42 Workplace Change
The following amendment has been made in accordance with the UNE Undertaking letter.
In relation to Clause 42 Workplace change, an employee may be represented by a person or organisation of their choice for the purpose of consultation about the change process.
- Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement 2014–2017
- The University will manage workplace change in a transparent and constructive manner so as to avoid and minimise any adverse effects on employees, while ensuring that the University is able to adapt appropriately to changing strategies, plans and circumstances. The views of staff and the NTEU will be valued and taken into account by the University.
- Many changes that take place in the workplace can be relatively minor and, as a consequence, will be addressed at the workplace level through direct local discussion and consultation with employees and/or the School/Cost Centre with a view to reaching agreement on mutually acceptable solutions and alternatives. Where a change will include a change to an academic program, consultation shall occur with appropriate academic decision-making bodies before a workplace change document is issued.
- Employees who are likely to be affected by major change, together with the NTEU, will be meaningfully involved in the consideration of change proposals throughout the process. This includes all stages, from the development of a formal proposal to implementation issues once the change is determined. The University will include employees who are on leave in the consultative process.
- Major workplace change is where it is anticipated that one or more of the following may occur:
- redundancy/ies; or
- a targeted reduction in the workforce within a School/Cost Centre which will have a significant impact on that School/Cost Centre; or
- significant changes to the composition, structure or size
(including outsourcing) of the workforce not including reporting line changes; or
- the restructuring of work required of employees which may result in a negative impact upon employees collectively within a School/Cost Centre or across more than one School/Cost Centre of the University.
- The University will use every effort to avoid forced retrenchments. Where practicable, the University will achieve reductions through natural attrition, or appropriate voluntary measures as outlined in sub clause 42.14.
- The consultation period is the period before a final decision is made, where employees and the NTEU are given the opportunity to:
- express their views on the proposed change,
- provide alternative options to the change, and
- have real and meaningful input into the change process and the final decision.
- Employees and the NTEU will have a consultation period of a minimum of ten (10) working days. This may be extended up to a maximum of 20 working days at the request of affected employees, the NTEU or the University.
- For a major workplace change, the University shall initiate a consultation process which will include the distribution of a draft workplace change document to those employees that may be directly affected by the proposed major workplace change and the NTEU. Distribution will occur no less than five full working days prior to the initial meeting, in accordance with sub clause 42.9.
- An initial meeting will be organised by the University to present, discuss and respond to the proposal and alternatives and to discuss implementation and measures to avert or mitigate negative impacts on employees. Affected employees shall be provided with reasonable opportunity to attend meetings.
- An additional meeting, or meetings, will be organised by the University if requested by an affected employee or a NTEU.
- The draft workplace change document will include all relevant information about the change proposed, including, but not limited to:
- the nature of and rationale for the change, including objectives and aims;
- the potential benefits for staff and possible adverse effects on staff, including transfers, redundancies or redeployments, outsourcing equity impact; workload implications, training and professional development issues. Where possible redundancies are identified, the document will also include the rationale for the redundancy being genuine, and specify the fair and objective criteria that will be the basis of selecting staff to be identified as excess employees;
- measures for averting or mitigating any potentially negative impact on employees including any workload implications;
- relevant financial information;
- organisational charts and position descriptions; and
- the timeframe for the proposed change process.
- The consultation period may be extended beyond twenty (20) working days by UNE.
- Development of responses to the change proposal will be considered to be part of normal duties.
- At the point during the consultation process that it becomes clear that forced redundancies may be required, the University will provide employees with an opportunity to apply in writing for any measures which may mitigate any negative impact on employees. Such voluntary measures may include but are not limited to leave without pay, voluntary conversion to part time employment (for a specified period of time unless otherwise agreed), long service leave, secondment, internal transfer, voluntary separations, or natural attrition. Unless otherwise mutually agreed, employees will be advised of the outcome of their application before the consultation process is completed. Nothing in the consultation phase will preclude employees from also being offered in the final workplace change plan any voluntary separation or other measures which may mitigate any negative impact on employees.
