Australian Clinical Labs gets shifty with definitions

Monday 03 Sep 2018

There was barely a chance for the ink to dry on a new EBA for workers at Australian Clinical Labs (ACL) when management decided to offer a new interpretation of the definition of shift workers.

To be clear, the EBA has a definition of a shift worker which has been clearly interpreted and agreed to over the years as:

"One shift a month over a 12 month period would be deemed to be ordinarily for the purposes of determining additional leave, and

Where employees are engaged as shift workers because of their ongoing roster including Sundays and public holidays, they receive the additional leave."

ACL advised the HSUWA on 3 August that they were going to arbitrarily implement their own interpretation, that:

"Employees would have to work 34 Sundays or 6 public holidays to get the additional week."

The move was an obvious attempt to save money at the expense of our members, with the issue never raised by ACL management representatives during the EBA negotiation process.

The HSUWA wrote to ACL management to reject these arbitrary changes. Subsequently, this week we received word from ACL management confirming that they will not be pursuing the matter further.

Management have intimated that they will seek to address the issue again in the next EBA negotiation round in 2020. As with all provisions in the EBA, the union will face a fight to retain and protect worker entitlements.

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