Union Advocacy Making A Difference
Friday 24 Jul 2020
This week we have put together a list of recent matters where your union has assisted individual members and made a difference. The examples vary from recovering money for members to changing the outcome to disciplinary and performance matters.
See below for some outcomes achieved through your union’s intervention and advocacy:
A great financial outcome for one of our members who received more than $14,000. This was due to her contract ending when she was pregnant which meant that she only received a week’s payment for parental leave instead of the normal 14 weeks. We negotiated with the employer and they have now paid her the full entitlement.
Termination with Dignity
A member from a large private hospital was facing some unfortunate and unwinnable disciplinary outcomes. We negotiated with the employer to pay her four weeks’ pay, plus a two weeks’ notice period and acceptance of her resignation.
Our member was ambushed in a performance management meeting. Following the meeting we pointed out the flaws in the way the meeting had been conducted, the impact on our member and the way performance process was intended to be conducted.
At the next meeting there was a complete turnaround by the employer. The focus was more on the how they could assist our member in the areas they wanted improved and what steps could be taken to look at possible workload issues. (Small wins like this have big impacts - our member has regained some of her confidence in her ability to undertake her duties).
Deed of Settlement
The union successfully negotiated a deed for a financial settlement on behalf of a member. This occurred after the union argued our member (in the private sector) was unlawfully stood down for approximately six weeks by their employer and entitled to back pay.
Performance Improvement Process
Our member was required to undergo a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). At the end of the period he was considered to have failed to meet the PIP objectives and was asked to provide a response prior to a decision being made as to what action should occur.
We assisted the member in drafting his response highlighting the failures of the PIP process. This included failing to provide the S.M.T.P. objectives, an opportunity to respond to monthly outcome meetings, objectives changing midway through the PIP process and lack of documentation. We advocated there was no procedural fairness with the PIP process as it was flawed.
The PIP was discontinued, and no action was taken.
Extension of Secondment
A member who was on secondment was offered an extension of contract, but her substantive employer would not agree to an extension.
A letter was drafted arguing that there was a failure to adhere to the Employment Standards, specifically the principles of interest and transparency. Further it was demonstrated how an extension of the secondment was in the interest of both the employer and the employee.
A further five-month extension of her secondment was granted.