Where there is likely to be an excess staff situation, the principal must keep all employees fully informed throughout the process and consult with the appropriate union(s). For the purposes of these procedures, appropriate union(s) means the Australian Education Union, the Community and Public Sector Union or the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation depending on the category of employee affected.

Principals can only identify employees as excess to workplace requirements in term 1 or term 4. In the event a principal seeks to identify an employee in either term 2, or term 3, they are required to make an application to the Executive Director, Schools Human resources Division for consideration with consultation with the relevant union(s).

The purpose of the consultation is, where possible, to resolve potential excess staff situations without the need to identify employees excess to the requirements of the school. During this consultation phase the principal must:

Step 1

Provide the union sub-branch with the following details at least 1 week before the commencement of discussions:

  • the reasons an employee is likely to be excess
  • the school's workforce plan, including details of the school's preferred staffing profile
  • the details of the employee(s) likely to be affected
  • where changes in the staffing structure are proposed, the projected student enrolments, the number and classification of employees affected and the number and classification of the employees expected to be required for the performance of any continuing function of the employer

To avoid any disputes over the date details were provided to the union sub-branch, principals should keep a record of the date that details were provided.

The School Level Consultation — Potential Excess Form (Word)External Link should be completed (Part A where the sub-branch is notified as set out above, or Part B where the appropriate union(s) does not have a sub-branch at the school) and forwarded to the Department.

Where there is no sub-branch at the school, the Department will notify the appropriate union(s) on behalf of the principal.

Step 2

Discuss the situation with the union sub-branch and attempt to reach agreement. The discussions should concentrate on the management of the excess staff situation and can cover any issues related to the strategy for managing the potential excess staff situation, but must include:

  • the number of employees likely to be excess
  • the measures that could be taken to remove or reduce the incidence of employees becoming excess
  • retraining strategies to assist affected employees with further employment opportunities
  • the redeployment prospects for the employees concerned. It is important that realistic advice about the redeployment prospects of the affected employees is given

The discussions should take place over a reasonable time period which takes account of the particular situation and the need to proceed as quickly as possible.

Step 3

Consider any representations of the union sub-branch, which should be given the opportunity to put its views on any proposed changes to the staffing structure of an affected work area, before any decisions are finalised. Where the representations are rejected, reasons for rejection should be provided.


Where there is no sub-branch at the school, the principal should notify the appropriate union(s) for involvement in Steps 1, 2 and 3. Where this does not occur the school’s agreed consultative arrangements should be used to satisfy the requirements of Steps 1, 2 and 3.

Grievances arising from Steps 1 to 3 above are to be managed in accordance with the grievance resolution procedures set out in sub-clauses 12(8) to (13) of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022.

Consultation for Excess Procedures — Teaching Service

Reviewed 13 March 2024

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