Human Resources

Part F - Dispute, Grievance and Review Procedures

44.   Dispute Settling Procedures

44.1   The parties agree that all employees and the University have an interest in the proper application of this Agreement. Disputes arising under the operation or application of this Agreement or the National Employment Standards shall be dealt with in accordance with this Clause. At any stage of the dispute an employee may choose to seek the advice and/or be accompanied or represented by an employee representative.

44.2   Where a dispute arises an employee, the Union or an employee representative shall notify the University of the existence of a dispute, and shall discuss the dispute with the appropriate representative of management and attempt to reach agreement within 5 working days.

44.3   If the dispute is unresolved at subclause 44.2, the matter must be referred to and be discussed with the Director, Human Resources and an attempt made to find a satisfactory solution, within a further 5 working days.

44.4   If the dispute is still unresolved, the employee(s), the Union or their employee representative may refer it to an Academic Member of Executive or to a Disputes Committee as per subclause 46.5 of this Agreement within 10 working days.

44.5   Where the dispute cannot be resolved in accordance with subclause 44.4 and all agreed steps for resolving the dispute have been taken, the dispute may be referred to Fair Work Australia (FWA) for resolution. Resolution can be sought by mediation and/or conciliation, and where the matter remains unresolved, arbitration.

44.6   Where arbitration is necessary, FWA may exercise procedural powers in relation to hearings, witnesses, evidence and submissions which are necessary to make the arbitration effective.

44.7   The period for resolving a dispute may be extended by agreement between the University and the employee, the Union or the employee’s representative.

44.8   While these dispute settling procedures are taking place, working arrangements as they existed prior to the dispute shall continue, unless an employee has reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health or safety.

44.9   The parties agree to implement the outcomes of arbitrated decisions of FWA arising from disputes raised under this Clause.

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45.   Procedures for Settlement of Grievances

45.1   Where grievances occur in the workplace the procedures set out in Schedule G – Procedures for the Settlement of Grievances, shall be followed.

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46.   Review and Dispute Committees

46.1   The University will establish either a Review Committee or a Dispute Committee, as required, to hear requests for review arising from recommendations or decisions made by the University as follows:

46.1.1   The Review Committee will review matters relating to:

46.1.2   The Dispute Committee will review matters relating to:

46.2   Composition

46.2.1   Each Review and Dispute Committee shall consist of 3 members; 1 from each of the following categories:

(a)   A person from within the University chosen by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;

(b)   The President of the NTEU or their nominee; and

(c)   A chairperson chosen by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor in accordance with paragraph 46.3.1

46.2.2   Members of the Review and Dispute Committee will act impartially and only consider the case brought before it in the light of the grounds for which the employee seeks review.

46.3   Chairpersons of Review and Dispute Committees

46.3.1   Chairs appointed to Review and Dispute Committees under subclause 46.2 shall have relevant experience, be independent and command the confidence of management and staff.

46.3.2   A panel of Chairs will be established, annually or more frequently if required, by agreement between the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the President of the NTEU.

The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor will be responsible for selecting a Chair from that panel, having regard to the requirements of paragraph 46.3.1.

46.4   Research Misconduct

46.4.1   A matter involving allegations of research misconduct may require an independent Chair who is not a University employee.

46.4.2   Where an independent Chair is required the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor will consult with the President of the NTEU prior to appointing the Chair.

46.4.3   Where an allegation of research misconduct involves employees from more than one institution, the University may form a multi-institutional committee for the purposes of review.

46.5   Operation of Review Committee

46.5.1   In undertaking its role a Review Committee shall:

(a)   Provide an opportunity (including at least 5 working days’ notice) for the employee, or where they choose their employee representative, and the University representative to make submissions, and present and respond to written or oral evidence in relation to the matter before the Committee;

(b)   Take into account such further materials as it believes appropriate to assist it. This section does not permit the Review to go beyond the scope of the initial investigation;

(c)   May interview people as it sees fit;

(d)   Allow the employee to be represented by a person of their choice, but not if such a person is a currently practising solicitor or barrister;

(e)   Allow the University to be represented by an agent of its choice, but not if such a person is a currently practising solicitor or barrister;

(f)   Ensure that the employee, or his/her representative where they so choose, and the University or its representative has the right to ask questions of or put questions to interviewees;

(g)   Conduct proceedings as expeditiously as possible with due regard for natural justice;

(h)   Conduct proceedings in private (unless otherwise determined by the Committee);

(i)   Keep a record of the proceedings, but not its deliberations, which will be made available on request by the employee and the University;

(j)   Subject to subclause (k) below, permit the University and employee and if they so wish, their respective representatives, to be present for all proceedings (including the making of submissions) and interviews except for the deliberations of the Committee;

(k)   In exceptional circumstances, such as allegations involving harassment, the Review Committee may allow for interviews to be held via video conferencing so that persons do not have face-to-face interaction;

(l)   Make its report available to the nominated person(s) as specified in paragraph 46.5.2; and

(m)   Give such directions or make arrangements as it sees fit to ensure that the conduct of its proceedings, recordings and its report are kept confidential and are not disseminated more widely than strictly required.

46.5.2   Where an employee has made a written request for a review under this Agreement, the Vice-Chancellor or the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall convene the Review Committee as soon as practicable from the date of receipt of such a review application. The Review Committee will report to the Senior Management Representative and the employee as soon as reasonably practicable, but within 28 working days of first meeting. The Vice-Chancellor or the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor may, on a written application from the Review Committee, grant the Committee an extension of time in which to report.

46.5.3   Members of the Committee are required to keep all matters pertaining to the evidence and its deliberations confidential. No persons except the members of the Committee and any person providing secretarial assistance to the Committee shall be present during its deliberations after submissions have been completed.

46.5.4   The Review Committee will report on its view as to whether:

(a)   There is sufficient evidence to uphold the recommendation of the Senior Management Representative or the decision of the University; and

(b)   The relevant procedure from paragraph 46.1.1 has been followed.

46.5.5   None of the steps or decisions taken by the Review Committee may be challenged by Clause 44 - Dispute Settling Procedures.

46.6   Operation of Dispute Committee

46.6.1   The Dispute Committee shall assess the meaning and application of this Agreement in relation to the matter in dispute;

46.6.2   The Dispute Committee shall attempt to resolve the matter by consensus, between the parties to the dispute, within 5 working days of its first meeting; and

46.6.3   The Dispute Committee shall report in writing to the Senior Management Representative as to whether the dispute has been resolved and whether the procedure outlined in paragraph 46.1.2 has been followed.

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