Federation forces Department to fix the glitch

The union’s persistence has led to the Department of Education working to rectify the situation where about 9000 teachers working on part-time leave will be left without income for a period during the summer vacation.

Since the Department introduced the SAP HR payroll system, teachers working on part-time leave have been receiving their accrued vacation payments based on their substantive position instead of receiving part-time vacation payment.

This means they will receive their full accrued vacation entitlement before the end of the January holidays and then their income will stop.

Research/Industrial Officer Anna Uren said the Department didn’t tell anyone that their pay would be affected this way.

“In fact, until nearly the middle of the year the only advice they gave was that part-time teachers would receive part-time vacation pay,” she said.

Affected teachers started noticing the anomaly in Term 2 and notified Federation.

The union never agreed to that payment pattern and promptly contacted the Department to seek a satisfactory resolution.

“When we first contacted the Department, they refused to fix the problem,” Ms Uren said. Federation continued to push with the assistance of members frustrated by the issue. Federation’s intervention has seen the Department agree to reprogram the SAP HR payroll system, so teachers working on part-time leave will be paid their vacation entitlements as per their current work pattern.

The issue will be resolved for next year with affected teachers already having been paid according to the erroneous pattern. The new “rule” in the SAP HR payroll system to pay vacation entitlements to teachers working while on part-time leave will be the closest possible equivalent to the arrangements that existed under the old system.

Once the Department has made the changes to the program, further advice will be developed.

“We have insisted that this advice be provided directly to any teacher applying for part-time leave in the future. The amount on a teacher’s payslip should not be a surprise,” Ms Uren said.

Any member who is in extreme financial hardship as a result of this situation (particularly where it is combined with other overpayment issues associated with the SAP HR payroll system), are advised to contact Federation’s Professional Support section on 1300 654 367.

— Kerri Carr