Message from the HR Director: industrial action on 20 August

16 August 2013

The NTEU and CPSU have given notice that their members will be taking strike action on Tuesday 20 August 2013.

Business as usual

The University will be open for business and scheduled activities and services will continue as usual on 20 August.

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' industrial action. If you plan to take industrial action and you are scheduled to teach on 20 August, 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 20 August, 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 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 and you take, or plan to take, industrial action on 20 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 from Monday 19 August and by no later than 5pm on Friday 23 August 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 again be picketing the main entrances to campus.

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 20 August, please speak to your supervisor or HR adviser.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Boyd Williams

Director, Human Resources