IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS

A message from Peter Ong

ETQ QLD & NT State Secretary

Message of solidarity to Members

From the ETU QLD & NT Officers and Staff


 
IMPACT OF THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS? – FACTS NOT FEAR  Dr Peter Lin

Practical Resources for Workers 

As Australian workplaces are again at risk of the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to know for sure what your rights at work are. Ensuring that your rights at work are upheld and respected by employers is core business for the union movement.
That’s why he ACTU has  put together a range of free resources for working people about coronavirus and your workplace rights and safety. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Visit the dedicated COVID-Aware site here


BREAKING NEWS 16 October 2020 Queensland restrictions to ease this afternoon  News Report
HEALTH
Australian Health updates and resources Click here
For State and Territory based updates 
Queensland 
Northern Territory

QHealth staff awarded one off two extra days leave Ts&Cs apply read letter here.
Read letter here   
Federal Government announces further changes to JobKeeper Program 
Click here
JobKeeper and JobSeeker extended but cuts to rates and new terms and conditions introduced - no extension to eligibility
ABC report on changes coming in September
Services Australia COVID-19 Support
Coronavirus COVID-19 information and support


Latest news QLD
https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/

Latest information coming out of the NT
https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

INDUSTRIAL CHANGES - JOBKEEPER, JOBSEEKER, AWARD CHANGES
For all the up to date information Re: Industrial Relations during Covid-19
https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/
  

COVID-19 lessons to inform workplace safety strategies OHS research shows effects of COVID changes on FIFO workers Read report here

Queensland Government announces $1500 hardship grant for casual workers who test positive to COVID -19 and have no access to paid sick/pandemic leave or Jobkeeper. Read statement here
Federal Government's HomeBuilder Scheme announced are you eligible? 
Read report here

Non-biased information from respected Doctor Dr. Norman Swan Click here

World Heath Organisation daily updates Click here

Australian Health updates and resources Click here

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HEALTH RESPONSE

The Dept of Health Website Click here

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES – MATES in Construction, Mining and Energy have advised that they will continue to provide their exceptional service to members during this time. 
Click here for information


SAFETY AT WORK 
SAFE WORK COVID GUIDELINES
 
Click here
FACT SHEET BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION FAQ COVID-19 Click here to download
SAFEWORK Australia - Preparing workplaces for Covid-19 Click here 

WorksafeQLD
This link provides a contact in the event that a worker contracts Coronavirus during the course of carrying out their duties at work and other info on Coronavirus safety @ work. Click here
Handy Guide to stopping the spread of COVID-19 for essential service workers  Click here

COVID-19: Resources Safety and Health compliance update
From Resources Safety and Health Queensland including the Coal, Mineral Mines and Quarries, Explosives and Petroleum and Gas inspectorates 

In recognition of the difficulties industry may be experiencing currently, Resources Safety and Health (RSH) has developed a guidance note concerning safety and health compliance and enforcement during COVID-19. Please review the Guidance Note  which should be read in conjunction with  Resources Safety and Health Compliance Policy RS&H Compliance policy 
The Queensland Chief Health Officer (QCHO) has recently issued revised directions about border restrictions for Resources sector FIFO workers - you can find that information on the.  QCHO Website 


Latest information about JobKeeper disputes first step contact your Union. JobKeeper dispute information
ACTU updated factsheets and information re: last nights announcement re: JobKeeper Click here 
ETU National Releases Stimulus Factsheet/Guide with Q&A ETU Q&A Stimulus Factsheet 
ETU National Calls for Improvements to JobKeeper Scheme

Federal Government JobKeeper Factsheets
JobKeeper information 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS The Federal Government has announced a variety of stimulus measures including an increase to JobSeeker allowance and relaxation of mutual obligations and access protocols. But there are some exclusions please go to the following link to see if you are entitled to payment and what steps you are required to take to access them. Click here

FEDERAL GOVT AMENDS FAIR WORK REGS TO REDUCE EBA VARIATIONS REQUIREMENTS 

If your employer tries to force a vote on changes to your Agreement:

  1. Contact the Union immediately;
  2. Request that workers be given adequate time to consider any variation;
  3. Make sure any variation proposed is time limited; and
  4. VOTE NO - unless you have been given enough time to consider the changes and genuinely agree with them.
ADVICE FOR MEMBERS RE: PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

“All Members who would normally have been rostered to work on any of the upcoming Public Holidays should be paid for the Public Holiday, based on the hours they would otherwise have worked. In stating this, the Union relies on:

  • Section 114 of the Fair Work Act provides that an employee is entitled to be absent on a public holiday Click here
  • Section 525(b) of the Act says that an employee is not taken to be stood down when they are “otherwise authorised to be absent from his or her employment”.  Therefore they should not be taken to be stood down on a public holiday Click here
  • Therefore the employer is required to pay employees for what would otherwise have been their ordinary hours on that day – see Section 116 of the Act Click here

If you have any questions, please contact your Organiser in the first instance.”

