Happier holidays for three members

Some early childhood members will have a bit more to celebrate this year after the union helped them gain their full holiday entitlements.

All the members working at a Central Coast preschool were part-timers, but had worked extra days throughout the year on an ad hoc basis.

Under the terms of the enterprise agreement (EA), they were entitled to additional Christmas pay for those extra days.

However, the management committee of the preschool, a community-based centre run by volunteers, decided that under the terms of their employment they were only entitled to leave hours based on their regular roster, and additional days were not included.

Realising they were not getting the same entitlements they had in previous years, the members lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission. As they were not IEU members when the dispute started, the IEU was not representing them at the Commission. However, acknowledging that the outcome of the case had the potential to set a precedent affecting many other members, the Commission asked the union to step in and represent the three teachers anyway.

After the IEU lodged submissions in July, Commissioner Leigh Johns noted he was “greatly assisted by the intervention of the IEU”.

Concluding the case in October, the Commission deciding that according to the pro rata salary formula used for teachers’ EAs and the modern award, the extra hours worked by the three members entitled them to extra Christmas pay. A happy outcome for them.

Read: the full judgement: fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2021fwc6098.htm

Sue Osborne