News

Message from the HR Director: industrial action on Open Day, 31 August


29 August 2013

The NTEU has given notice that its members will be taking strike action on Open Day, this Saturday 31 August 2013. The CPSU has not notified the University that it plans strike action on Open Day.


Business as usual

The University's Open Day will go ahead as planned, with all scheduled activities and services for the day proceeding as in previous years.


For NTEU members

  • Please remember that under the Fair Work Act 2009, only staff who are members of the NTEU and who would be covered by the proposed enterprise agreement are able to take 'protected' industrial action on Open Day.
  • If you are rostered for paid work on Open Day (or working on Open Day otherwise forms part of your usual duties) and you plan to take industrial action, then please ensure your supervisor or head of school knows of your plans so that alternative arrangements can be made.
  • If you had agreed to volunteer your time and subsequently decided not to do so, you will not be considered to be taking industrial action. However, please advise your supervisor or head of school so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Deduction of pay for industrial action

As previously explained, it is unlawful under the Fair Work Act for the University to pay staff who take industrial action, and it is unlawful for those staff to accept payment. There are significant penalties under the Act for employers and staff if payments are made or received.

If you are a continuing or fixed-term staff member who has been rostered for paid work and you take, or plan to take, industrial action on 31 August, you need to notify the University to ensure that you are not paid for the time off.

To notify the University, please:

  1. Log on to myHRonline in the usual manner.
  2. Navigate to "Leave Bookings Request" by clicking on "My HR" then "Leave".
  3. Select "Whole Day Leave Booking" or "Part Day Leave Booking" as appropriate.
  4. Select "Absence to participate in industrial action" in the drop-down menu under "Leave Type" and indicate the number of hours you plan to be on strike or were on strike.
  5. Click "insert".

You may do this immediately after receiving this message or by no later than 5pm on Friday 6 September 2013. You will receive an email from myHRonline when your notification has been processed, but your supervisor will not be asked to approve your notification, as is usually the case with applications for leave made through myHRonline.

Please note:

  • Continuing or fixed-term members of staff rostered for paid work (or whose usual duties include working on Open Day) who do not take or plan to take industrial action are not required to notify the University.
  • Continuing or fixed-term members of staff who would otherwise have volunteered their time on Open Day (eg to staff a stall or deliver a lecture), but choose not to attend for duty are not required to notify the University.
  • Casual employees or affiliates are also not required to notify the University.

For CPSU members

  • Under the Fair Work Act 2009 members of the CPSU rostered for paid work on Open Day are not able to take 'protected' industrial action. This is because the CPSU has not notified the University that it is planning strike action on Open Day.
  • Therefore, staff rostered for paid work or whose usual duties include working on Open Day are expected to attend and perform their assigned duties unless absent on approved leave.
  • If you had agreed to volunteer your time (eg to staff a stall) and subsequently decide not to do so, you will not be considered to be taking industrial action. However, please advise your supervisor or head of school so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Picket lines

The NTEU has said that it plans to picket the main entrances to campus on Open Day.

This may delay staff trying to come to work or volunteer on Open Day, 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 requires picketers to not threaten, intimidate or physically prevent anyone from entering the University. 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.

If you are coming to Open Day, you might find it easier to park off site or come to the University by public transport and enter the campus on foot, rather than drive.

If you have any questions about arrangements for 31 August, please speak to your supervisor or HR adviser.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Yours sincerely,

Boyd Williams
Director, Human Resources