


[27] The awards include some new and varied provisions many of which are related to the new classification structure, classification descriptors and the application of those provisions

[28] A new clause in each award provides a Market Allowance which is to address attraction and retention difficulties in specialist occupations and allows payment of an allowance of up to 10% to an individual employee over and above the “maximum salary specified for the bands that these duties would fall into.”  [Transcript p30, line 9]

[29] A new Correctional Officer Allowance (TSSA - Part IV, Clause 9) has been agreed and applies to employees of the Department of Justice.

[30] Some trade allowances have been removed. A new provision introduces Workplace Flexibility into both awards which allows the employer and employees to enter into flexible arrangements to suit both parties. The current provisions for Time off in Lieu of Overtime has been refined and clarified with a 28 day limit in which to take the time or be paid out for that time.

[31] The SSUA2008 includes an Unintended Consequences provision (Clause 15) which is a ‘catch all’ prescription to address any anomalies which may arise and were not foreseen or addressed during negotiations. It states:


“The parties recognise that due to the complexity of this Agreement and changes to the Tasmanian State Service Award and the Health and Human Services (Tasmanian State Service) Award may result in unintended consequences. The parties to this Agreement are committed to working cooperatively to resolve such differences wherever they arise.”


Applications to rescind awards:

[32] The parties seek that the following awards be rescinded:

          Administrative and Clerical Employees Award;
          Professional Employees Award;
          Operational Employees Award; and
          Technical Employees Award. 


[33] It was submitted that the extensive re-writing of the General Conditions of Employment Award – (now the TSSA) renders the above-named awards redundant.

[34] It was agreed that the four (4) above-named awards be set aside for a period from 27 November, 2008, until 10 March, 2009, to allow the parties sufficient time to ensure the new TSSA is correct.  This takes into account the comments of Mr Ogle that “…as we go through the award there is still a work in progress there...”

[35] The four (4) above-named awards can be rescinded when the parties have completed the re-writing process and the TSSA is finalised.

[36] The Commission is satisfied that the applications are consistent with both the Wage Fixing Principles and the public interest requirements of the Act.

[37] Accordingly we approve the variations to the General Conditions of Employment Award and renaming it the Tasmanian State Service Award, operative on and from 27 November, 2008, in respect to conditions of employment, and from the first full pay period on or after 27 November, 2008, in respect to salaries and related matters (allowances etc).

[38] We approve the variations to the Community and Health Services (Public Sector) Award and renaming it the Health and Human Services Award (Tasmanian Public Sector), operative on and from 27 November, 2008, in respect to conditions of employment, and from the first full pay period on or after 27 November, 2008, in respect to salaries and related matters (allowances etc).

[39] The GCOE award and the CHS award will be varied in accord with the agreed draft documents provided.



P L Leary

Mr F Ogle, Mr P Baker and Mr K Grey for the Minister administering the State Service Act 2000
Ms K Jackson and Mr T Lynch for Community and Public Sector Union (State Public Services Federation Tasmania) Inc
Mr C Brown and Mr T Jacobson for the Health Services Union of Australia, Tasmania No 1 Branch

Mr C Dodds for Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical & Services Union
Mr R Flanagan for The Australian Workers’ Union, Tasmania Branch
Mr D Pyrke for the APESMA

Date and place of hearing:
November 3