10 weeks redundancy payment secured for school officer member after school cuts hours
A continuing, part-time school officer member has received a 10 week redundancy payout of over $5,500 through the assistance of our union after their hours were unilaterally reduced by their employer.
After a reduction of hours by two-thirds, our union successfully ensured that the independent school employer did not avoid their legislative obligation and paid a redundancy to our member.
The member was first informed at the start of this year that their working hours were to be reduced by two-thirds due to low student numbers.
This decision was made by the school without any prior consultation with the member.
Having been informed of the decision the member individually tried to appeal to their employer at the local school level but was unsuccessful in getting their hours increased.
Following this, the member contacted our union for advice and assistance.
In consultation with the member, our union made representations to the school stating that significant cuts to hours triggered redundancy provisions under the Educational Services (General Staff) Award and the National Employment Standards (NES).
The school did not accept this argument, instead stating that our member had been consulted and agreed to these reduced hours.
An offer was then made by the employer for the school officer to take on a full-time position in order to resolve the issue.
On behalf of the member, our union reiterated to the employer that at no time prior to the initial decision being made was the member consulted and provided significant detail to support this.
Despite the initial decision, the member was prepared to accept the newly offered full-time position and our union indicated as such to the employer.
However, after further discussions, no formal offer was tabled by the school.
Instead the school reneged on its offer of a full-time position and indicated that it could not provide a firm offer of employment to our member at this time.
Our union then reiterated that if a firm offer of employment could not be provided to the member, then they were entitled to the redundancy payment as initially sought.
With the employer failing to respond to our union’s communication regarding the redundancy payment, a dispute was filed with the Fair Work Commission on behalf of the member.
On the same day the dispute was lodged - and the school notified that we were in dispute - the school contacted our union and indicated it was prepared to settle the dispute.
The school acceded to the terms outlined in our union’s initial correspondence.
Within 7 days of agreement, our member ceased employment and received 7 weeks' redundancy pay and 3 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice, paid at the number of hours for which our member was employed prior to the unilateral change.
Each sector has different provisions regarding changes of hours for school officers, however, if your employer has reduced your hours without consultation, contact our union on FREECALL 1800 177 938 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org