Federation intervention wins individual salary adjustments for members

A Federation member who voiced her frustration over the Department of Education’s failure to progress her on the salary scale in a post to the union’s Facebook page is glad she took the advice contained in the General Secretary’s reply — to contact her union for assistance.

Due to Federation’s help, the member received more than $3200 in back pay.

A teacher working a permanent or temporary day is notionally allocated seven hours in the Department’s SAP HR system, but was crediting just six hours for a full day of casual work, consequently crediting just 6/7ths of a day towards salary progression and thus incorrectly slowing movement up the pay scale. (The Department reports this anomaly within SAP HR has been corrected but casual teachers are advised to keep a close eye on their service records.)

Research/Industrial Officer Anna Uren said the member had attempted to resolve her case with the Department over several months, without success, before contacting the union.

“First she was given incorrect advice from EdConnect that casual and temporary service days could not be combined for calculating days of service toward salary progression, even though she was eligible because she had fully transitioned to standards-based pay. Then she got advice that casual days were being converted to hours, which was discounting her service,” Ms Uren said.

“When the member got in touch with Federation, we contacted senior people in the Department to correct the advice that the EdConnect was providing. The Department recalculated her service, confirmed her accreditation details and backdated her movement up the pay scale.”

Another member helped over difficulties with SAP HR

Ms Uren said another member experienced multiple exchanges with the Department, over several months, to resolve salary progression discrepancies.

Correspondence included an email which stated in the subject line, “your request has been resolved,” and went on to say, “Resolution: We apologise for the delay caused by an unprecedented amount of requests since the last migration into SAP on 2/11/18. We do not have a current time frame of when to expect your request to be completed. You will receive notification once your request has been processed.”

The member was on maternity leave at the time of the rollover to SAP and her unpaid maternity leave was incorrectly converted to leave without pay, which doesn’t count towards salary progression like unpaid maternity leave.

“Federation was able to escalate the case within the Department,” Ms Uren said. “Before the member came to Federation for help she managed to get some back pay, but after the union’s intervention she secured about $10,800, as she had not progressed up the salary scale since 2014.”

Ms Uren said Federation has found that teachers not working full-time — such as working a combination of temporary and casual days, across different sites or accessing different leave types — are the ones experiencing problems with their entitlements due to the Department’s migration to SAP HR.

“If you receive unsatisfactory advice from EdConnect, contact the union, as Federation can provide assistance where entitlements are due,” she said.

Federation has expressed its dissatisfaction to the Department over its “ongoing inability to pay large numbers of teachers their correct pay” in correspondence and at a recent meeting.

— Kerri Carr