Aurizon NSW Coal Operations dispute update
On 17 May 2022, Aurizon NSW Coal Operations management chose to implement a change to how they manage employees being unavailable for their next turn of duty and announced this change by issuing an Employee Update.
Your Locomotive Division representatives immediately placed this change of working into Dispute and requested a special consultative committee meeting be held to discuss the issue. The special consultative committee meeting was held today, 26 May 2022. The discussion was robust, with your representatives pointing out that the new procedure was outside the meaning and intention of the Enterprise Agreement and explained the reason we cannot accept the direction to attend work if you have become unavailable for the original sign on time.
This same issue was raised previously in enterprise agreement negotiations by the RTBU in an attempt to include a clause addressing the issue so that everyone would know what would happen when it arose. The Aurizon negotiating team argued strongly against a clause to this effect within the EA and argued that the status quo would remain in place. Your representatives tabled a screen shot of a message sent to one member advising them that there had been no change to the clause and the current practice applies. Today, the company argued that the current practice was different in each depot and needed standardising. Your representatives reminded the company that the EA already informs all employees covered by the agreement how their working is to be advised.
Your representatives told Aurizon that the Employee Update needed to be withdrawn and should have been tabled for consultation and discussion at a Consultative Committee meeting prior to being implemented and that your representatives do not accept the current position of the company. This matter will now be elevated to the General Manager for discussion and to attempt resolution. For the time being, the dispute resolution procedure has been invoked and due to the matter remaining unresolved the STATUS QUO applies and the directions included in the Employee Update dated 17 May 2022 are NOT to be implemented.