Tell Secretary Bruniges ...

Dear Secretary Michele Bruniges AM,

We the undersigned DESE employees call on you to support CPSU recommendations to improve the department’s flexible work and working from home (WFH) policies in line with the Working during the pandemic: The future of work is hybrid research project.

Improvements we are seeking include:
  • An ‘if not, why not’ approach to WFH. This is the assumption that WFH can be approved unless there’s a compelling operational reason for working in the office.
  • A truly flexible WFH policy, instead of arbitrary caps or limits on WFH on particular or consecutive days.
  • Lowering the delegation for approving requests to WFH:
    • for less than two days per week this should be lower than SES Band 1
    • for more than two days a week this should be lower than SES Band 2.
  • The policy should include key protections such as:
    • recognition that WFH can be an effective control measure against the spread of COVID-19 (particularly for people with vulnerabilities or who are caring for at risk groups), and
    • supervisors should not unreasonably expect employees to be contactable when they are not working.
  • Support for employees WFH including virtual ergonomic assessment and ensuring employees take regular breaks.
  • Approval timeframes to be shortened.
  • To ensure ongoing openness and transparency, data on approvals and disapprovals to be provided at consultative committee meetings.
  • Recognition of employee rights to request flexibility under the National Employment Standards, including changes to location of work.

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