Latest developments in the industrial arena of interest to our industry follow:
UNFAIR AMBIGUITY REMOVED FROM
SA LONG SERVICE LEAVE ACT
About 18 months ago the union was presented with a situation where a meatpacker went on long service leave shortly after 2 periods of maternity leave.
What's wrong with that you may well ask.
Well 4 weeks prior to going on the second period of maternity leave she had to reduce her hours because she couldn't stand up for the full 8 per shift by that stage of her pregnancy so they reduced her shifts to 6 hours duration.
This triggers a loophole in the long service leave act where if your hours vary in the 12 months leading up to the time that you take long service leave then you must take an average of the last 3 years wages.
The act is then ambiguous as to whether or not maternity leave is counted as service and so with the 2 pregnancies and ensuing periods of maternity leave this young lady's entitlement to long service leave payment was reduced by two thirds.
No I'm not kidding!
We complained to the state government about this and a working party was set up to look at this situation. The AMIEU was on the working party representing SA Unions.
Long story short, this has now been fixed with the State Government passing new legislation to prevent this happening again. The new act will treat both paid and unpaid leave as service for the purpose of payment for long service leave.
Please feel free to post this bulletin on the notice board at work for members to peruse.
WHATS HAPPENING WITH CERTIFICATE 3?
Public funding for certificate 3 in meat processing (abattoirs) has been withdrawn following the withdrawal of support by the Union in SA.
This has happened because of the lack of identifiable outcomes for certificate 3 training.
The union wants slaughtering and boning to be recognised as trade level occupations and the employers have done everything so far to prevent that from happening.
Certificate 3 in other industries provides a trade outcome when coupled with 3 years experience but not so in meat processing despite the fact that employers are entitled to $4000 per person who enrols to do the certificate 3 training.
Plenty of financial outcome for the boss and not a single identifiable outcome for workers.
For certificate 3 training in meat processing you get no trade, no transferable credentials, no pay rise, no recognition and no advancement.
We are meeting with the employer representatives of the major companies in SA on the 7th November to see if this can be fixed but until the workers get some real outcomes then we see no reason for the boss to get all this free cash.
CHRISTMAS CLOSE DOWN OF UNION OFFICE
The office will be closed between December 19 2008 and January 5th 2009.
We have enclosed visiting schedules for both November and December with this final newsletter for 2009.