Another Conference was held in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on the 13 February regarding Auscript’s lack of consultation with employees and the ASU regarding the office closures and redundancies. The ASU Reported Back to Commissioner Yilmaz about what happened at the meeting in Brisbane between the ASU and Auscript on the 6 February.
6 February meeting in Brisbane
ASU National Industrial Officer, Michael Rizzo, flew to Brisbane from Melbourne to meet with Ms. Sharron Myers and Mr. Angus Cameron of Auscript. At this meeting the ASU tabled 2 documents. The first document was designed to enhance the consultation process between Auscript, the ASU and Auscript employees.
The second document proposed a Consultative Committee comprised of equal numbers of Management and Union representatives to discuss present and future matters and thus try and mitigate the sort of debacle that happened in January.
Auscript did not table any documents at this meeting and said it could not agree to the ASU proposals. However it said it would think about the matters discussed and respond in writing. The ASU encouraged the company to respond with positive language which would enhance consultation with such phrases as “meaningful and genuine consultation”; allow for “sufficient period of consultation” and give the union and employees “adequate notice” of intended major changes.
A few days later the company did respond to the ASU proposals, but the response was disappointing as it really did not say much more than what the current provision says.
13 February FWC Conference
At this Conference the ASU informed the Commission that it was underwhelmed by Auscript’s response and they needed to do much better if we were to avoid a repetition of the disastrous January office closures and redundancies process in the future. The Commissioner then spent the next few hours trying to bring the parties closer together regarding a satisfactory consultation regime.
At the end of the Conference the Commissioner made the following recommendation to the parties:
That the managers’ report back to their superiors what happened at the Conference today; that the company look at the ASU documents again and establish principles to try and avoid what happened in January again; that the parties Report Back to the Commission in Melbourne on the 4 March (see attached Notice of Listing); that the Recommendation issued by the Commission on the 4 February remains in place (attached).
The ASU will continue to work on behalf of members to improve the consultation mechanisms and will report back to members any major developments after the 4 March Conference.
For more information, please get in touch with the relevant contact. Download bulletin Auscript Bulletin 4 - 18/02/20
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