The ALAEA and Virgin have now had an opportunity to discuss the ramifications of the decision from the Fair Work Commission. Virgin advised us that in line with the decision, that they would now re-calculate the wages for all part time Engineers, so that they were paid overtimes rates from the period that the change was made until now, the same way as they had calculated overtime previously. This may give sizeable back payments to some members, but it will take some time to work out. We assume Virgin will notify staff when the adjustments will take place.
The Commissioner is yet to issue orders in relation to what should happen next and is awaiting the end of 21 days from the decision for feedback from us. If the parties cannot draft a set of rules around overtime that both parties are happy with, the Commissioner will order that the method used to pay overtime will revert to the original concept of payment at overtime rates for any hour in a given week above 40.
That being said, the ALAEA are now interested in the opinions of our part time members. We will be representing your wishes and a choice is available. A poll will be run on survey monkey from today to select an option which will be explained below. Because we are not 100% certain which members are nominally part time or full time, anyone wishing to receive a link to the survey should send me a private email at – firstname.lastname@example.org explaining that you are a part timer and would like to vote via the survey.
For those Part Timers who may read this and are not members, you can join before the ballot closes on Wed 29th of July to have your opinion included. Please note, as part timers earn less than full time LAMEs, membership rates are half price or $10 per week. The choices and their implications are explained below –
Get paid at overtime rates for any hour worked above 40 in a given calendar week. This will be the default option ordered by the FWC unless option two is selected. Our concern with this option is, that if it is put in place, VT may shy away from offering Part Timers temporary roles to cover full time employees who may be on leave or training.
This is because a Part Timer who works a full time roster will hit overtime rates on any hour over 40 in the week. eg…if you were to fill in for a full timer for two blocks commencing on a Sunday DDNN xxxx DDNN xxxx, both weeks would attract OT rates because working 4 x 11.4 hour days accrues 45.6 hours in the week or 5.6 hours at OT rates. Again this may limit the hours being offered to Part timers.
Get paid overtime rates during the same periods that a full timer does. That is, overtime if you work more than 11.4 hours on any shift or if you ever work overtime on a rostered day off. eg… a part timer who works 2 x 6 hour days and 2 full nights could extend the day up to 11.4 hours (5.4 extra hours) at single time rates but then get overtime beyond 11.4 hours. If overtime was ever worked on any of the 4 days off between shifts, overtime rates would apply.
The poll will open from today for members. A link will be emailed once contact is made at the above email address. If you have any further questions please send me a sms on 0400 071 505 and I will call back when free.