Today the Department have sent all staff a direction requiring staff taking industrial action to notify the department no later than the commencement of the action. This direction has raised the following questions.
1. Can the department direct me to notify them prior to deciding to take the action?
2. Do I need to notify the department prior to my normal start time that I will not attend work because of participation in strike action?
Yes – now that the department has issued a lawful direction you are required to comply with the direction.
Our advice to members is to notify the department by email of their intention to take action at the start of your working hours for each day of Protected Industrial Action. Suggested wording for your notification is included below.
3. Does this direction require me to notify the department when the action commences – midnight or midday?
We advise members, despite any temptation to do otherwise, not to notify their managers at midnight. Rather, notify the department by email of your intention to take action at or before the start of your working hours for each day of Protected Industrial Action. If you only plan on only taking action from midday on any of the days of protected industrial action, we advise you to notify the department by email (using either your work or home email) at or prior to your commencement of the industrial action.
You are also able to notify you manager over the phone or via text message.
4. Given the number of staff who are participating in the action what is the best way to notify the department?
We suggest the following wording be emailed to the department either:
- once you have decided to take protected industrial action,
- on the commencement of the action, or
- at the start of your working hours for each day of Protected Industrial Action.
I'm taking this action because I want DHS management to negotiate a fair deal in bargaining, instead of continuing to try to cut my working conditions.
This is notification that I intend to participate in protected industrial action on ___________ and will return to normal duties on ___________.