Message from the Director, Human Resources: industrial action on 7 March

5 March 2013

The NTEU and CPSU have given notice that their members will be taking strike action for 24 hours, commencing at 7am on Thursday, 7 March 2013.

Business as usual

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, only staff who are members of the NTEU or CPSU and who would be covered by the proposed enterprise agreement are able to take 'protected' (i.e. lawful) industrial action. If you are not a member of the NTEU or CPSU, or if you are a member and are not covered by the unions' bargaining proposals, you should come to work and perform your usual duties. The University will be open for business and scheduled activities and services will continue as usual.

If you are proposing to take industrial action and you are scheduled to teach on 7 March, I would ask that you make arrangements, either directly or through your Head of School, to notify students in advance that the class will not take place.

Individual researchers should make their own arrangements to deal with possible absences that may affect their research work.

Picket lines

The NTEU has said that it will be picketing all main entrances to campus from 7am on 7 March.

This may delay staff trying to come to work, but you should remember that it is unlawful for picketers to interfere with campus access for others. The NTEU has developed a "picket line protocol" which indicates that picketers will seek to persuade staff, students and visitors not to cross the picket line, but will not threaten, intimidate or physically prevent them from entering University buildings. We suggest that you stop, listen and then politely proceed to enter the campus.

Campus Security will have staff at all picket points, and any staff having difficulty should speak to security staff on site. You should also contact your supervisor if you are delayed or have trouble getting access to campus. You might find it easier to park off site or come to work by public transport and enter the campus on foot, rather than drive.

Deduction of pay for industrial action

If you participate in the strike or take any other industrial action, you will not be paid for the duration of the action. Staff who cancel classes will be deemed to be taking industrial action. Under the Fair Work Act, it is unlawful for the University to pay staff who engage in industrial action, and it is unlawful for those staff to accept payment. There are penalties under the Act for employers and staff if payments are made or received.

Administrative arrangements

Staff who do not perform their usual duties on 7 March will be deemed to have taken industrial action and will not be paid for the duration of the industrial action unless they are absent from duty on approved leave.

You will receive an email on 8 March providing instructions about how to record your attendance details, and it is essential that you follow the instructions set out in the email and respond as directed.

If you have any questions about arrangements for 7 March, please speak to your supervisor or HR Advisor.

Yours sincerely,

Boyd Williams

Director, Human Resources