Human Resources

Part E - Managing Change

41.   Consultation on Organisational Change

41.1   Principle

41.1.1   The parties to the agreement recognise that sound management of organisational change is important for the operational performance and the working environment of the University.

41.1.2   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.

41.1.3   When organisational change is proposed, all relevant employees directly affected by the change (including those on paid or unpaid leave) have a right to be engaged in the consultation process.

41.1.4   The relevant Employees may appoint a representative for the purposes of this term.

41.2   Definition of Organisational Change

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

  • termination of employment;
  • major changes in the composition, operation or size of the University’s workforce or in the skills required;
  • the elimination or diminution of job opportunities, promotion opportunities or job tenure;
  • the alteration of hours of work; and
  • the need for retraining or transfer of employees to other work or locations and the restructuring of jobs.

41.2.2   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.

41.3   Preliminary discussion with employees

41.3.1   The parties accept 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.

41.3.2   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.

41.4   Consultation

41.4.1   The intent of a consultation process is to provide employees 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.

41.4.2   When the University proposes to make any change that is likely to have significant effects on its employees, it will notify the affected employees about the proposed changes and the timetabling of the formal consultation process.

41.4.3   Formal consultation shall include but not be limited to:

  1. circulation of specific written proposals for consideration;
  2. provision of opportunity for written responses or alternatives from affected employees;
  3. meetings of management and employees to discuss and examine the change proposal and alternatives; and
  4. the ongoing provision of information to employees over the duration of the change process.

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

41.5   Consultation on Organisational Change Implementation

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

41.5.1   issue to directly affected employees 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;

41.5.2   consult employees who may be affected by the change proposal;

41.5.3   meet and confer with employees 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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