The University of Melbourne Collective Agreement 2010
Part N: Grievances and Dispute Resolution
89. Review of Actions
89.1 The University will maintain a fair process to resolve the employment grievances of individual staff. In doing so, the University seeks to achieve and maintain a workplace that encourages a productive and harmonious working environment.
89.2 Within this context, staff grievances will be dealt with quickly, impartially and fairly.
89.3 Where possible, grievances should be dealt with locally and informally.
89.4 Where local grievances arise, work shall continue according to custom and practice while these provisions are implemented.
89.5 A staff member may act by way of a Representative at any time during the review process if they so choose, provided that authority is given in writing.
89.6 The Vice-Chancellor will, following consultation with the NTEU and other Unions covered by this Agreement, establish an agreed pool of persons, including persons from within the University, who have relevant skills and expertise in dispute resolution, consistent with clause 89.2.
Actions which may be the subject of grievances
89.7 Subject to clause 89.9, an individual staff member is entitled to apply for review of the merits of any action (e.g. workload allocation, misapplication of University policy), including a failure or refusal to act, that relates to his or her employment by the University. Applications for reclassification of positions for professional staff are dealt with under clause 42 of this Agreement and the review of actions provisions in this clause 89 do not apply to professional staff classification matters.
89.8 A group of staff members may jointly apply for review of an action affecting each member of the group if the action is an alleged unfair application of University policy. Some actions need not be reviewed
89.9 The Vice-Chancellor has the discretion to decide that the following actions should not be reviewed:
- where the application for review of the action was made more than 1 year after the action complained of, and there are no exceptional circumstances explaining this delay;
- where the application for review of the action is frivolous or vexatious;
- where the affected staff member has previously applied for review of the same action:
- under these provisions, and a review was, or is currently being, conducted in accordance with these provisions; or
- under clause 86 (Review of Actions) of the University of Melbourne Enterprise Agreement 2006, and the review was conducted in accordance with that clause; or
- under any other review or disputes process that meets the criteria in clause 89.2 (unless that alternative review or disputes process is identified as being an inappropriate avenue for full resolution of the complaint) and the complaint was, or is currently being, dealt with in accordance with that process;
- where the affected staff member does not have sufficient direct personal interest in review of the action; and,
- where there is an alternative internal review procedures which meets the criteria in clause 89.2 (including, but not limited to, disciplinary action, academic promotion, sexual harassment, discrimination, victimisation and action arising under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 & the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004) in which case the Vice-Chancellor will advise the staff member of the alternative procedure.
Making applications for review
89.10 Prior to making an application for review the staff member shall discuss the matter with their supervisor or the person who made the decision. Alternatively, the staff member may elect to discuss the matter with Human Resources. All reasonable attempts to resolve the matter must be made as soon as practicable and where the matter is resolved, an appropriate record of the agreement will be kept.
89.11 Applications for review must be in writing and must state briefly why the review is sought and any specific outcome which the staff member is seeking to achieve by having the action reviewed. Applications for review of actions should be made to the Vice-Chancellor.
89.12 Upon receipt of an application for review, the Vice-Chancellor is to decide on an appropriate method for reviewing the action within the principles outlined at clause 89.2 including allocating the matter to a person from the pool, in accordance with clause 89.13.
89.13 A staff member is entitled to have the matter reviewed by a member of the pool not involved in the matter who will attempt to resolve the matter and if this is not possible, conduct a review.
89.14 Once the review is completed, the reviewer will provide a written report to the Vice-Chancellor.
89.15 Upon receipt of the report, the Vice-Chancellor will:
- confirm the action,
- vary the action, or
- set the action aside and substitute a new action.
89.16 In complying with clause 89.15 above, the Vice-Chancellor shall have due regard for the recommendations of the report of the reviewer and shall advise the aggrieved staff member and other relevant persons of the decision and the reasons for the decision.
90. Dispute Resolution
Application of this clause
90.1 It is agreed that the University, the Unions and all of the staff have an interest in the proper application of this Agreement and in minimizing disputes about the proper application of the Agreement. These procedures shall apply to any dispute raised by a Union, a staff member or the University regarding the application of this Agreement and the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act (other than a dispute about whether the University had reasonable business grounds under subsection 65(5) or 76(4) of the Fair Work Act). A staff member involved in the dispute will be entitled to be represented by a Representative at any and all stages of this procedure. Procedure to be followed in the event of a dispute
90.2 In the first instance the parties to the dispute shall discuss the dispute to attempt in good faith to reach agreement or otherwise resolve the dispute. A dispute in relation to a single staff member will in the first instance be discussed under this sub-clause between the staff member and/or their Representative and the supervisor or where this is not appropriate, with Human Resources.
90.3 Where a dispute is not resolved under clause 90.2 the matter will be referred to the Executive Director (Human Resources) to assist in the process of resolution. If the dispute is not resolved within five (5) working days of referral to the Executive Director (Human Resources) it may be referred in writing by any party to the dispute to a Disputes Committee for resolution in accordance with clause 90.4.
90.4 A Disputes Committee shall be convened within five working days of a written request being made in accordance with clause 90.3, unless agreed otherwise. The Disputes Committee shall consist of equal numbers of nominees of management and equal numbers of nominees of the relevant Union.
90.5 To avoid doubt, in addition to the parties to the dispute, any staff member directly involved in the dispute will be entitled to put his or her position to the Disputes Committee and will be advised of its deliberations. The staff member may request to be accompanied by his or her Representative if they choose to be represented.
90.6 The Disputes Committee shall attempt to resolve the matter within five working days of its first meeting. Any resolution shall be in the form of a written agreement subject, if necessary, to ratification by the parties to the dispute. Industrial action
90.7 Until the parties to the dispute agree that the procedures described in clause 90.2 to 90.6 have been exhausted:
- work shall continue in the normal manner;
- no industrial action shall be taken by a party bound by this Agreement;
- management shall not change work, staffing or the organisation of work if that is the subject of a dispute, nor will any party bound by this Agreement take any other action likely to exacerbate the dispute; and
- the subject matter of the dispute shall not be taken to FWA by any party to the dispute.
Reference to Fair Work Australia (FWA)
90.8 Should the dispute not be resolved by the processes referred to in clause 90.2 to 90.6 or if any party to the dispute refuses to engage in the processes referred to in that clause, the matter may be referred to FWA by either party to the dispute.
90.9 Subject to the parties to the dispute having complied with the procedures set out in clause 90.2 to 90.6, FWA may resolve the dispute to the extent that it relates to the application of this Agreement or the NES (other than a dispute about whether the University had reasonable business grounds under subsection 65(5) or 76(4) of the Fair Work Act) by the processes of conciliation and/or arbitration. The parties covered by this Agreement will implement any decision of FWA
Alternative dispute resolution procedure
90.10 Nothing in this clause prevents the parties from agreeing to refer an unresolved dispute to a person or body other than FWA for resolution, in which case the parties agree to be bound by any recommendation to resolve the dispute, made by the agreed person or body.
91. Access to external jurisdictions
91.1 Provided that in the first instance the relevant procedures in this Agreement should be followed, nothing in this Agreement shall affect the operation of any other law empowering any court or external tribunal which has jurisdiction to deal with any causes of action or claims arising from actions taken in accordance with this Agreement.