Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

United Services Union warns AFL of breaching Fair Work Act with unlawful directive to staff

United Services Union warns AFL of breaching Fair Work Act with unlawful directive to staff
August 6, 2020

AFL management has been warned by the United Services Union that a directive given to a staff member that they are not permitted to use their work email to share union material is unlawful and contravenes the Fair Work Act.

The United Services Union yesterday wrote to the AFL, warning of potential action in the Fair Work Commission if adverse action was taken against the staff member for continuing to engage in lawful industrial activity.

The attempt to gag staff members comes less than a week after AFL Media controversially stood down journalist Mitch Cleary for tweeting an Instagram post by the wife of Richmond captain Trent Cotchin which revealed a breach of the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

In recent weeks, administrative staff at the AFL have sought union assistance due to fears more than half the workforce could lose their jobs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with management forcing them to ‘re-pitch their talent’ to justify keeping their jobs.

United Services Union organiser Troy Dunne said correspondence sent by AFL management to staff members appeared aimed at silencing their collective voice.

Dunne notes “the written direction from AFL management to staff members that they not use their work email to share union information is clearly an attempt to silence their collective voice, in breach of the Fair Work Act.

“The fact that this follows on the heels of a senior journalist at AFL Media — which is meant to operate independently from the league — being stood down for simply doing his job and reporting on a breach of COVID-19 protocols has sent shudders through the workforce.

“The USU has written to AFL management warning that restricting the legal rights of workers under the act, including their ability to engage in industrial activity, could see the matter taken to the Fair Work Commission.

“These two incidents raise an alarming question: why is the AFL so determined to limit the flow of information to its most important stakeholders, its staff and the footy loving public?”

Australian Services Union Victorian Private Sector Branch Secretary, Matt Norrey said unions had been actively engaged by AFL staff over fears management was looking to use the COVID-19 crisis as cover to slash their administrative workforce.

Norrey notes “we understand from members that AFL Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan has been encouraging employees to look for new jobs at all-staff briefings.

“Staff members believe uncertainty and stress around job security is being cultivated in an effort to convince them to resign rather than come back to work or receive genuine redundancies.

“The assertions from staff that they are being told to re-pitch their talent, effectively forcing them to justify keeping their current jobs, in a process that lacks openness and transparency, is particularly alarming.”

United Services Union General Secretary Graeme Kelly said the AFL’s treatment of staff was failing to live up to community expectations and adds “the AFL claims a commitment to social justice and equality, but they are failing to uphold those values with their treatment of the loyal staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

“Management is responsible for the current financial crisis — they failed to put money aside from the rivers of gold that flowed during the good years — and now staff are being forced to pay the price.

“While players, through the AFL Players Association, have been given a seat at the table when big decisions are being made, that same consideration is being refused to staff.

“Staff deserve to be at the negotiating table, with a strong collective voice through their unions, rather than the current situation where secretive decisions are imposed by AFL management.”

Related Articles

23rd July 2020 - AFL and NRL show year-on-year value gains

15th July 2020 - AFL looks to relocate more clubs to Queensland

12th June 2020 - Seven to save $87 million with new AFL broadcast deal

9th June 2020 - Quayclean to ensure health of venue attendees when AFL season re-starts

13th May 2020 - AFL announces protocols for return to training and play

2nd May 2020 - AFL Chief Executive suggests 2020 season could resume in June

10th April 2020 - AFL faces up to post lockdown changes

30th March 2020 - AFL looks to secure $600 million loan

29th March 2020 - AFL and players agree pay-cut deal through Coronavirus shutdown

22nd March 2020 - AFL suspends season until end of May in response to Coronavirus


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 

SWIMPLEX AQUATICS

Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 

Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 

BODY BIKE AUSTRALIA

BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business