Recently members from the “airport” contacted the USU Organiser Damien Welsh and the USU Delegate to discuss on-call and how payments were processed in other Sections of Council. 

During these discussions it became apparent that the members had not been claiming “actual” time spent attending in-person or by way of remote response. 

The Organiser and Delegate advised the members that a grievance needed to be lodged immediately, stating the fact Council told them that the “On-Call Allowance” payment was for doing everything to do with on-call.  Thankfully due to the nature of the work and the legalisation around airports/airlines, the members kept good records of the time spent both in-person and remotely, for many years.

After it was discovered that for the previous six years an average of approximately six hours per week were being undertaken, the USU members and Organiser decided that it may be beneficial to do a proposal with management for an “agreed on-call” payment for actual time spent undertaking duties associated with on-call moving forward. 

Damien spoke with HR and showed them the figures of the previous 12 months for time spent attending duties related to on-call and proposed that an “average weekly payment” of 12 hours and the on-call payment be made to the members. 

Management initially said no due to the average hours only being six, but the Organiser and members pointed out that these hours actually included payment at time and a half, weekends and public holidays and that is how the 12 hours was calculated. 

Management finally agreed to the payment of 12 hours plus the On-Call Allowance. 

After this the members and Organiser put in a grievance relating to the fact that previous management never informed members that they could book hours out for on-call and requested that the remedy for “back-pay” be paid under the existing Agreement of 12 hours per week back until the date of when the members started. 

For one member this exceeded the six years, one member was for four years, another three years and the last two years.  Council agreed with the proposed remedy and payments were made to all members with the final outcome being close to $130,000 in back pay.