Managing working hours has been an issue for Executive Level staff at AGD for many years.
The AGD Enterprise Agreement (EA) explicitly recognises the problems with the
current policy and requires recommended solutions be developed by a joint
working group. The EA sets out a clear process for resolving EL TOIL issues.
Management have not followed that process and are now in breach of the EA.
What are the problems with TOIL?
The EA recognises key problems with TOIL and states that the joint working
group will develop recommendations to address the following:
No agreement on how much excess time must be worked to attract a grant
of time off
Inconsistency in management’s application of TOIL across the Department
Inability for some officers to access time off, and
No shared understanding of when TOIL can be taken.
What have management proposed?
In 6 months of meetings of the joint working group, staff and CPSU
representatives made some progress in convincing management to at least adopt a
formula-based approach for work outside the bandwidth (before 7.30am and after
7.30pm, and on the weekend). However, we were deeply disappointed by
management’s refusal to consider any reforms to treatment of time within the
bandwidth, where the vast majority of excess hours are worked — particularly
since in the EA they agreed that the current policy has led to unfair outcomes.
In fact, management’s current proposal will make treatment of within
bandwidth hours worse by removing the running balance of additional hours worked
within the bandwidth. Key concerns with management’s proposals include:
Only hours worked outside the bandwidth would be recognised on an
hour-for-hour basis and accrue from fortnight to fortnight
No balance will be provided in TimeKeeper for additional hours worked
within the bandwidth from fortnight to fortnight. This:
will encourage a management approach that only recently accrued
excess hours can be recognised with time off, and
will eliminate the evidence needed to identify problem areas for
Loss of the additional hours you have already worked by dividing your
accrual by 5 as of the starting date.
Requiring pre-approval of all additional hours worked outside the
bandwidth at FAS level to avoid excess hours being treated in the same way
as within-bandwidth time.
Why is this a breach of the EA?
Your representatives have made it very clear to management that these
do not address the issues at the heart of the problem
will not lead to the efficient management of EL working hours, and
will not adequately recognise the additional and often excessive hours
that EL staff have already accrued at AGD.
Despite clear advice of CPSU concerns and the lack of an agreed position at
the working group, management have disbanded the joint working party and pushed
ahead with their own policy position. They have even added elements (such as the
TimeKeeper changes and the Division-head approval requirement) that were not
discussed at all at the joint working group.
Failure to genuinely negotiate, ceasing the working party and the decision to
proceed with a management only proposal are all actions that breach the EA
(clause 4.08(3)–(4) and (6)).
What happens now?
Under clause 4.08(8) of the EA where any party has concerns with the joint
working group process, the dispute settlement procedures of the Agreement can be
invoked. After 5 years of evidence of problems with the current approach to
managing EL hours, AGD needs a functional, efficient and fair TOIL policy for EL
The CPSU are committed to seeing that happen. In accordance with the wishes
of an overwhelming majority of our members, we therefore have notified
management that we are invoking the dispute resolution procedures of the
Agreement, and seek an urgent meeting to negotiate a resolution to this issue.
Join the team that’s working for you
CPSU delegates at AGD have been working to deliver an effective EL TOIL
solution as part of a cultural change around working hours and workload in the
department. The delegates have the support of the CPSU’s legal and technical
expertise as well as the CPSU’s extensive industry knowledge. They are supported
by CPSU members at AGD and across the APS who resource the work being done.
If you support the work that the CPSU is doing then join the union today and
become part of the team to deliver the changes you want to see in your working
life. Join online here