Clause 26: consultation
26.1 Consultation is a process that:
26.1.1 provides an opportunity for the Department, the Association and employees to express their views, state objections, exchange information and promote understanding;
26.1.2 involves timely provision of all relevant information to employees and the Association; and
26.1.3 provides a genuine opportunity for employees directly affected by major changes in the workplace, the wider workforce and the Association to influence the matters under discussion with the Department.
26.2 Where the Department has made a definite decision to introduce major changes in, program/service delivery, organisation, structure or technology that are likely to have significant effects on employees, the Department must notify the employees who may be affected by the proposed changes and the Association for the purpose of engaging in consultation.
26.3 "Significant effects" include termination of employment, major changes in the composition, operation or size of the Department's workforce or in the skills required, changes in job opportunities, promotion opportunities or job tenure for a class or group of employees, the alteration of hours of work for a class or group of employees, the need for retraining or transfer of a class or group of employees to other work or locations and the restructuring/redesign of jobs.
26.4 The Department is not required to consult over individual workplace/performance issues under this clause.
26.5 The Department must discuss with the employees affected and the Association, among other matters, the introduction of the changes referred to in subclause 26.2 above, the effects the changes are likely to have on employees and measures to avert or mitigate the adverse effects of such changes on employees, and must give prompt consideration to matters raised by the employees and/or the Association in relation to the changes.
26.6 The discussions must commence as early as practicable after a definite decision has been made by the Department to make the changes referred to in subclause 26.2 of this Clause.
26.7 For the purpose of such discussions, the Department must provide to the employees concerned and the Association all relevant information about the changes, including the nature of the changes proposed, the expected significant effects of the changes on employees and any other matters likely to affect employees, provided that the Department is not required to disclose confidential information the disclosure of which would adversely affect the Department.
26.8 The Department will notify affected employees and the Association of the outcome of the consultation in writing.