Review of actions and decisions and dispute settling procedure
The Parties are committed to the implementation of arrangements that:
- ensure that as far as possible, issues and disputes are managed and resolved at the workplace level;
- facilitate the prompt resolution of disputes;
- provide staff with an opportunity to seek a review of decisions or actions (including only failure to act) in relation to matters affecting their employment; and
- facilitate the prompt resolution of issues in relation to which a review has been requested.
Where concerns arise over actions (or failure to act) or decisions affecting the employment of a staff member covered by the Agreement, the staff member concerned, and where they choose, a representative of their Union, should discuss the matter with the relevant Supervisor. Where the matter concerns the conduct of a staff member’s Supervisor and it would be inappropriate to attempt to resolve the matter through discussions with the Supervisor, the staff member may instead seek to discuss the matter with their Supervisor’s Supervisor.
Review by Delegated Officer (Staffing)
Where attempts to resolve the matter under clause 317 have not been successful, the staff member may request a review of the decision or action by applying to the Delegated Officer (Staffing). The Delegated Officer (Staffing) will take one or more of the following actions:
- appoint an Investigator to enquire into the matter and report to the Delegated Officer (Staffing) on such matters as the Delegated Officer (Staffing) may direct;
- review the matter and make recommendations to the relevant Supervisor in relation to the matter;
- appoint a Review Committee to enquire into the matter and make recommendations to the Delegated Officer (Staffing) in relation to the resolution of the matter;
- appoint a mediator to assist the parties to the dispute to resolve the matter; or
- decline to take any further action in relation to the matter.
The Delegated Officer (Staffing) will inform affected parties of the action to be taken within ten working days of referral of the matter, and such action will be completed within a further 20 working days or such other period as the Delegated Officer (Staffing) considers necessary having regard to the nature of the matter.
The right to request a review under clause 318 does not apply to any action or decision relating to:
- academic promotion;
- applications to participate in the Special Studies Program for Academic staff; or
- any other matter in relation to which an alternative review or appeal procedure is provided in this Agreement or any University policy.
A General staff member (other than a probationary or casual staff member) who has been an unsuccessful applicant for an advertised position may lodge an appeal against the selection decision in accordance with the University Selection Appeals and Grievances Policy in place at the commencement of this Agreement.
DISPUTE SETTLING PROCEDURES
It is agreed that all staff members and the University have an interest in the proper application of the Agreement. Where any dispute arises concerning any matter arising under this Agreement or the National Employment Standards, the following procedures will apply:
- in the first instance the affected staff member(s), and where they choose, a representative of their Union, should discuss the matter with the relevant Supervisor, or where the dispute concerns the conduct of a staff member’s Supervisor and it would be inappropriate to attempt to resolve the matter through discussions with the Supervisor, the staff member may instead seek to discuss the matter with their Supervisor’s Supervisor. A Union may also initiate this procedure by raising a dispute with the University in writing;
- where the dispute is not resolved under clause 322(a), the affected staff member(s) or their Union in its own right may request further discussions with more senior levels of management and/or such other staff as may be appropriate to resolve the dispute. If no such request is made within five working days of the discussions under clause 322(a), the matter will be deemed to have been resolved, unless the parties agree to extend the time for discussions. Where a meeting is requested, it will be convened within five working days of the request or at such later time as the parties may agree; and
- if the dispute remains unresolved either party may refer the matter to Fair Work Australia, or by agreement of the parties, to another body. If no party refers the matter to Fair Work Australia or within ten working days of the discussions under clause 322(b), the matter will be deemed to have been resolved, unless the parties agree to extend the time for discussions.
Fair Work Australia may resolve the dispute by the processes of conciliation and/or arbitration. The parties agree to be bound by and implement any order, decision or recommendation of Fair Work Australia, subject to a right of appeal to a Full Bench of Fair Work Australia.
Except where a genuine safety issue is involved, staff will continue to work in accordance with their contracts of employment while the procedures outlined in clause 322 are being applied, subject to the proviso that nothing in this clause precludes or in any way limits the University’s capacity to terminate a staff member’s employment under clause 67, 75, 282, 293 or 306 or precludes a fixed term contract from ending on its specified end date or contingency:
- the University will not change anything which is the subject of the dispute;
- the parties to a dispute must not take any industrial action or any action to make the dispute worse.
Where a genuine safety issue is involved, staff will not be required to work in an unsafe environment, but will undertake suitable alternative work until the issue is resolved.
Any error in classification, category of employment, pay rate or entitlement under this Agreement will be remedied as soon as possible after it is identified.