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NCOSS BRIEFING PAPER:

MOVING TO THE SCHCADS MODERN AWARD

February 2012

On the 1st of July 2012 the new SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) will come into full operation. This means that the new 8 level classification structure that replaces the current 6 level structure of the NSW SACS Award will have to be fully implemented from that date. As a result all Social, Community and Disability workers in NSW will need to be reclassified under the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award). NCOSS, the Australian Services Union (ASU) and National Disability Service (NDS) will be working together to ensure that this occurs in a smooth and orderly way and that there is a consistent industry approach to the issues that will arise as we move to reclassify 25,000 employees. The NSW SACS Award classification structure and the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) classification structure are vastly different and each individual position and worker will need to be reclassified based on their individual role responsibilities, qualifications, skills and experiences. We will be working together to develop a guide on where indicative roles are most likely classified under the SCHCADS Award that will assist organisations and employees in this process. NCOSS, the ASU and NDS support the following process for reclassifications:

5 STEPS TO RECLASSIFICATION AND EQUAL PAY

1. Prepare Your Organisation ­ Prepare Yourself 2. Obtain a Copy of the Agreed Classification Guide 3. Employees - Make an Application for Re-classification; Employers Make an Assessment 4. Exchange Information 5. Reconcile any differences NB: The timelines in this document are suggested to ensure that the transfer to the SCHCADS Award is able to done before July 1 and are for guidance only.

1.

Prepare Your Organisation ­ Prepare Yourself (Now ­ 1 March 2012)

Organisations should: Ensure that all job descriptions are up to date. Individual employees should: Ensure that your job description is up to date.

2.

Obtain a Copy of the Agreed Classification Guide (from 1 March 2012)

Organisations should: Attend the second round of the "Get the Facts" forums being held around NSW in March 2012. You will be able to collect your copy of the classifications guide at these forums. It is important that you ensure that a union or employee representative from your workplace also attend these forums. (Organisations should ensure that at least one person attending is a staff member and where there is an ASU delegate they should be asked to attend). Individual employees should: Attend the second round of the "Get the Facts" forums being held around NSW in March 2012. You will be able to collect a copy of the classifications guide at these forums. The ASU will also be holding workplace meetings about reclassification between March and May. Contact the ASU office on (02) 9310 4000 if you would like to arrange a meeting in your workplace.

3. Employees Make an Application for Re-classification; Employers Make an Assessment (1 March 2012 ­ 30 April 2012)

Organisations should: So that you are prepared to assess the applications that your employees will make you should start to use the classifications guide as a reference and start to make your assessment of how particular roles should be re-classified. If an employee does not file an application with you by 30 April then you can immediately proceed to step 4. Organisations should not provide individual employees with offers of reclassification until employees have had an opportunity to make an application for reclassification should they wish. You can contact your industrial representative for further advice and assistance on this matter. Employees should: Each Individual employee will have the opportunity to make an application for re-classification which must be filed with your employer by 30 April 2012. Using the reclassification guide as a tool you should start to prepare your application for reclassification. You will need to consider your role and your individual experience and qualifications. You can contact your union to arrange a workplace meeting about this or for further advice or assistance on this matter.

NCOSS Briefing Paper: Moving to the SCHCADS Modern Award, February 2012

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4.

Exchange Information (1 May 2012 ­ 30 June 2012)

Organisations should: By 30 April 2012 you will have received any applications that your employees wish to make for re-classification. Where you have not received an application then you should immediately proceed to issue employees with your proposed classification which you prepared in Step 3. The first thing to do is to check if the employee's views and yours are the same. If you are in agreement you should notify the employee that this is their new classification under the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) from 1 July 2012. If you disagree you should provide the employee with a copy of your view on their classification and nominally re-classify them where you had intended from 1 July 2012. It is a good idea to explain to the employee why you have classified them in the way you have and hear anything they might have to say to you in response as this may resolve the matter at the local level. Organisations can respond to applications at any time once they have been received. Individual Employees should: By 30 April 2012 submit your application for re-classification to your employer. Your employer will then notify you if they agree or disagree with your application and they will provide you with a copy of their assessment of where you should be classified. If your employer agrees with your application you will be re-classified to that level from 1 July. If your employer does not agree with your application or you did not make an application you will be nominally reclassified to where your employer has formed an opinion that your position fits in the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) classification structure.

5.

Reconcile Any Differences (from 1 July 2012)

A panel will be established at an industry level comprising of a representative nominated by the union, a representative nominated by the appropriate peak bodies and an independent third representative. Either party can seek the assistance of this board in resolving any disputes that remain. If there are any situations where: 1. An employee made an application and; 2. The organisation did not agree with that application and; 3. After receiving the information from their employer as to why the employer has reclassified them at a different level the employee still believes that they should be classified elsewhere.

NCOSS Briefing Paper: Moving to the SCHCADS Modern Award, February 2012

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Either party may make an application to the panel to make a recommendation. This is a non binding recommendation and seeks to deal with disputes at a local level. This does not remove either party's right to seek the assistance of Fair Work Australia in resolving the matter. This will ensure consistency of process across the industry, however it is important to remember that each individual employee and each individual organisation is different and unique and individual outcomes are likely to differ. This is an overview of the process for reclassification. As we move through each of these steps as an industry more in-depth information will be made available. While NCOSS provides important general information about employment, human resource and industrial relations matters NCOSS is not an industrial advisory body and does not give specific industrial relations advice. Should you have further questions about this process you should contact your industrial advisory organisation.

Alison Peters Director, NCOSS 13 February 2012

NCOSS Briefing Paper: Moving to the SCHCADS Modern Award, February 2012

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