Underpayment WIN

24-May-2019

ASMOF was recently contacted by a member who had been unsuccessfully trying to resolve an underpayment with two local health districts for over a year.

The underpayment of thousands of dollars came about due to an error in the member's service history and the refusal of the current employer to recognise VMO hours worked as service meaning that the member did not increment at the correct rate.

Clause 13(f) of the Staff Specialists (State) Award recognises work as a VMO for salary progression purposes provided the work performed is commensurate with the work of a Staff Specialist. The clause states:

A Staff Specialist who works pursuant to a Part-time Agreement will progress to the next incremental step every 12 months from the date of the Staff Specialists commencement of employment, provided the work performed by the Staff Specialist extraneous to the Part-time Agreement is commensurate with the experience of a full-time Staff Specialist and is acceptable to the Employer. This subclause does not preclude accelerated progression.

In this particular matter, the member was performing the same role as they previously performed but now as a VMO.

To have hours worked as a VMO recognised by your employer, you should formally write to your employer and have them confirm that they recognise these hours. Additionally, you should keep note of your increment anniversary and provide your employer with a Certificate of Service in advance of this date to ensure that you increment on time.

Once the employer accepted that the member's VMO hours should be recognised, the underpayment was established and the member's increment reconciled resulting in a backpay of thousands dollars.

As NSW Health has yet to implement the required technology and processes to allow for automatic incrementing and salary progression in all circumstances, it is important that in addition to checking your pay slip you should check your Service Statement and keep note of your increment anniversary.

If you have an unresolved pay issue please contact ASMOF at allocation@asmof.org.au or (02) 9212 6900 for assistance.