Message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Management): enterprise bargaining update

6 May 2013

This email provides information about the key issues discussed in enterprise bargaining meetings last week. Please refer to the University's position on the enterprise bargaining website.

Negotiations continue on the following issues:

  1. General staff development fund: The main area of contention is whether a minimum quantum for the fund would be included in the enterprise agreement (EA) and, if so, how much that would be. The unions' position is that $2 million should be the minimum. We may consider $1 million if the unions make concessions on points 7 and 8 below.
  2. Classification processes review: All parties agreed to amend the draft clause to clarify that the initial step is to review the existing policy. The unions would like to define what would constitute an "agreement" of the Committee, how it would be implemented, and what would happen if there is no agreement in the 12 month period.
  3. Managing change: We agreed to delete the word "major" from the proposed clause (which currently reads: "Where the University proposes to introduce major changes in programs, organisation, structure or technology which are likely to have a significant effect on staff, the University will consult those staff who are likely to be directly affected by the proposed changes") providing the words "significant effect" are shown in bold and other changes suggested by the University were accepted.

    The parties disagreed about the:
    a. inclusion of a specific provision regarding contracting out; and
    b. retention of the current concept that the unions are notified of a change proposal if a staff member requests union representation. The University proposed a compromise where the words "friend, colleague or union representative" are incorporated into the body of the clause

    The unions asked whether change proposals could be shown on an intranet site, thus allowing them to monitor the proposals, although the University confirmed that there is no current proposal to do this.
  4. Redundancy: the CPSU provided data regarding its proposal to have an incremental change to lessen the gap between academic and professional staff redundancy entitlements. The University will review this data.
  5. General staff vacancies: The unions proposed clauses regarding internal advertisements for professional staff vacancies. The University proposed that the:
    a. clause would only apply to staff with at least 12 months service;
    b. clause would reduce the exclusivity period to three working days, and that the hirer would be obliged to consider rather than interview all internal applicants before making a decision to advertise externally;
    c. clause should make clear that it is the position rather than the applicant that must be between HEO2 and HEO5; and the
    d. requirement that the internal applicant must be appointed if they meet the essential selection criteria should be removed. The University proposed that if the internal applicant meets the selection criteria, strong consideration will be given to appointing that candidate.

    The parties also agreed to amend proposed clause 4 to state that all unsuccessful internal applicants will be provided with feedback regarding why they were not appointed.
  6. Redeployment: The University agreed to reinstate an amended clause 277 of the current EA if the proposed wording on the other clauses was accepted.
  7. Scholarly Teaching Fellows: Agreement was reached that STFs will be appointed at level A if they have submitted a PhD or equivalent. Those awarded a PhD or equivalent will be appointed at Level A, Step 6.
  8. Early Career Development Fellowships: The union proposed a minimum of 64 Fellowships. The University wants 40 given our budget constraints. The University's agreement depends on staff being appointed for a two-year probationary term plus a three-year confirmation period before a continuing appointment would be considered. The union proposed one-year probation with a four-year confirmation period.
  9. Fixed-term employment: The University's proposed clause was discussed. The clause reads: "to work in a new organisational area, function, program or position where the prospective need or demand for which is uncertain or unascertainable at the time of the establishment of the new area, function, program or position, in which case fixed-term employment may be offered for up to three years."
  10. Review committees: We will not agree to the reinstatement of review committees unless the current delegation to the Vice-Chancellor (or delegate) is maintained.
  11. Bullying policy: Our stated position is to include a statement of principle regarding bullying, not to incorporate the bullying policy into the EA.

I will provide further updates on our progress.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Ann Brewer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Management)