Catholic employers seek to ‘spill and fill’ jobs
The actions of IEU members at a number of Queensland Catholic schools have prevented planned employer ‘spill and fill’ of school support staff positions.
Members at the schools initially raised concerns with our union after school leadership flagged potential restructures of school officer and services staff positions in 2021 due to uncertainty in enrolment numbers.
A ‘spill and fill’ is an unethical restructuring process whereby a range of positions are made redundant and all affected employees must reapply for a smaller number of newly created positions.
Such a process usually affects employees on fixed-term contracts.
Seeking immediate union support essential
Due to members’ quick action, our union was able to bring their collective concerns to the attention of the employer, resulting in them backing away from the ‘spills and fill’ process and a guarantee that our union and affected employees would be sufficiently notified and consulted regarding any upcoming workplace change.
Members were assured that, in such an instance, they would not have to re-apply for their positions
IEUA-QNT Organiser Craig Darlington said any major workplace change, including the potential reduction in working hours and staff redundancies, necessitated consultation with our union and the affected employees.
“At the first sign of any change in the workplace members should contact our union immediately,” Craig said.
“Even if you don’t think a change will have negative implications, it is better to let our team of experts double-check and provide advice.
“In these latest cases, we were able to create some certainty for our members and will continue to support and represent them as necessary.
“Members do not have to handle these situations alone – this is why membership matters – our union is always with you,” he said.
Your rights @ work
An employer who intends to make a major workplace change must provide notice of the major change and enter into consultation with affected employees and our union.
At a minimum, the notification needs to address:
- The number of employees and the area, department or team affected;
- The nature of the proposed change and the potential effects on employees;
- The status of the employer’s considerations;
- The likely timeframes; and
- The potential options to mitigate the impact of the change or entitlements available to employees.
If an employer is going to issue redundancies that must also be able to show they are genuine redundancies.
Members should contact our union if they are notified of any workplace change so that we can provide specialist support and advice.