Update on library change proposal

8 May 2014

Earlier this year, the University Library published a draft change proposal (DCP) as part of wider changes to provide library services more in tune with the needs of today's students and researchers.

Since then the two staff unions, the NTEU and CPSU, have initiated a dispute under the dispute settling procedures in the Enterprise Agreement in respect of the application of the 'Managing Change' provisions, calling for further information about the proposed changes.

The parties have met a number of times since the dispute was notified and a range of additional information has been provided. Further consultations with Library staff have also been scheduled. While the University believes the range of material provided to staff enables them to develop a good understanding of the proposed changes, as a gesture of goodwill it has also now undertaken to give them an updated DCP and conduct another round of consultations. The University hopes the unions will now agree to lift the dispute.

The Director of Human Resources this week wrote to both unions advising them of this course of action, and invited their feedback.

"We would aim to provide this updated DCP around the end of next week or early thereafter, following which there would be a two-week consultation process," John Dixon wrote in his email.

The University has also conveyed its concern about the distribution of misleading information about the dispute. Specifically, material recently distributed to NTEU members contains the following false statements:


We have taken the University to Fair Work Australia, and obtained a release of more details of the change plan…Management still will not say how many jobs will go because it claims that it still has not undertaken a business plan for the change


In response, the University made the following points:

  • The University has not been taken to the Fair Work Commission over the draft change proposal.
  • The University has never said that it is unable to quantify the possible number of job losses for want of a business plan.
  • In its discussion with the unions and library staff, the University has consistently maintained that the number of positions in the proposed new structure will depend on a range of factors, including the outcome of the process by which staff would be mapped to new positions. It has also made clear that the number of full-time equivalent staff in the proposed new structure could be higher than the current number. The number of "job losses" will therefore depend on the outcome of both the mapping and redeployment processes.


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