Part K – Working Relations

Consultation and Employee representation

  1. The Archives is committed to consulting with employees and their chosen representative about the implementation of this Agreement and issues affecting their entitlements and conditions of employment through meetings, the Intranet and/or in accordance with clause 309.
  2. The Archives will have a WRC that is the consultative forum for management to consult with employees and their chosen representatives, on employment related matters and the implementation of this Agreement. The WRC will meet at least 3 times a year. The Director-General and the WRC will maintain agreed Terms of Reference and a protocol. Where required, amendments will be agreed by the Director-General and the WRC.

Employee Representation

  1. The Archives recognises the legitimate role of unions in the workplace and that employees are free to choose whether or not to join a union. An employee may have an employee representative, who may be a union or a nominated non-union representative to represent their interests. The Archives, the employee and their representative will deal with each other in good faith. The role of employee representatives will be respected and facilitated, in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009.

Consultation on major changes

  1. This term applies if the Director-General:
    1. has made a definite decision to introduce a major change to production, program, organisation, structure or technology in relation to its enterprise that is likely to have a significant effect on the employees; or
    2. proposes to introduce a change to the regular roster or Ordinary Hours of Work of employees.
  2. In this term relevant employee means the employees who may be affected by a change referred to in clause 311.

Major change

  1. For major change referred to in clause 311a
    1. The Director-General must notify the relevant employees of the decision to introduce the major change; and
    2. Clauses 314-320 apply.
  2. The relevant employees may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this term.
  3. If a relevant employee(s) appoint(s) a representative for the purposes of consultation and the employee(s) advise(s) the Director-General of the identity of the representative, the Director-General must recognise the representative.
  4. As soon as practicable after making its decision, the Director-General must:
    1. discuss with the relevant employees:
      1. the introduction of the change; and
      2. the effect the change is likely to have on the employees; and
      3. measures the Director-General is taking to avert or mitigate the adverse effect of the change on the employees; and
    2. for the purposes of the discussion – provide, in writing, to the relevant employees:
      1. all relevant information about the change including the nature of the change; and
      2. information about the expected effects of the change on the employees; and
      3. any other matters likely to affect the employees.
  5. However, the Director-General is not required to disclose confidential or commercially sensitive information to the relevant employees.
  6. The Director-General must give prompt and genuine consideration to matters raised about the major change by the relevant employees.
  7. If a term in this Agreement provides for major change to production, program, organisation, structure or technology in relation to the enterprise of the employer, the requirements set out in clauses 313a, 314, and 316 are taken not to apply.
  8. In this term, a major change is likely to have a significant effect on employees if it results in:
    1. the termination of the employment of employees; or
    2. major change to the composition, operation or size of the Archives' workforce or to the skills required of employees; or
    3. the elimination or diminution of job opportunities (including opportunities for promotion or tenure); or
    4. the alteration of hours of work; or
    5. the need to retrain employees; or
    6. the need to relocate employees to another workplace; or
    7. the restructuring of jobs.

Change to regular roster or Ordinary Hours of Work

  1. For a change referred to in subclause 311(b) the Director-General must notify the relevant employees of the proposed change, and clauses 322-326 apply.
  2. The relevant employees may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this term.
  3. If a relevant employee(s) appoint(s) a representative for the purposes of consultation and the employee(s) advise(s) the Director-General of the identity of the representative, the Director-General must recognise the representative.
  4. As soon as practicable after proposing to introduce the change, the Director-General must:
    1. discuss with the relevant employees the introduction of the change; and
    2. for the purposes of the discussion – provide to the relevant employees:
      1. all relevant information about the change including the nature of the change; and
      2. information about what the Director-General reasonably believes will be the effects of the change on the employees; and
      3. information about any other matters that the employer reasonably believes are likely to affect the employees; and
    3. invite the relevant employees to give their views about the impact of the change (including any impact in relation to their family or caring responsibilities).
  5. However, the Director-General is not required to disclose confidential or commercially sensitive information to the relevant employees.
  6. The Director-General must give prompt and genuine consideration to matters raised about the major change by the relevant employees.

Dealing with Disputes

  1. If a dispute relates to:
    1. a matter arising under the Agreement; or
    2. the NES;
      this term sets out procedures to settle the dispute.
  2. An employee who is a party to the dispute may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this term.
  3. In the first instance, the parties to the dispute must try to resolve the dispute at the workplace level, by discussions between the employee or employees and relevant supervisors and/or management.
  4. If discussions at the workplace level do not resolve the dispute, a party to the dispute may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission.
  5. The Fair Work Commission may deal with the dispute in two stages:
    1. the Fair Work Commission will first attempt to resolve the dispute as it considers appropriate, including by mediation, conciliation, expressing an opinion or making a recommendation; and
    2. if the Fair Work Commission is unable to resolve the dispute at the first stage, the Fair Work Commission may then:
      1. arbitrate the dispute; and
      2. make a determination that is binding on the parties.

    Note: If the Fair Work Commission arbitrates the dispute, it may also use the powers that are available to it under the Fair Work Act. A decision that the Fair Work Commission makes when arbitrating a dispute is a decision for the purpose of Div 3 of Part 5.1 of the Act. Therefore, an appeal may be made against the decision.

  6. While the parties are trying to resolve the dispute using the procedures in this term:
    1. an employee must continue to perform their work as that employee would normally unless the employee has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health or safety; and
    2. an employee must comply with a direction given by the employer to perform other available work at the same workplace, or at another workplace, unless:
      1. the work is not safe; or
      2. applicable occupational health and safety legislation would not permit the work to be performed; or
      3. the work is not appropriate for the employee to perform; or
      4. there are other reasonable grounds for the employee to refuse to comply with the direction.
  7. The parties to the dispute agree to be bound by a decision made by the Fair Work Commission in accordance with this term.

Request for review of employment actions

  1. An employee can request a review of employment action to the Director-General and/or under Section 33 of the Public Service Act 1999 and Part 5 of the Public Service Regulations 1999. Where they choose to do so, employees may seek the assistance of a person or organisation to represent them in relation to an application for a request of review of employment action, except in the case of a review by the Merit Protection Commissioner (as per Public Service Regulation Division 5.33(2)). Further information can be found in the Review of Employment Actions policy.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018