HSR training dispute continues with WorkCover

Health and Safety

This month unions have been in the courts to preserve the right of worker Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) to choose their training provider. The WHS Act under Section 72 allows HSRs to choose their training provider in consultation with their employer. However, despite previous practice, training and advice from Sydney Trains allowing the HSR to choose, Sydney Trains has decided to apply their choice of training provider over the choice of 40 rail-workers who chose the ACTU training, without consultation. The employer’s  decision has been supported by the WorkCover Inspector and then the WorkCover internal review process, by stating that government procurement policy over-rides the WHS Act.  WorkCover has stated that the application differs from that in the private sector due to the underpinning of the procurement policy and tender decisions as subordinate legislation from the 1912 Act. The Unions are in disagreement with the approach taken by WorkCover and have taken on behalf of the member the matter to external review at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

The Unions are before the courts for conciliation in June and arbitration later in June if necessary.

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