On the 6th January, the ASU received notification of a change proposal for the Tree Crew that also impacted the Parks department more broadly. The plan was to convert two vacant Assistant Arborists to Multi-Skilled and transfer them from the Tree Crew to Parks.
ASU organiser Will Wyatt attended the depot on 9th January to discuss the proposed changes with impacted members, the consensus of members in attendance was for an alternative proposal to be developed, and submitted to Council on members’ behalf.
The ASU sought additional information from Council on the 10th January, costing for other plant and equipment, organisational charts and current vacancies across the department and meetings with Council to discuss possible alternatives to reduction of staff in the tree crew.
If provided, this would inform the union’s response and alternative proposal. Unfortunately, additional details were not provided by the Council. The union submitted the response to Council on the 17th January 2020 based on the information provided by Council initially, and what was available to members at the time. Failure to provide requested information breaches consultation clauses, however, to not prejudice consideration of the alternative proposal, it was decided not to dispute the lack of a response at that time.
As part of the alternative proposal, the ASU advocated for retaining the tree crew and providing additional resources to make it more flexible. In closing, the ASU sought a meeting to discuss the issues with Manager Parks, Christopher Cook.
The ASU received notification of the outcome of consultation yesterday, no meetings were conducted, nor was the proposal accepted in any form. Council even appears to have changed their rationale that informed the plan in the first place.
The ASU believes there are grounds to dispute the underwhelming consultation efforts of Council, and the failure to backfill vacancies. We will update members as the disputes progress.
For further information please contact:
ASU Member Contact Centre | 1300 855 570 | firstname.lastname@example.org