May 22, 2022

Agriculture Ministry Staff Reject Hot-Desking, Seat Reservation Plans in CPSU Investigation | Canberra weather

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Agriculture Department staff have rejected plans to roll out hot-desking and introduce seat reservations at its Canberra offices in a new investigation. The department, which denies adopting hot-desking, says the planned “flexible seating arrangements” will give its employees more choice over where and how they work. The results of a union inquiry last month signaled resistance to hot-desking plans as the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment prepares to move into its new CQ2 offices this year. next. ACT-based Agriculture Department staff told the community union and public sector investigation that they first heard of the union’s hot-desking plans. The survey found that 69 percent of those polled did not agree with the introduction of the proposed “flexible seating and reservation system project”. Another 27 percent said they were unsure of the plans, while more than 70 percent did not believe the department would take their comments into account when deploying. CPSU National Vice President Brooke Muscat said the ministry refused to consult and the hot-desking policy endangered the health and safety of workplace staff as workers emerged from lockdown. “Now is absolutely not the time to implement policies like this, there are complex WHS issues to be addressed first when staff return to offices,” she said. “The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment attempted to break into the hot-desking under cover of a lockdown, without any consultation with its staff. In fact, the CPSU was the first to disclose the new policy to many staff, reflecting how underhanded and mismanaged it has been. “Members told us they were disappointed with the lack of consultation and feared the implications while we are still in the midst of the pandemic.” A spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry denied the deployment of a shared office and said “flexible seating arrangements” would give staff more choice and individual control over how and where they work . “This creates an opportunity for staff to use spaces differently to support the way they actually work and will allow the department to use its resources more efficiently,” the spokesperson said. “We informed the managers of the pilot areas, who then got involved directly with their teams. The department is undertaking extensive engagement and consultation with staff, this engagement occurred in accordance with the department’s corporate agreement and included engagement with the CPSU. “Stewards recently met with department heads to clarify the ongoing hot-desking pilot program and proposals for seating arrangements. The CPSU said the ministry said the consultation and planning schedule would be completed by the end of 2021. Seating plans will be negotiated and agreed, most likely at industry or branch level, the union said. A proposed outsourced reservation system would aim to prevent workers from being disadvantaged, avoiding a “first-in, best-dressed” system. New “flexible seating project.” Whatever the terminology, it will mean that many workers will not have their own desks, ”the union told members . “This project is underway ahead of the development and transition to CQ2 in 2022, which is an inefficient and unnecessary use of taxpayer funds.” MORE PUBLIC SERVICE NEWS: The CPSU said the consultation had until now seemed to involve mainly senior civil servants, who would not be affected by the changes. “It is unfair that SES is not affected by this project. Their offices should be available to workers as meeting spaces or for quiet work when SES is working from home,” the union said. The Agriculture Department said the planned changes reflected the changing expectations of the workforce for new ways of working by removing the traditional emphasis on location. “In line with our flexible working policy, these arrangements allow staff to work in departmental buildings or virtually, which means people won’t need a desk in the office every day, “the spokesperson said. The plans would comply with SafeWork Australia’s protocols for COVID-19 environments. work, they said. Agriculture Department staff at its civic offices on Marcus Clarke Street and London Circuit will move to the new Water CQ2 building of $ 78 million in the third quarter of 2022. The building, at the corner of Cooyong Street and Northbourne Avenue, is under construction. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: