As hundreds of AFL staff wait to learn whether they still have jobs, the league has been accusing of gagging those who have been in limbo for months.
As hundreds of AFL staff wait to learn whether they still have jobs, the league has been accusing of gagging those who have been in limbo for months.

Brutal day looms as AFL prepares to wield jobs axe

Unions have accused the AFL of enforcing "gag" orders on stood down league staff as hundreds are set to lose their jobs.

AFL supremo Gillon McLachlan will address the league's full workforce via video conference at 10am on Monday before staff are advised individually about their future employment prospects.

The cost-cutting carnage is being felt at club level, too, where Richmond stalwart and premiership hero Dale "Flea" Weightman was made redundant on Thursday after 21 years working in the Tigers' administration.

About 80 per cent of the AFL's workers have been stood down without pay since late March.

Dozens have signed with the United Services Union in Sydney and the Australian Services Union in Melbourne, which on Thursday threatened to "seek remedy through the Fair Work Commission" claiming it had been excluded from the consultation process.

In a letter to AFL general manager of people Sarah Fair, the ASU claimed the league had implemented a policy change "which occurred without consultation, where the AFL reduced the maximum redundancy entitlement from 52 weeks down to 26 weeks".

"We consider your current consultative framework undermines the spirit of genuine consultation and require that you actively engage with the USU and ASU branches during the consultative process," the ASU said.

"For avoidance of any doubt we require that representatives from USU and ASU branches receive invitations to meetings."

 

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AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is to address stood down league staff on Monday.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is to address stood down league staff on Monday.

ASU organiser Emily Callachor has also raised concerns over a requirement for some league staff to sign a deed of release.

"In our experience this is designed to prevent ex-staff from discussing workplace concerns and treatment. This is an unethical act and suggests that the AFL does not understand its obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009, or are choosing to ignore them," Callachor said.

The league has repeatedly refused to disclose how many staff it employs, but hundreds of jobs are expected to be slashed under a plan aimed at delivering a "leaner, faster, stronger and more focused" AFL administration.

Tigers great Dale Weightman is one of the club staff who has lost his job. Picture: Jay Town.
Tigers great Dale Weightman is one of the club staff who has lost his job. Picture: Jay Town.

Many will be asked to reapply for positions.

The AFL - a not-for-profit organisation which does not pay tax - operates about a dozen departments, including the office of the chief executive, football operations, game development, legal and integrity, commercial operations, corporate affairs, finance and broadcasting, infrastructure, major projects and investment, inclusion and social policy, AFL Media, strategy and human resources.

All AFL staff will be officially notified of their futures by September 15, with redundancies effective from October 16.

 

 

 

 

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Originally published as Brutal day looms as AFL prepares to wield jobs axe



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