Office Accommodation Update

17-Aug-2018

Office Accommodation Campaign

 

On Monday this week, ASMOF and other health unions (who are interested parties in the matter) attended a report back at the Industrial Relations Commission in respect to the unilateral rescission of the Office Accommodation Policy – Public Health Organisations and Ambulance Service Policy Directive (PD2005_576) by the Ministry of Health (‘Ministry’).

By the request of ASMOF, Commissioner Sloan directed that the matter be stood over until early October 2018, so that ASMOF may have the opportunity to consult with its members and provide feedback to the Ministry in respect to its draft Workspace Accommodation Policy as reported on last week.

Prior to attending the IRC, ASMOF was contacted by the Ministry and informed that the NSW Government Fitout Design Principles (Office Workplace Accommodation) (‘Principles’) referred to in our article last week, had been recently revised. We are currently reviewing the revised Principles and note the relevant provisions:

  1. Section 2 states that one of the Government’s key priorities and objectives, which the Principles aim to support, is “delivering strong budgets”. ASMOF continues to contend that the design of Staff Specialists office accommodation should not be motivated by financial objectives, but rather the needs and requirements of Staff Specialist roles.
  2. Section 2 further states that the Principles support the Government’s objective to make all government jobs flexible by 2019. Again, ASMOF notes that this objective is not in align with the realities of the nature and duties of a Staff Specialist. 
  3. Section 3 requires all government agencies to actively pursue activity based working, and that enclosed offices are not supported unless there is a specific operational requirement. However, we note that open plan office spaces must first be trialed before enclosed offices will be allowed, which ASMOF foresees as being a futile battle once infrastructure is built and the finite resources of public hospitals is spent.
  4. Section 7 which sets out the mandatory fitout metrics which must be followed, states, in a contradictory manner, that enclosed offices are permitted by exception but at the same time, are not permitted. This requirement provides that small meeting rooms are to be used for confidential matters, which again, does not recognise or acknowledge the day to day nature of a Staff Specialist role.

ASMOF continues to seek the feedback of its members in respect to the draft Workspace Accommodation Policy, which ASMOF is required to provide to the Minsitry by mid-September 2018.

If you would like to provide your feedback or share your experience, please contact either Senior Industrial Officer, Bob Morgan or Industrial Officer, Catherine Ryan on (02) 9212 6900, or alternatively by email at bobm.asmof.org.au or catheriner@asmof.org.au.

We look forward to your active support to ensure that office accommodation for Staff Specialists is protected.