Drug and Alcohol TestingRecently and with barely three days’ notice, Aurizon forwarded a new enterprise wide drug and alcohol policy.
Nothing unusal about that, 3 days is huge. Usually its with immediate effect. Safety First.One element of the policy change means that Aurizon are attempting to conduct alcohol and/or drug testing on employees before they commence each shift. Furthermore it is understood that they intend to stand down anyone who displays a positive result - without pay.
The author of this has not indicated at which point the positive is taken. The wording by another poster is initial swap is Non-negative. Only a medical test can determine a positive. Needless to say, Aurizon did not approach your Union advising of such drastic changes.
Why does any company need to consult with others to implement higher degrees of safety, is the union anti Safety?
Is this really "drastic"? Why is the author using such language. The author is using very defensive language for process that is supposed to improve their members safety. In the first instance, the RTBU doubts the capacity of Aurizon to conduct testing in the manner proposed in the latest advice and furthermore the Union questions the right to force employees to take unpaid leave in the circumstances proposed by Aurizon.
Using what evidence? Other large companies smaller than Aurizon can do so. I doubt the union is also in the position and has the technical expertise to make such a judgement call.
Employees should be paid in full until such a time that the medical investigation concludes the outcome. Depending the location this can be done quickly in a day or so.In the last few days a large number of questions have also arisen about the practicality of the scheme. In absence of any consultation though – it’s no surprise flaws were quick to emerge in the system.
Again the union is being defensive in the companies move to improve safety, why? Look at the calender, is 2016, not 1985.
Because the company didn't consult with the union?Below is a letter to Aurizon seeking a response on exactly how they propose to undertake such testing, how wide they intend to cast the net and on what basis they believe they have the right to force employees who provide a positive result to take unpaid leave.
More defensive language. Unpaid leave, pft, they should be dismissed!I will ensure members are advised of Aurizon’s response upon receipt along with what action the RTBU may consider to be required depending on the contents of the response. Unity is Strength
Yes I also read the letter to the company. Its basically the same;
- Clearly does not support improvement in safety, rather only when it suits their purpose
- Uses defensive language
- Yes there are obviously flaws in conducting each shift in small locations, but offers no suggestion on how to resolve
- Sees that a person who turns up to work drunk or drug affected as a victim rather than a potential irresponsible killer
- Believe's driving a desk is in the same category as driving a train (but yes the policy should be the same for all QR roles)
- Overall makes no suggestions to improve this process or offers examples from other industries on how to fix, best practices etc and is just being part of the problems rather than improving.
No I'm not anti-Union, but why is the union not championing safety improvements? Does it not care for its members?