Brisbane City Council Drug and Alcohol Management Procedure – This Will Affect You!
The Services Union has been in discussions with Brisbane City Council (BCC) about the introduction of a Drug and Alcohol Management Procedure (DAMP) for the past 2 months. The development of a procedure was an agreed outcome of EBA9 negotiations. All Unions have worked with BCC to produce a document which provides responsibilities and protections for all parties. The DAMP will apply to all employees performing work at a BCC site or any site owned or operated by BCC. It will also apply to contractors and volunteers.
The objective of the DAMP is to:
- provide a safe and healthy working environment for all workers and members of the public;
- eliminate or control unacceptable risks where practicable;
- provide a transparent and fair process for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment;
- provide adequate information and education around duty of care and safe work practices;
- ensure employees are aware of rehabilitation, support, counselling and other services that are available to them in a confidential manner; and
- ensure confidentiality is maintained.
BCC will also undertake an extensive education program prior to the implementation of the DAMP.
The Services Union has worked hard to provide feedback to BCC and to make the DAMP a procedure which provides fairness and transparency in both the selection of participants for testing and in the testing procedure. It is proposed that testing methods will be by oral fluid sample or by breath testing, by independent external providers. It is further proposed that the testing can be random, or because of a reasonable suspicion that an employee is affected by the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs whilst on a work site.
The Services Union has strongly advocated that BCC should act sensitively and recognise that employees live with a range of different circumstances and medical conditions. We have also advocated that the DAMP is not to be used punitively, but that support where relevant and appropriate, is provided to employees who return a positive alcohol and/or drug test through random, reasonable suspicion or post-work health and safety incident testing.
The DAMP has not yet been adopted and The Services Union will seek that a final consultation be held once a final draft has been agreed. The involvement of your union in the development of the DAMP has ensured this procedure is fair and transparent.
If you work with a colleague who is not a member, now is the time to ask them to join. It’s easy to join online at www.theservicesunion.com.au