Human Resources

Part E - Job Security and Managing Change

49.   Consultation on Organisational Change

49.1   Principle

The sound management of organisational change is important for the operational performance and the working environment of the University.

In line with the spirit of collegiality, consultation shall be held with employees prior to any decision on organisational change. This should occur before any draft proposals for change.

When organisational change is proposed, all relevant employees directly affected by the change (including those on paid or unpaid leave), the relevant Union(s), and where they choose their employee representative, have a right to be engaged in the consultation process.

49.2   Definition of Organisational Change

“Organisational change” is defined as change that has an impact on the way work is performed with significant effects on University staff. Significant effects can be defined as:

49.2.1   Termination of employment;

49.2.2   Major changes in the composition, operation or size of the employer’s workforce or in the skills required;

49.2.3   The elimination or diminution of job opportunities, promotion opportunities or job tenure;

49.2.4   The alteration of hours of work; and

49.2.5   The need for retraining or transfer of employees to other work or locations and the restructuring of jobs.

Provided that where the Agreement makes provision for alteration of any of the matters referred to herein, an alteration shall be deemed not to have significant effect.

49.3   Preliminary discussion with employees

It is understood that there will often be informal discussions or consideration of issues, which may, or may not, lead to organisational change prior to the development of a specific change proposal. Such informal discussions or considerations are part of the consultation process.

When informal discussions lead to the development of a specific change proposal, such discussions should involve employees likely to be directly affected as soon as practicable. An employee will be considered to be directly affected when the proposed change falls within the definition of organisational change.

49.4   Consultation

The intent of a consultation process is to provide employees and where they choose their employee representative with a genuine opportunity to influence the decision maker. Consultation does not remove the University’s prerogative to manage, but allows for a better informed decision making process. The University shall engage in formal consultation with the employees potentially affected by the change at the earliest appropriate time after a proposal for change has been initiated.

When the University proposes to make any change that is likely to have significant effects on its employees, it will notify the affected employees, the relevant Union/s and where an employee elects their employee representative about the proposed changes and the timetabling of the formal consultation process.

Formal consultation shall include but not be limited to:

49.4.1   Circulation of specific written proposals for consideration;

49.4.2   Meeting(s) of all staff, the relevant Union/s and where an employee elects their employee representative generally no less than 5 working days after provision of the specific written proposal;

49.4.3   The opportunity for written responses or alternatives from affected employees the relevant Union/s and where an employee elects their employee representative, the period for submitting responses will be generally no less than 10 days after the meeting(s) in 49.4.2 above;

49.4.4   Meetings of management, employees and where they choose their employee representative to discuss and examine the change proposal and alternatives;

49.4.5   The ongoing provision of information to employees and where they choose their employee representative over the duration of the change process; and

49.4.6   The University shall give serious consideration to the issues raised by all participants in the consultation process.

49.5   Consultation on Organisational Change Implementation

Where a definite decision is being made to implement organisational change the University will:

49.5.1   Issue to directly affected employees, the relevant Union(s), and where they choose their employee representative, documentation setting out the change. The documentation will include, where appropriate, the extent and nature of the change proposal, reasons for making the change, the aim of the change, timeframe for change, and any relevant financial information; and

49.5.2   Consult employees who may be affected, and where they choose their employee representative about the change proposal; and

49.5.3   Meet and confer with employees and where they choose their employee representative concerned and endeavour to reach agreement about the implementation of that change, including means of avoiding or mitigating detrimental outcomes for affected employees.

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50.   Job Security

50.1   The University of Western Australia’s employment philosophy is to fill positions on an ongoing basis.

50.2   The University remains committed to redeployment of employees where positions become redundant and will continue to use every effort to avoid forced redundancies.

50.3   All processes and results of decision-making about employment will be congruent with the University’s commitment to equity and equal opportunity.

50.4   The University commits that during the nominal life of this Agreement the University will at least maintain the professional and general staff staffing level, based on professional and general staff full-time equivalent positions, at the level that existed as at 1 April 2005.

50.5   Nothing in this Clause stops the use of voluntary or forced redundancies in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

50.6   The provisions of this Clause shall not apply to casuals.

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51.   Redundancy

51.1   The procedures for dealing with redundancy shall be as set out in Schedule E – Redeployment, Redundancy and Retrenchment.

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