An Australian training institution is on simmer after using a MasterChef style cooking competition where the loser would be made redundant.
It’s the type of redundancy process that has ‘union intervention’ written it over it.
According to a report by the Gold Coast Bulletin, two weeks ago four Gold Coast technical and further education (TAFE) chefs participated in a ‘cook off’ to save their jobs. The chefs were told that the cooking faculty had to cut costs, and as such the five teaching positions would be cut to three – one employee took a voluntary redundancy.
The cooking test took place in front of a panel made up of an independent chef, a senior educational manager and an HR representative. While practical assessments of vocational skills are not unheard of, the process came under scrutiny when two of the chefs raised concerns that the panel was not truly independent – they claim that one of the judge’s had previously worked with the other two chefs.
Following the complaint, the Queensland Teachers Union has intervened and the matter is now on hold despite the panel having submitted its candidate for redundancy.
Gold Coast Institute of TAFE CEO Aaron Devine told the Bulletin that after being contacted by a union official, the independence of the panel is now being reviewed. “Should the complaint be upheld, GCIT will be undertaking a new selection process, either in part or in full,” he said.