Awards, and Employers

Interesting post by Souri on the news page (from gameslaves.org)

http://www.sumea.com.au/snews.asp?news=1275&related=Industry

My reading is that only specific employers will be bound by this. Does anyone think this will affect the industry at all?

unknownuser2's picture

The actual act doesnt mention anything about Jan 1st 2005 as pointed out to me by a fellow sumean.

In fact it states in 3 places that the act will come into force on June 8th 2004 for a period of 3 months & 3 July 2004 and remain in force for a period of six months and 29th November 2001 and shall remain in force for a period of twelve months.

[?]

Also the names look pretty fishy:

SENIOR DEPUTY PRESIDENT KAUFMAN
JUSTICE GIUDICE, PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT ROSS
COMMISSIONER SMITH
COMMISSIONER DEEGAN

Sounds awfully fishy to me.... OR it could be standard gov issue. [:O]

And yeah - I dont see any game devs listed in the " companies bound ny this act list "

Me109's picture

Yeah interesting.. I don't know how or why gameslaves have associated this document with our industry.. theres no references at all to programmers that work in games...

needless to say.. it still dosent cover anybody else in the industry... ie.. animators modellers... artists etc...

seems like gameslaves a blowin alot of hot air

hmmmmmmmmm

Zoot's picture

I've mailed the web site and ask them to clarify. I've just done some fishing around myself and it sounds like it may well apply to game developers, well those of us in Victoria at least. Common rule means that an industry award isn't just restricted to a list of employers anymore - it applys to the IT industry as a whole.

http://www.airc.gov.au/alldocuments/PR953298.htm

"2.1 a common rule for the industry in Victoria and known as the Information Technology Industry (Professional Employees) Victorian Common Rule Declaration 2005.

1.4 the industry means the information technology industry which is defined as:

...

1.4.3 the design and manufacture of computer software;
...

1.4.6 computer programming; and
...

1.4.8 activities which are incidental, ancillary or complimentary to the activities set out above."

mcdrewski's picture

Good catch Zoot - although I can't see anything about "common rule" for anythings other than the ACT and Vic...

davedx's picture

Apparently though,

"you can ask your Industrial Relations Commission to "rope in" your
studio to the award (ie the decision to comply with the award is made by the
government, not your boss, on the basis of whether the award looks like it
covers what company does). Unions usually do this on behalf of their members"

(from an email exchange with gameslaves.org)

Worth looking into?

emptyshell's picture

quote:Originally posted by mcdrewski
Does anyone think this will affect the industry at all?

Am I sceptical about the source of this information? A bit.

If it is true, would I expect our employers to try and weasle their way out of it? Absolutely.

But best as I can tell, there's only one way to find out, and it starts with asking a flesh and blood lawyer. I mean, what have we got to lose?

Anyone with me here? If there's a few like-minded individuals, maybe we could get a lawyer along to an IGDA meeting and thrash it out there?

souri's picture

I know someone is looking into this, hopefully we'll get some answers soon!

Blitz's picture

This seems to be fact, there was an article about it in the paper yesterday or the day before. I'm a bit shaky on the details, but basically it seems that the victorian government has recently re-implemented something called "common rule" (which the kennet government abolished). What this means is that ALL employers are required to follow federal laws on awards etc. which includes compensation for overtime, and minimum hourly wages etc. There are different rules for different sectors (eg. different rules for IT workers and brickies), but all employers have to impelement the awards based on their attributed sector.
Something like that. If your employer isn't redoing your contract very soon, theres a good chance that either; your contract is already ok, or your employer is hoping you don't know :P
Anyway, hopefully someone who actually knows what they're talking about can give some decent details soon.
CYer, Blitz

Cam's picture

quote:Originally posted by Blitz

This seems to be fact, there was an article about it in the paper yesterday or the day before. I'm a bit shaky on the details, but basically it seems that the victorian government has recently re-implemented something called "common rule" (which the kennet government abolished). What this means is that ALL employers are required to follow federal laws on awards etc. which includes compensation for overtime, and minimum hourly wages etc. There are different rules for different sectors (eg. different rules for IT workers and brickies), but all employers have to impelement the awards based on their attributed sector.
Something like that. If your employer isn't redoing your contract very soon, theres a good chance that either; your contract is already ok, or your employer is hoping you don't know :P
Anyway, hopefully someone who actually knows what they're talking about can give some decent details soon.
CYer, Blitz

this applies to other industries as well yeh - i was wondering why they were redoing our agreement at work (actually giving us holiday pay) - its in hospitality.. bout time some changes are getting made! (sorry if this was a bit off topic)

Tim's picture

I thought I would bring some closure to this issue. It is for real. An industrial award is typically only applicable to companies/entities stated in the award. The company/entity needs to be roped into the award in some way for it to apply. The award mentioned in this forum has existed for a while and has several companies/entities listed. However the news is that the award has come into blanket force in Victoria; it doesn?t matter if the Victorian based company/entity has been roped-into the award or not. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission on the 18 November 2004 declared the ?Information Technology Industry (Professional Employees) Award 2001? as a common rule for the Information Technology industry in Victoria. The award covers: IT engineers, or general IT professionals (those who work in the IT industry with tasks that fall within the definition of IT industry in the Declaration). The Commission has this power under the Workplace Relations Amendment (Improved Protection for Victorian Workers) Act 2003 (a Commonwealth Act) and complimentary Victorian Legislation. This impacts Victorian companies with employees not subject to existing awards and importantly, employment terms must meet the awards. So, what does it mean ? it means the minimum weekly award wage for a programmer straight out of a three year Bachelor of IT degree, based on my understanding of the documents, is $663.50, or $34502, plus super. It also means there are minimum ?allowable matters? such as annual leave days and sick leave days.

Links:
Declaration
http://www.airc.gov.au/awardsandorders/html/PR953298.htm

Award
http://www.wagenet.gov.au/WageNet/Search/view.asp?docid=249170&query=&pa...

I hope this information assists.

Cheers,

Tim Richards (game industry Lawyer) and Editor of GDAA Newsletter, and Gamenews.com.au.

Dog Melon's picture

Hi Tim

Thanks for explaining the whole thing. I had a little query tho.

Am I still covered by this award if I am not emloyed by an IT company but I work as an in-house prgrammer for a non-IT firm?

I am signing my new contract on Tuesday, so I need to now if I am lawfully entitled to $663.50 weekly :>

Thanks a bunch

Aida

maestro's picture

Place where I work, IR Gurus, we are all under the Award now, had to sign the contract with a few amendments for acknowledgements about the game industry etc. These changes have to go through the government's approval system.