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PN Member Update

As Members will be aware, the RTBU has been in discussions with PN to ascertain WHY the Cat 1,2 and 3 Medical Assessments have changed so dramatically regarding the Functionality Tests with little to no consultation. Members have quite rightly been very concerned about these changes, particularly those that have been required to do tests that are not only dangerous to their wellbeing but also completely irrelevant to their job.

While there have been high level meetings with PN, a clear position had not been forthcoming and on Wednesday the 18th of August National Secretary Mark Diamond issued PN with a National Notice of Dispute as a last resort to seek clarity and understanding of why these changes were continuing.

Pacific National contacted the RTBU National Office seeking actual examples of the excessive tasks that Members were being asked to do. The tasks that Members had raised are as follows:

  • Manual handling a box with a weight of 20 kgs using one hand only
  • Manual handling a box with 20 kg to nose height
  • Doing a sit up with legs spread open while lying flat on the floor
  • Beep test for three mins using a step, going up and down in time with the beeps.
  • Doing a plank exercise for two mins (puts strain in the back)
  • Remaining in a crouch down position for two mins
  • Stooping your back over and holding the same position for two mins
  • Leaning forward with arms outstretched for two mins, this was 3 separate exercises each at different levels to place stress on the upper body
  • Ask to do 20 squats
  • Ask to step up and down on a box in time with a beep while checking heartbeat, speeding up until you cannot do anymore
  • Also ask to lift heavy box up (over shoulder height) and down not knowing the weight.
  • Excessive Sit Ups
  • Excessive Push ups
  • Aeroplane on your stomach
  • Lifting weights up to 75 kgs
  • Climbing upstairs while carrying weights over 50 kgs until can’t do any longer
  • Squat walks

On Tuesday the 25th of August, Pacific National responded to the RTBU National Office with the following commitments:

  • PN will provide a response to each task listed above over the next few working days as not all were known by National Office until recently and therefore have only been provided to PN early this week
  • Employees to be provide with a table outlining the Assessment , the Intent of the Assessment and the Job Tasks Relevant to the Assessment
  • Employees will be empowered to cease the testing if they believe that there is a variation to anything on the table that will be provided, and will be instructed to call the PN Health and Safety Team for advice on how to proceed
  • Employees will not be required to undertake sit-ups, push-ups or carry weights more than 22.3kgs
  • Meeting with the RTBU to discuss these proposed measures and any other measures that the Union needs PN to consider

These commitments are a step in the right direction but as always, the devil is in the detail. The RTBU looks forward to seeing PN’s response to all the matters raised, but most importantly that the Membership will no longer have to fear doing their medicals.

Workplace Health and Safety shouldn’t hurt.

Members are advised that until the response from PN is forthcoming and a meeting has been held the National NOD remains in place.


Download a copy of the update here.