IEU recovers $35k in back-pay for member

22 October, 2020

An IEU teacher member has received $35k in back-pay after seeking our union’s support regarding a reclassification issue.

The member started working at a new school just over three years ago and was concerned they had been wrongly classified.

The member contacted our union to check their true classification and for support in seeking a reclassification.

IEU Member Services Officer Karen Devin said after cross checking the member’s qualifications and level of experience against the classification scale, it was clear the member had been classified incorrectly.

“This meant the member would also be entitled to significant back-pay from their employer,” Karen said.

“We supported the member in notifying their employer of the situation and it was agreed the member would need to be reclassified and back-paid.

“However, when our union received the employer’s back-pay calculations, we realised they were not correct and severely reduced our member’s entitlements.

Employer calculations $10k short

“The member then sent us all their pay slips so our union could run the calculations and assess the proper total amount owed to them,” Karen said.

“We found the member was owed $35k,” she said.

Our union was able to provide the proper calculations to the employer and ensure the member received this amount.

A strong, active union means IEU members are better off

Karen said if the member had not contacted our union, they might still be wrongly classified and being severely underpaid or would have failed to receive $10k they were owed – not an insignificant amount.

“Members should always contact our union if they are starting a new job and/or at a new school so that we can ensure they are being classified correctly and their employer is meeting their legal obligations.

“There are timeframes that new employees must provide documentary evidence of relevant qualifications and experience to their new employer when commencing – for example in the current Queensland Catholic Diocesan agreement the timeframe is within six months.

“The employee has a responsibility to provide this information to their employer.

“Members should be aware that work history detailed in their resume is not enough; it will require supporting documentation evidence of previous relevant service and should include Statements of Service.

“When submitting any documentation to your employer always do so via email so that you have a copy of everything submitted and it is clear what time and date they were provided.

“This also makes it easier for our union to cross check if any issues arise.

“Employers are only obligated to back-pay underpaid employees going back six years.

“Members should also always download, save and check their payslips and be in the habit of questioning things that don’t add up or seem right – the earlier our union can help support an issue, the more likely a positive outcome for everyone,” she said.

Members should contact our union as soon as possible if they believe they have been underpaid or wrongly classified.

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