Message from the Director, Human Resources: industrial action on 26 and 27 March

22 March 2013

The NTEU and CPSU have given notice that their members will be taking strike action for a 48-hour period, commencing at 12am on Tuesday 26 March 2013.

Business as usual

The University will be open for business and scheduled activities and services will continue as usual on 26 and 27 March.

Please remember that 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' (ie 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, any industrial action you take will be unlawful.

If you plan to take industrial action and you are scheduled to teach on 26 and/or 27 March, please 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.

Staff who do not perform their usual duties on 26 and/or 27 March, including staff who cancel classes, will be considered to be taking industrial action, unless they are absent from duty on approved leave.

Deduction of pay for industrial action

As previously explained, it is unlawful under the Fair Work Act for the University to pay staff who engage in 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 and you take, or plan to take, industrial action on 26 and/or 27 March, 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 Tuesday 2 April 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 who do not take or plan to take industrial action are not required to notify the University.
  • Casual employees or Affiliates are also not required to notify the University.

Picket lines

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

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 people not to cross the picket line. The protocol 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.

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.

If you have any questions about arrangements for 26/27 March, please speak to your supervisor or HR Adviser.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Boyd Williams

Director, Human Resources