North Coast TAFE – PSA member update

North Coast Inst. of TAFE bulletin – 26 Nov 2015 (PDF version)

Following dispute meetings held throughout October between NCIT management and the CPSU, your union, the PSA, initiated Dispute Resolution proceedings within the Fair Work Commission.

This action is due to the Institute’s attempts to create new positions that sit across multiple classifications. This was specifically the Clerk 1/2 position in the CHEC restructure.

However, at our first dispute meeting we identified the 1/2 and 3/4 positions in the CLEAR restructure as having the same issues.

Although we had drawn management’s attention to the issues with the positions in the CLEAR restructure, we were disappointed NCIT went ahead and appointed to those positions.

The hearing in the Fair Work Commission was listed for 19 November 2015 and in attendance were Phoebe Dangerfield (CPSU Industrial Advocate), Steve Caslick (CPSU Industrial Advocate) and Brook Down (CPSU Delegate).

At the hearing, your union raised its concerns regarding the broad range of tasks and duties placed into what was graded a Clerk position. This included the requirement to have a security licence and to defuse potentially hostile situations (without a requirement to wear a security uniform, contrary to regulations); to perform manual handling and be available for shift work; to repair IT and AV equipment; to hold a Senior First Aid certificate; to be Chief Building Warden. In fact, it was hard to see what the Clerk duties in the position actually were.

The result of the hearing is the positions that sit across multiple classifications have been withdrawn.

While this is a win for members, it will be disappointing for the staff appointed to the CLEAR positions. We would like to make it clear that this is a result of management choosing to ignore our advice and quarantining only the position in the CHEC restructure, although they were aware that the three positions were contentious.

NCIT management will now have to go back to the drawing board to create positions for CHEC that will fit within the current classification framework. Regrettably, they will also have to alter the positions in the CLEAR restructure that they went ahead and created. This will be a stressful time for staff employed in those positions. We remind staff that changes to position descriptions may well involve some kind of managing change process and ask them to consult their union. And if they are not members, to consider joining so that we can ensure they do not have ongoing issues with their employment.