Renegotiating DWGs - who should be involved?
Is the decision of forming another DWG or not, or changing the current DWGs, best made in collaboration with employers, employees and existing OHS rep/s?
Yes, of course!
Section 44(3) of the OHS Act gives the 'parties to an agreement (for DWGs)' the right to negotiate a variation of the agreement at any time. Apart from it being necessary for the negotiations to be between the 'parties' (ie the employer and the employees, including reps), the need to include the current rep to work out what problems he/she may have encountered with the current DWG, and so on.
There are seven items listed as 'matters to be taken into account' in negotiations concerning DWGs (s46):
- the number of employees
- the nature of each type of work performed at the workplace
- the number and grouping of employees who perform the same or similar types of work or who work under the same or similar arrangements
- the areas at the workplace or workplaceswhere each type of work is performed
- the nature of any hazards
- any overtime or shift working arrangements
- whether any other languages are spoken by the employees
It would not be surprising if changing conditions in workplaces mean that every now and then current DWG arrangements become unsatisfactory, and the OHS Act acknowledges this
Last amended July 2014