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Appendix 6 : Industrial Democracy

A key activity in the Department during 1998-99 was the consolidation of consultative arrangements between management, employees and their representatives established through workplace agreements under the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Certified agreement

The Department of Transport and Regional Development Certified Agreement 1998-99 remained the cornerstone of the Department's workplace relations activities during the year.

Following extensive consultation, the Certified Agreement was varied in December 1998 to include the new 8-level Australian Public Service classification structure. Staff were formally transferred to their new classifications on 31 December 1998.

While the Certified Agreement has a nominal expiry date of 31 August 1999, provision exists for it to remain in place until such time as a new agreement is signed. Consultations have begun with staff and their representatives on a new agreement.

The Community and Public Sector Union lodged in February 1999 an industrial dispute with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission over the application of the Agreement's Redeployment, Retrenchment and Retirement provisions. The dispute was quickly resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Australian Workplace Agreements

Australian Workplace Agreements were approved by the Office of the Employment Advocate covering the terms and conditions of employment for all nominal Senior Executive Service employees.

Departmental Consultative Committee

The Departmental Consultative Committee (DCC) was established under the Certified Agreement and contains representatives of each of the respondent unions, three members elected by an all-staff vote, and three members nominated by the Secretary. The DCC is chaired at Deputy Secretary level, and the Workplace Relations Unit provides secretariat support.

DCC meetings are held at least quarterly to oversee and evaluate the manner in which the Certified Agreement is implemented within the organisation.

During 1998-99, meetings of management, employees and employee representatives continued to be held as necessary, to discuss proposals for change and restructuring in the Department. Facilitating the transfer of staff that resulted from the 21 October 1998 Administrative Arrangements Order changes was a feature of these discussions.