Unfair Dismissal pursued following Science Restructure
The fallout from the Science restructure has not abated. NTEU member and lecturer in Physics, Susan Feteris, was identified to be redundant. She appealed against this and the report of the Redundancy Review Committee (RRC) that was delivered near the end of last year. The university then commenced a redeployment process independent of the process set out in the Enterprise Agreement, failed to redeploy her, and terminated her employment on 28 February. NTEU lodged a claim of Unfair Dismissal on her part, which we are confident of winning.
Meanwhile, before the RRC report was decided, Susan lodged a claim in the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC ) in which she alleged that the process used to identify the four academics made compulsorily redundant (of which she was one), was a process that breaches the Equal Opportunity Act on the basis of sex discrimination.
That matter, in which NTEU is not involved, was cited by the lawyers representing Monash University, Clayton Utz, infamous for advising its “big tobacco” clients to destroy documents – see http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1816558.htm.
Clayton Utz has advised Monash to oppose the Unfair Dismissal claim on the basis of this VEOHRC claim saying that running them both breaches the Fair Work Act. We now appear likely to have to win this jurisdictional argument before the Unfair Dismissal itself can be heard – which of course is the point of their tactic – knock out at least one of these claims.