IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS

IMPACT OF THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS? – FACTS NOT FEAR  Dr Peter Lin


BREAKING NEWS 9 April 2020
ACTU updated factsheets and information re: last nights announcement re: JobKeeper Click here
8 April 2020
$130 Billion package including JobKeeper Allowance set to pass Federal Parliament 
To find out more 
Click here
FACT SHEET BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION FAQ COVID-19
Click here to download

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.”

UPDATED INFORMATION, OH&S FACTSHEETS FOR VARIOUS INDUSTRIES 
SafeWork Australia -Preparing workplaces for Covid-19 Click here 

Industrial News

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

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
Licencing news 

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

Breaking News 3/4/2020
Federal Government announces Free Childcare Initiative  
Childcare changes announced

Queensland Govt launches new Covid 19 website
 Click here

1/4/2020 ETU National Releases Stimulus Factsheet/Guide with Q&A ETU Q&A Stimulus Factsheet

31/3/2020 ETU National Calls for Improvements to JobKeeper Scheme
Federal Government JobKeeper Factsheets
Fact Sheet for employees
Fact Sheet Supporting Business
Fact Sheet For Employers

30/3/2020 Government unveil new $130B stimulus package, including wages subsidy, expansion of welfare, ban on evictions due to Coronavirus and other initiatives in an attempt to stimulate economy and support workers/employers  ABC Overview 30032020.
ACTU Response 30032020
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
27/03/2020
Calls for Wage Subsidy gain momentum - sign the petition here 
Sign Petition here
26/03/2020
QLD schools go pupil free from Monday - but remain open for those that need them
Schools Announcement 26032020
25/03/2020

QLD State Government announces border closure for non essential travel. 
Govt Statement re: Border Closure 25032020
24/03/2020
Queensland State Government Announces $4B COVID-19 Response Package 
Govt Statement re: QLD Stimulus 24032020

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 is 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 lobbying the Federal Government to look at implementing a UK style wages underwriting scheme where the Government pays 80% of a workers wage UK Response Wage Subsidy

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.

HEALTH

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

For State and Territory based updates 
Queensland
Northern Territory

INDUSTRIAL
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

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

SafeWork Australia -Preparing workplaces for Covid-19 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

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON 2020 MAY DAY AND INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’MEMORIAL DAY

Comrades, we are in uncharted waters, the public health, societal and industrial implications of the COVID – 19 worldwide virus Pandemic are playing out in front of our eyes and we do not know how and when it will end.

What we do know is that one of the most important things we can do to limit the spread of the disease is a process called social distancing and limiting the amount of people who gather together to small groups, as such The Queensland Council of Unions Management Committee met last week and made the difficult decision that ALL LABOUR DAY 2020 MASS GATHERINGS WILL BE CANCELLED. The Management Committee has also decided to cancel mass gathering activities related to Workers’ Memorial Day this year.

We know these are important events for our Union and the movement. But we must put the health and safety of our Members, officials, families and the community first, and take advice from the experts. While the May Day and Workers Memorial Day mass gatherings in Queensland will be cancelled, we will still acknowledge and celebrate these days for our Members. Check in here for updates. 

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

OTHER RESOURCES AND LINKS 

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