How the ABC manages redundancy is critical for all of us

Joint CPSU-MEAA update

What does the ABC Enterprise Agreement say about redundancy selection?

  • The ABC Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (Agreement) says that when the ABC has developed a formal proposal for major change, the ABC is required to consult about the redundancy selection process to be followed.
  • The requirement to consult about a redundancy selection process does not require agreement on the process, but it does require that the ABC to consult before they apply it and single out individuals within a selection pool for redundancy.
  • It is our view that the ABC did not follow these steps for TV and News earlier this year, which is why the CPSU referred the matter to the Fair Work Commission for arbitration.

Key outcomes from our meeting with the ABC yesterday

  • The ABC has said that they will be adopting a different approach to the next round of proposed ABC jobs cuts.
  • Specifically the ABC has said that they will not apply a redundancy selection process (preliminary or otherwise) for selection pools until they have consulted with staff and unions about it.
  • A copy of the ABC’s proposed process is available here.
  • It is our view that the ABC is already required to consult about redundancy selection processes prior to applying them. The attached process does nothing more than reflect the ABC’s obligation under the Agreement.

Union members want a process that is efficient, transparent and fair. We support a process that:

  • Takes reasonable steps to mitigate the adverse effect redundancy has on ABC workers
  • Includes an Expression of Interest process to canvass substitutions and voluntary redundancies (A commitment the ABC made to staff last year when asking you to vote for the new Agreement)
  • Quarantines all new ABC job opportunities until potentially affected staff can be assessed for those roles, including with reasonable training
  • Distinguishes between an excess position and an excess employee (i.e just because the job isn’t needed anymore, doesn’t mean that the person’s  skills, knowledge and experience aren’t needed too)
  • Embodies a holistic approach to staff retention, training and skills assessment.

CPSU and MEAA members will continue to make the case for a more efficient and progressive ABC redundancy process.

For more information please contact your local CPSU Organiser or email abcmembers@cpsu.org.au