- Subsequent to subclause 42.14, the employees whose positions have been identified as redundant will be formally advised in writing of this.
- Following the consultation period, the University shall give prompt and genuine considerations to matters raised by affected employees and the NTEU, in relation to the discussion paper and meeting(s) held. The University shall explore all reasonable options and wherever reasonably practicable, adopt options to avert job losses.
- The University shall distribute the final workplace change plan to all affected employees and the NTEU. The final workplace change plan will include all relevant information in accordance with sub clause 42.11 and will respond to matters raised in the consultation process and include reasonable timeframes for implementation.
- Existing continuing employees shall continue to hold the position where the duties of a position are not significantly changed.
- Where the duties of a position are significantly changed, or there are new position/s created, potentially redundant employees will be considered first for those positions prior to commencing a recruitment process.
- Fair, transparent and objective criteria will be used to place employees in remaining positions.
- An employee potentially facing retrenchment may seek, and will then be provided with:
- access to appropriate support from within the University to assist in seeking alternative employment; and/or
- to one day a week (plus travel time), without loss of pay, to attend job interviews or other job search activities, with further leave subject to the approval of the relevant supervisor.
- Where expenses to attend such interviews are not met by the prospective employer, the employee will be entitled to reasonable travel and other incidental expenses incurred in attending such interviews as determined by the Vice-Chancellor.
- At any time during a change process, where potential redundancies have been identified, employees will be encouraged to seek professional financial advice regarding their options. To assist in this decision-making, the University will allow employees to meet, during work time, with a qualified financial planner/accountant and will reimburse costs to a maximum of $250 upon the presentation of an invoice/receipt.
- Where an employee has been formally advised of their retrenchment, the employee may apply to the Vice Chancellor to review the decision that they be retrenched (“the application for review”) (by the process referred to in 42.26 – 42.28) on the basis of alleged failure to apply the provisions of this clause. This application for review must be received by the Vice-Chancellor no more than 5 working days after the date of the formal advice of retrenchment.
- Within 10 working days (where practicable) of receipt of the employee’s application for review, the Vice-Chancellor will convene a Retrenchment Review Committee consisting of:
- A Chairperson (who is not a union official) agreed between the Vice-Chancellor and the NTEU who is chosen from a list of Chairpersons agreed between the University and the NTEU;
- An employee nominated by the University; and
- An employee nominated by the NTEU.
- The Retrenchment Review Committee will consider the application for review, and any response to the application by the University in reply, and the provisions of this clause. The Committee will provide a report (“the Report”) to the Vice-Chancellor on whether or not the provisions of this clause were followed in respect of the applicant’s termination; in particular whether:
- there is a genuine redundancy;
- fair and objective criteria have been used to select the employee making the application for review as an excess employee; and
- genuine and adequate consideration has been given to measures to avert or mitigate the adverse effects of termination of employment on the employee making an application for review.
- The Vice-Chancellor will consider the Report and make a determination about the application for review (“the determination”). In making the determination the Vice- Chancellor shall take such steps as he/she deems necessary, including:
- confirming the retrenchment;
- rescinding the retrenchment; or
- taking steps to remedy any unfairness as seems reasonable to him/her.
- The Vice-Chancellor’s determinations will be made as soon as is practicable, and his/her decisions under this clause will be final, provided that nothing in this clause will be construed as excluding the jurisdiction of any external court or tribunal which, but for this clause, would be competent to deal with the matter.
- Where it is proposed that an employee’s ordinary hours of work be changed, the employee and their representative will be provided with information about the proposed change and be invited to give their views about the impact of the proposed change. Any views will be taken into consideration by the supervisor prior to confirmation of any changes.
- Following completion of the consultation process and, where appropriate, any retrenchment review, a final workplace change document will be provided to all employees and the NTEU. The workplace change process is then finished.
Final workplace change plan
Finalisation of workplace change process