- Call us today: (07) 3257 1151 or Rail Phone 81 2461
- Fax: (07) 3252 3682
- Follow @afuleqld
Become A Member
A.F.U.L.E. staff and officials are trained to provide you with a wide range of information and advice. We can assist you with information about awards and certified agreements, wages and conditions, collective agreement negotiation, unfair and unlawful dismissal, workers’ compensation applications, reviews and appeals, occupational health and safety and training and development.
Members Only Access
If you are an AFULE member, you are invited to register to access the Members Only content on this website. Please register below, once your details are approved by the State Office, you will be able to login to the Members Only Access whenever you enter the site. Members Only Discussion Forum will be introduced shortly... stay tuned
Sign Up to our Circular
QR LIMITED TRAINCREW UNION COLLECTIVE WORKPLACE AGREEMENT 2009 – DISPUTES UPDATE #6
11 February 2010
Limitation of Hours’ Breaches in Callemondah and Bluff
Members raised concerns with respect to the alarming increase in limitation of hours’ breaches in December 2009 and the fact that the limitation of hours’ breaches continued to occur in early January 2010.
In particular, Callemondah had 10 out of 15 limitation of hours’ breaches that were avoidable in the month of December 2009. Bluff also had a significant increase in the number of limitation of hours’ breaches. A common factor in the limitation of hours’ breaches was relief not being prioritised.
Another concern was the misapplication of Clause 56.2.2 of the QR Limited Traincrew Union Collective Workplace Agreement 2009 (the “Agreement”). This provision allows traincrew to extend their limitation of hours’ by one hour, provided the shift length does not exceed 12 hours, in order to work the train through to the home depot. Members have advised that SDS are utilising this provision to work traincrew to their limitation of hours’, then send a car to pick them up and drive them back to the depot within the extra hour. This is incorrect. The extra hour as prescribed in Clause 56.2.2 of the Agreement is to allow traincrew to work the train to the home depot. Therefore, traincrew should not be relieved en-route and then driven to the home depot in the extra hour. Members also were concerned that roster was using the extra hour for rostering, with comments made to traincrew “you’re good for 12 because I have the extra hour”. This too is correct. The extra hour is used when there is a delay on-route, not for rostering before a shift.
The AFULE lodged a notice of dispute in accordance with Step 2 Clause 39.3 of the Agreement on 18 January 2010 and provided further information to QR on 25 January 2010 as members felt their concerns were not taken seriously and QR had not genuinely addressed the issues.
The AFULE received an emailed response back from QR management advising that they had discussed the issue with roster and committed to making every effort to prevent further limitation of hours’ breaches. Members felt the email lacked conviction and was merely lip service.
The AFULE State Office lodged a Step 3 Notice of Dispute on Tuesday 2 February 2010 in accordance with Clause 39.3 of the Agreement. The AFULE State Office met with QR senior management today, 11 February 2010, to discuss the matter further.
QR assured the AFULE State Office that they are taking limitation of hours’ breaches seriously. QR’s response was that the new efficiencies in the Agreement only commenced in December 2009 and as such, QR have shown SDS, roster and logistics some latitude in implementing these provisions. QR advised that this latitude has now ceased and SDS, roster and logistics have been firmly advised that just like traincrew have responsibility towards safety, so do they. QR advised that although they have not commenced the disciplinary process under the People’s Performance Framework with any particular SDS, roster or logistics officer, all were left with a clear understanding that if avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches continued, then QR will progress the matter inclusive of performance management.
The AFULE State Office advised that members felt that the response they received from management to date was merely lip service and their concerns were not genuinely considered or addressed. The AFULE State Office advised that members want to know what specifically QR has done to prevent avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches.
QR advised that they have drafted information sheets with respect to limitation of hours’ and this has been provided to SDS, roster and logistics. The information sheets provide a number of scenario’s that address the problems we have experienced to date. Further, QR has provided clear advice to SDS, roster and logistics with respect to how Clause 56.2.2 of the Agreement is to apply. In particular, QR agreed with the AFULE that the extra hour is only to be used when there is a delay en-route, the limitation of hours’ can be extended by one hour (provided it does not exceed 12hrs) in order to work the train to the home depot. Further, QR agreed that SDS cannot use the extra hour for traincrew to be relieved and brought back to the home depot by car.
QR advised that one problem they found with the avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches was it appeared SDS were “gun shy” with using the extra hour in Clause 56.2.2 of the Agreement in order to work the train home. In particular, QR advised that there was an incident where the train was delayed en-route and SDS knew the crew were not going to get the train home within the rostered shift length. Instead of using the extra hour provided in Clause 56.2.2 of the Agreement to work the train home, SDS made seven phone calls and ended up sending out relief. The time it took to make seven phone calls and finally make the decision to send out relief resulted in a limitation of hours’ breach. QR advised that had SDS used Clause 56.2.2 correctly, the crew would have been able to work the train back to the home depot and there would not have been a breach of limitation of hours’.
QR advised the AFULE State Office that they are taking limitation of hours’ breaches seriously and that have had serious discussions with SDS, roster and logistic on their responsibility to ensure traincrew are signed off within their limitation of hours’.
Where to from here?
The AFULE State Office advised that they will continue to monitor the avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches and if avoidable breaches continue, they will progress the matter in accordance with Clause 39.3 of the Agreement.
Why aren’t we progressing to Fair Work Australia?
Many members have advised that QR have been breaching limitation of hours’ for years and that they have had enough.
Now that QR has advised of the actions that they have undertaken to prevent avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches, we have to monitor the situation and see whether QR’s actions have resolved the matter. For example, your Limitation of Hours’ Committee will continue to meet monthly and evaluation the previous months’ breaches. If avoidable limitation of hours’ breaches continue, the AFULE will progress the matter in accordance with Clause 39.3 of the Agreement inclusive of referring the matter to Fair Work Australia for conciliation, and if required arbitration.