DHS Factsheet – Negotiation of working hours and rosters
10 February 2012, 8:26am
There is a lot of detail on how and when working hours and rosters are negotiated in your new agreement. The underlying principle is genuine negotiation of your needs and preferences for your working hours and your roster.
Getting agreement on hours and rosters
Rosters fit within your agreed ordinary pattern of hours or regular
hours agreement (including part time work). Rosters provide you and your
supervisor with certainty.
There are three phases in developing rosters; identifying your
preferences, developing draft rosters and genuine negotiation, and final
rosters including final adjustments (see F8.11 to F8.14 DHS EA for the
Changes to rosters once agreed
Sometimes rosters need to change due to unforeseen circumstances. You
can request changes or swaps at any stage; such as accommodating late
notice for a parent-teacher meeting.
The department uses modelling to predict workflow so your manager
needs to give you reasonable notice of proposed changes to agreed
rosters, why they need to change, and to genuinely negotiate options
affected staff (see F8.15 DHS EA). Where DHS initiates changes to start
or finish times that are not agreed by you and less than 14 days notice
is given, you are entitled to overtime payments for time before or after
your previously agreed start and/or finish time (see F8.16 DHS EA).
When you don’t get what you want
Genuine negotiation does not mean the department has to give you what
you want (or vice versa) – it’s about genuine timely engagement with a
positive approach to finding options that work for you and the
While you are negotiating working hours or a roster, the existing
agreed arrangements must stay in place. If after several months, you and
your supervisor really cannot agree to working hours, default working
hours are a last resort available to you (see F7.10 – F7.11 DHS EA).
Members make it happen - The conditions in your new agreement
outstrip all previous conditions. By joining your union and working with
your delegate you ensure the conditions you want are the ones you get.
In a snap shot
Working hours and rosters are genuinely negotiated between you
and your direct supervisor.
Guaranteed one or more planned days off per month.
You can initiate changes to your roster by swapping with a
You have a right to refuse overtime for caring or personal
Paid time for preparation (to start work) and pack up (to finish
work) – take the time even if your roster is yet to include it!
L&D time (30 minute blocks) does not include team meetings.
Your 5 minute break after 60 minutes screen/ phone time does not
include toilet breaks.
Rostering entitlements in the EA apply now, you don’t need to
wait for the policy which is being developed and agreed with CPSU.
For more information, please speak with your delegate or call the
Member Service Centre on 1300 137 636. Union members make workplaces
better - be part of the solution,