Lack of Consultation provokes State Library dispute
As members would be aware, the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) due to State Library’s breach of the Award relating to consultation. In particular this was because of the progression of a Change Management Plan without proper discussions with your union.
The IRC was not prepared to wind back the clock on the positions that had been deleted, but made strong comments about the State Library’s breach in regard to not consulting.
The IRC ordered the parties to meet prior to a report back on 13 April 2016.
That meeting was held on 31 March 2016 following a members’ meeting on the same day.
The three most significant points the PSA wished to press with State Library were:
- the work of deleted positions should not fall upon the staff left behind
- that State Library should ensure it consults, as required by the Award and the connected policy, in the future
- that communication needs to be improved as members were unsure of the actual changes.
We went through each of the positions referred to in the Change Management Plan. Management advised in each case they did not see a significant impact on workloads. They stated many temporary staff leaving were conducting projects that were either finalised or no longer being progressed.
However, we were particularly concerned by the loss of the Information Officers. Apparently the Library sees little importance in that role. We were advised Security Officers would suffice to meet and greet members of the public. The reception role will take phone calls, which we were advised number only about seven per hour.
Whilst we have been told by the Library they will consult in future, and that they have learnt their lesson, we will watch this most carefully.
In regards to communication, we remain most concerned the Library believes staff are well informed. Of course, the best judge of that is you. But from the questions put forward in the members’ meeting and the uncertainty of which duties were ceasing, and the lack of knowledge of who was going out the door, we would suggest communication is an area requiring greater attention by the Library.
It should be further noted we were advised on several occasions by management they have not had of any adverse feedback from staff. We expressed surprise at this. We urge members now and in the future, to ensure their voices and their concerns are heard by management.
For further information please contact your delegate.
Also provide them with your views forward so we can put them forward to management or the IRC.
Finally, make sure that you only work the hours for which you are paid.
Don’t be exploited.