Employer attempts to change holiday timing without consultation
A Northern Territory school attempted to alter staff holiday leave with just three days’ notice and without any staff consultation.
Boarding staff at Haileybury Rendall School (formerly known as Kormilda College) were told by email just before Easter school holidays commenced that, due to changes in student travel arrangements, the boarding school would close and reopen earlier than planned.
IEUA-QNT Industrial Officer John Spriggs said employees’ collective agreement included a clear provision for consultation around workplace change, which the employer had failed to meet.
“Under their collective agreement, boarding staff are to be consulted around shifts ahead of the school term,” Mr Spriggs said.
“Where there are changes to the regular roster or ordinary hours of work, staff should be consulted as soon as practicable after the proposed changes to consider the implications.”
Mr Spriggs said boarding staff members were concerned the employer’s announced change to boarding house closure dates would force staff to alter their leave.
“These last minute changes would have placed an unfair financial burden on those staff who would be forced to make new travel arrangements,” Mr Spriggs said.
Mr Spriggs said our union wrote to the employer to remind them of their need to consult on such changes.
“As a result of the contact from our union, the employer made clear that employees would not be expected to attend work at the revised dates, and instead could continue to work to the original holiday dates.
“With the change to student leave arrangements, it was resolved that employees available to work on the revised dates could do so on an entirely voluntary basis.”
Mr Spriggs said the incident was a reminder that members must remain vigilant about ensuring the entitlements under their collective agreements are upheld.
“The current industrial climate means that collective agreements are constantly under attack, as employers seek to diminish or remove working conditions which members have built over time.”
“Members who experience similar concerns about lack of consultation or collective agreement provisions being ignored should discuss these with their IEUA-QNT Chapter and organiser.”
Contact our union for support via email to email@example.com or phone on 1800 177 938.