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

20 May 2013

Last week there was one enterprise bargaining meeting, and I am writing to provide you with an update.

Scholarly Teaching Fellows (STFs): It emerged there was a misunderstanding in relation to the NTEU's proposal for how many of these new positions should be funded under the new Enterprise Agreement (EA). The NTEU has proposed 36 STFs for the first year of the agreement, 72 for the second year, then 107 for each successive year (ie the numbers in the NTEU proposal are non-cumulative). However, the University has not agreed to these numbers.

In addition:

  • We discussed our request that STFs are referred to at the outset as fixed-term rather than continuing appointments. The NTEU disagrees with this.
  • All parties agree that incumbents would serve an initial probation period of two years plus a confirmation period of three years (on the basis that all other academic positions would be on a one-year probation plus a four-year confirmation period).
  • We proposed that relevant work for STF incumbents could include work previously performed by staff members made redundant. The NTEU disagrees with this.
  • We stressed that any promotion of STFs would be subject to the decision of the University's promotion panel.

Early Career Development Fellowships (ECDFs): The number of ECDFs remains an outstanding issue. The NTEU has said it will consider the University's proposal to widen the potential pool to include fixed-term as well as casual staff.

Teaching-focused roles (TFRs): We do not accept the claim for a specific "research account" for TFRs. Nevertheless, all parties are trying to consider ways to ensure that ECDFs and TFRs are supported to enhance their research achievements.

Academic workloads: Most of the discussion centred on 40:40:20 and the provision of research mentoring for early-career staff and staff needing to rekindle their research.

Performance management: We emphasised our position of a one-step performance improvement plan (PIP) process. The NTEU will review again our proposed clause tabled on 17 April 2013, and this issue will be a key focus for tomorrow's meeting.

On other matters discussed this week, the University agreed to the CPSU's proposal regarding the purchase of public transport tickets (to be repaid by staff) and non-discrimination against fixed-term staff.

I will keep you updated on further progress.

Yours sincerely

Ann Brewer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Management)