Important Update for All ETU Members re: Employers seeking variations to Agreements due to COVID-19

In response to Covid-19, some employers are seeking to make changes to the wages and conditions of their employees.  Before you agree to any changes to your current wages and conditions, make sure you are fully informed and understand the process.  Talk to your Organiser and ask for their support and assistance.  We have experienced Organisers who can help. 

In the meantime, here are some links to the Fair Work Commission’s website: FWC COVID-19AdviceEB FWC COVID-19FactSheet making application to vary agreement 

Other important resources

Coronavirus and you: Know Your Rights at Work (ACTU)

The following link to the ACTU website will provide you with information about your rights and entitlements in relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic. This is being updated as more information becomes available. ACTU FAQ and ACTU Coronavirus

Fair Work Ombudsmen

This link to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information about your rights and entitlements.  If you have any further questions, please ring your Organiser in the first instance.
Fair Work Ombudsman General

QUEENSLAND LICENSING 

Important news re: Queensland Licence renewals, VVR, CPR and PTR during Covid-19 Pandemic Factsheet 

QUEENSLAND SPECIFIC INITIATIVES

Queensland State Government Announces $4B COVID-19 Response Package 
Govt Statement re: QLD Stimulus 24032020
Government launches new Coronavirus APP follow link to download https://www.australia.gov.au/ 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-29/federal-government-launches-coronavirus-australia-app/12100680

A MESSAGE FOR MEMBERS
As we go through this unprecedented health and economic emergency it is important to remain informed and up to date with developments that could affect you and your families. This page will provide you with up to the minute information from reputable and official sources. As the virus spreads, information will be changing as well. We will be updating this page as and when required.

COVID-19: ETU Key Principles

1. Keeping Members, families and our communities safe from COVID-19 is the top priority.

2. No Members left out of pocket.

3. All decisions focused on keeping and creating decent jobs.

4. Union Members and their Union involved in all decision-making.

Stay safe comrades, Peter Ong ETU Qld NT State Secretary

WHAT THE ETU HAS DONE AND IS DOING

Your Union was involved in lobbying the Queensland State Government to provide State Government employees with a maximum of 20 days pandemic leave, this was announced last week. We have been seeking and achieving agreements with various employers across different sectors that have resulted in similar outcomes for Members. These discussions will continue.

Your Union was at the forefront of lobbying the Federal Government to follow the lead of the Queensland State Government and provide 20 days paid Pandemic leave for all workers. We are also lobbied the Federal Government to look at implementing a UK style wages underwriting scheme. While we ended up securing JobKeeper scheme we will continue lobbying for changes to ensure no worker is left behind. 

We are also in constant talks with various organisations who may be able to provide emergency payments for Members facing hardship. We will update this page with developments as they occur.

SUPER
Energy Super COVID -19 page 
Click here

LEGAL
Hall Payne Information re: Workers Comp 
Click here

STATE GOVERNMENT AND GOVT OWNED CORPORATIONS (QLD)
Please find below the link to the gazette copy of the new Directive 01/20: Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Health Pandemic (Directive). The Directive has been approved by the Minister for Industrial Relations and the Public Service Commission Chief Executive.

It is a joint Directive replacing Directive 06/18 [Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Human Influenza Pandemic]. The Directive is effective from 16 March 2020. 

Should you have any questions in relation to the new Directive, please do not hesitate to contact your Organiser. Click here to view Directive

MEMBERS IN OTHER AREAS

This will be a moving feast, while some EBA’s have provisions for some forms of paid Special Leave, Discretionary Leave, Personal Leave etc, we also know that some companies have advised they will provide paid leave for people affected by the virus. For Members who are required to self - isolate or quarantine or where Members are stood down or are required for family responsibilities (looking after children etc), or face reduced hours or shifts, please contact your Organiser.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

The Federal Government has announced a variety of stimulus measures including an increase to JobSeeker allowance and relaxation of mutual obligations and access protocols.  But unfortunately the new payments will not be implemented until the 27th of April and there are some exclusions please go to the following link to see if you are entitled to payment and what steps you are required to take to access them. Click here

STAY SAFE, STAY INFORMED

Comrades, this unprecedented public health challenge will be ongoing for some time, as always, the ETU will be there with you. Stay safe follow all health advice, stay informed, wash your hands, keep your distance and take care of each other and take no chances.

Official advice is to follow these simple steps to help slow the spread of the virus and to reduce the risk of infection:

️ Wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating, and also after using the toilet
️ Avoid physical contact with others when possible
️ Cough into your elbow or into a clean tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin
️ Seek medical attention if you're feeling sick. Be aware that most people currently experiencing cold and flu symptoms won't have COVID-19
️ Exercise social distancing of at least 1.5 meters.

 For more information and tips to help improve your safety and well-being, visit The Dept of Health Website Click here