Don’t be fooled – you have representational rights
There have been reports recently about members being given incorrect information about your right to representation in meetings.
In certain areas, management are advising members attending meetings that they are to arrange their own “support person” and that management will not release anyone to attend.
Additionally, when a representative is in attendance, management have reportedly advised the representative that he or she is only an “observer” and is not allowed to speak. This is not the case (unless the worker is being interviewed by the Workplace Conduct Unit for disciplinary matters.) All other meetings, regardless of whether they are informal or formal and regardless of what they may be about (i.e. PCIPs etc), entitle you to representation by either a colleague, your delegate, or a union official.
These representatives have speaking rights and are well within their rights to both speak on and advocate for you if you so choose. Not allowing that right goes against both Section 336 of the Fair Work Act 2009 and both Sydney and NSW Trains’ Enterprise Agreements (2014).
The following representative process has been previously agreed:
– When requested to attend a meeting with a manager, advise your manager that you will require representation.
– Contact your local delegate if you wish them to attend and ascertain if they are available to attend at the nominated time.
– If they are not available, members may nominate another representative from their depot and ascertain if they are available
– If none of these options are available, contact the manager and request he/she make arrangements to have them in attendance by either re-rostering or covering pert of their shift
– If this cannot be achieved, members should seek to postpone the meeting until representation can be afforded
Members should not hesitate to contact their local delegate or the RTBU head office if they have been told that they are not entitled to representation in a meeting other than a Workplace Conduct Unit.