68. Organisational change and consultation

Changes to regular rosters or ordinary hours of work

68.1. Where the University proposes to make changes to a staff member’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work the following provisions will apply.

68.2. The University will consult with the affected staff member(s). Affected staff may be assisted by a staff appointed or union representative throughout the consultation process.

68.3. In consulting with the staff member, the University will:

  • provide all relevant information about the change to the affected staff member, other than information which is subject to legal privilege or is commercial-in-confidence 
  • invite affected staff members to give their views about the impact of the change, including any impact in relation to their family or caring responsibilities; and
  • give genuine consideration to any view given by the staff member regarding the impact of the change.  

Managing Change

68.4. Sound management of major workplace change implies the timely consultation and involvement of the staff members who will be directly affected by the change and, where the staff members have chosen, their union or staff representative(s).

68.5. The provisions of the clause apply to the introduction of major workplace change likely to have a significant effect on a staff members work practices or working conditions. Specifically:

  1. ceasing employment due to redundancy;
  2. elimination or reduction of job opportunities (including changes to job responsibility levels);
  3. restructuring of jobs;
  4. the need to significantly retrain staff;
  5. transfer of employment to another work location outside of the Australian Capital Territory;
  6. major change to the composition, operation or size of the workforce or to the skills required by staff members; and/or
  7. change to hours of operation.

Preliminary consideration of change

68.6. Informal discussions or consideration of workplace change issues which may or may not lead to the development of a specific change proposal does not require a formal change proposal.

68.7. When informal discussions lead to the development of a formal change proposal, such discussion should involve all staff likely to be directly affected as soon as practicable.

68.8. The formal change process will not apply where all staff members in a work area who are directly affected by a change proposal have been involved in consideration of the change and those staff members agree with the proposed change or where there are no significant impacts on the staff, such as a change in reporting arrangements. The University will notify the relevant union where significant change affects a work area.

68.9. If affected staff members or their union or staff appointed representatives advise the University that they do not agree with the proposed change, then the formal change process will commence.

Formal change proposal

68.10. Where there is a specific change proposal, the University will issue a consultation paper to directly affected staff members and the relevant union(s).

68.11. The consultation paper will be issued to staff members and the relevant union(s) at or within five days of a meeting arranged for the purpose of consultation on the change proposal. There will be reasonable notice of the meeting for unions to arrange representation and adequate time for the directly affected staff member to organise their participation in this meeting.

68.12. The consultation paper will include, where appropriate:

  • the extent and nature of the change proposed;
  • reasons and aim for making the change;
  • a description of proposed staffing changes;
  • timeframe for change; and
  • relevant documents which have led to the change; and wherever possible, a range of options for affected staff and the relevant union(s) to consider.

68.13. Directly affected staff and the relevant union(s) will be given an opportunity to be actively involved in the examination of the change proposal. This may include the opportunity for staff who are likely to be directly affected by the proposed change and the relevant union(s) to:

  1. hold a meeting(s) with staff members to discuss and examine the change proposal and develop responses;
  2. upon request, have a meeting or meetings with the relevant delegate to discuss the change proposal; and
  3. provide a response to the change proposal and to any further recommendation papers prepared by the University.

68.14. If directly affected staff are in agreement with the proposed change, a formal notification will be provided to the relevant union(s) and the University will proceed with implementation.

68.15. Following the consultation process, the University will issue an implementation paper. The implementation paper will include:

  • genuine consideration of matters raised about the major change by the affected staff and staff appointed or union representatives;
  • any changes recommended and the rationale for such changes, the timeframe for implementation;
  • the identification of surplus and/or new position(s), including a description of changes in functional activities; and
  • supporting documentation (such as position descriptions, business plans, and project plans), where relevant.

68.16. Directly affected staff members and the relevant union(s) will be issued with a copy of the implementation paper, be consulted over the implementation paper and will have an opportunity to comment on it.

Implementation of change

68.17. At the point of the implementation of any recommendation included in the implementation paper resulting in changes referred to in clause 68.5, any matter regarding the particular employment conditions of the directly affected staff member will be negotiated with that staff member. The staff member may request that the relevant union(s) be a party to those negotiations.

68.18. Where the duties of a position are significantly changed, or there are new position(s) created, staff who previously held positions in the work area which are intended to be made surplus will be considered first for those positions. Where the duties are not significantly changed, the incumbent will continue to hold the position.

68.19. Where it is recommended that there will be a loss of employee positions, employees directly affected will be notified in writing and will be advised that they have a period of at least five working days to submit an expression of interest in any of the following measures:

  • fixed term pre-retirement agreement;
  • voluntary conversion to part time employment;
  • permanent transfer;
  • redeployment, or
  • voluntary separation, including an early termination in accordance with redundancy provisions (clause 56).

68.20. This advice will signal the commencement of a 12 week period in which the staff member may be redeployed. It is the University’s responsibility to ensure redundancy packages are used as a last resort.

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