73. Managing change

73.1 Sound management of 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).

Preliminary consideration of change

73.2 Informal discussions or consideration of workplace change issues which may or may not lead to the development of a specific change proposal do not require the following formal change management process.

73.3 When informal discussions lead to the development of a specific change proposal, such discussion should involve all staff likely to be directly affected as soon as practicable. A staff member will be considered to be directly affected when the proposed change is likely to have a significant impact on that staff member's work practices or working conditions.

73.4 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. However, the University will notify the relevant union where significant change affects a work area.

73.5 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

73.6 The provisions of this clause will apply for major organisational and structural change where a specific change proposal is made which is likely to lead to one or more of the following: elimination of positions; a significant change to hours of operation;;or a significant change to work practices, job design or impact on conditions, including change that would be likely to lead to changed responsibility levels.

73.7 Where there is a specific change proposal, the University will issue a consultation paper to directly affected staff and the relevant unions. The consultation paper will include, where appropriate, the extent and nature of the change proposal, reasons for making the change, the aim of the change, a description of proposed staffing changes, timeframe for change, and include all relevant documents which have led to the change.

73.8 Wherever possible the consultation paper will outline a range of options for affected staff and the relevant unions to consider.

73.9 If affected staff are in agreement with the proposed change, a formal notification will be provided to the relevant unions and the University will proceed with implementation.

73.10 The consultation paper will be issued to employees and the union(s) at or within 5 days of a meeting arranged for the purpose of consultation on the change proposal. There will be at least 5 days notice of the meeting for Unions to arrange representation and adequate time for all employees affected to organise their participation in this meeting.

73.11 Affected employees and the union(s) will be given an opportunity to be actively involved in the examination of the change proposal. This may include the opportunity for employees likely to be affected by the proposed change and the Union to:

  • hold a meeting(s) of employees to discuss and examine the change proposal and develop responses;
  • upon request, have a meeting or meetings with the relevant Head of the work unit to discuss the proposal; and
  • provide a response to the change proposal and to any further recommendation papers prepared by the University.

73.12 Following the consultation process, the University will issue an implementation paper. The implementation paper will include consideration of feedback, any changes recommended, the rationale for such changes, the timeframe for implementation, and the identification of surplus and/or new position(s). Identification of surplus or new positions will include a description of changes in functional activities. Supporting documentation (such as position descriptions, business plans, and project plans), where relevant, will be included.

73.13 Employees who may be directly affected and the Union 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 a change proposal

73.14 At the point of the implementation of any recommendation included in the implementation paper resulting in changes referred to in clause 73.6 any matter regarding the particular employment conditions of an employee directly affected will be negotiated with that employee. The employee may request that the union be a party to those negotiations.

73.15 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 or 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.

73.16 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 5 working days to submit an expression of interest in any of the following measures

  • fixed term pre-retirement agreements,
  • voluntary conversion to part-time employment,
  • secondment or transfer
  • redeployment,
  • voluntary separations, including voluntary redundancies.

73.17 This advice will signal the commencement of a twelve (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.