Bargaining Update # 4

Our Swinburne – An Agreement that Works for You

We remain concerned that management's proposals for a simplified Agreement will lead to a reduction in protections and an increase in managerial prerogative. This week, we underscored our objections and re-emphasised that an Agreement that stepped backwards and removed employee protections would not be acceptable.

In response, management representatives stated that they were willing to discuss re-including employee protections. This was a welcome part of our discussions, but we will need to wait until next week to see whether that will happen.

In the meantime, the draft clauses put forward by management (see here) relating to allegations of unsatisfactory performance and misconduct are woefully inadequate and fail duties of procedural fairness. The current evidentiary requirements for unsatisfactory performance have been omitted, and the joint union-management Misconduct Investigation Committee in allegations of misconduct would be abolished.

We know from experience the many spurious allegations of unsatisfactory performance. The removal of the requirement to provide evidence for such an allegation to be made is unacceptable. Likewise, claims of misconduct need full review by the Misconduct Investigation Committee. Leaving the decision of whether 'an investigation is warranted' to management is contrary to the rights of employees for a fair and open investigation.

Many other problematic proposals are on the table, including tying pay scale increments to performance and removing the joint union-management reclassification committee.

Together, each of the proposed changes would lead to an unprecedented increase in executive power that would determine terms and conditions of work, and disciplinary procedures, including termination. These proposed changes leave little opportunity for review or appeal except by the very people who made the decisions in the first place.

As we continue our discussions, we will let you know whether management stays true to its word to re-examine these clauses. Either way, we continue our fight for Our Swinburne and for an Agreement that works for you. If you're not yet a member, we hope you will join us. Together we can safeguard our protections and improve our conditions of work.


More information

Related Posts