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Further Garry Browne Update

26th June 2012

Dear Members,

Further to my update last week, the call to Garry Browne. I will attempt not to make this lengthy. My call was to simply request a time to have a meeting with him to get some answers to our issues. Unfortunately this call was anything but quick and simple.

Firstly, upon telling him the reason for this request, Garry seemed almost surprised as he thought they were all solved. I was flabbergasted to say the least. He acknowledged that the first 2 simple requests for both the Calculation sheets and the Maps will start from this month, though I will believe that when I see it.

Then there was some good news about the reimbursements for those in a single tendered category with a rolled over run. That being, it now applies to all those affected and not only for those operators who ring the ASTU. Finally, equality for at least some Operators. According to Garry, there is a back log of about 200 but he said he has added extra staff for this. (I am yet to hear from anyone that this has happened to, so if you know of an operator who out of the blue received a call from the Department using words to the effect that – ‘we have realized that you have been underpaid for your run all term and we want to make sure we pay you all the money you are entitled to’ – then I would love know. LOL)

Inquiring how the second part to this was going (Multi categories with rolled over runs) there was only a consistent emphasis on the knowledge he now has with the contract and that the Department are simply “exercising their right” to make the runs as efficient as they see fit. There was no explanation as to how one is supposed to KNOW what they have decided it to be. I was annoyed because, even if he had come to this decision, why weren’t we informed? We had waited 6 weeks. It appears now that if they persist with this sliding method, and having Operators on different rates of pay for doing the same work, then the only avenue will need to be through the Industrial Relations for Non Transparency and Ambiguity in the contract. As for the rest of the issues that were previously either discussed or emailed, well he seems oblivious to them all. What a waste of time this whole exercise has been. Many have said assigning Garry was simply another “stalling tactic” from those at the top. I say, “how foolish of them to dismiss us so easily.”

On asking him why those Operators who go to their MP’s have their Category “fixed” immediately (even those in Multi Categories)? His answer was dismissive, and said their complaints just get sent to him from the Ministers office for him to “deal” with. When telling him (nicely) that we will have no alternative but to go higher, he was again dismissive and said that the Minister is “aware” of everything (accepts how things are being handled). At the time this news defeated me. But, only for a short time. Have bounced back again with a few good alternatives to try. (more on that later)

As for Garry and nothing being done, well it’s all moot now anyway. Garry informed me that as of (coincidently) that day, he is no longer in charge because the whole Department, having only been shifted to Shared Services mid last year, is now being moved to The “Schools Department”, transitioning over the next 2 weeks. Gees! No wonder the ASTU is in such a bad way. No one knows what to do with it. So, the ASTU will have a new home, and with it will come a new person in charge. Before you get all excited, no, Catherine Naismith will still be the Manager, but she will have a new “superior”. Someone, who Garry said will know nothing. Oh how wonderful is this news? The unit will still be run by someone who knows nothing, and overseen by someone who also knows nothing. We are really in for a treat. (Sorry, couldn’t help the sarcasm)

Bye For Now



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