Academic and professional staff

Background

Our current Federation University Australia Union Collective Agreement (UCA) 2015–2018 Academic and General Staff Employees has a nominal expiry date of 31 March 2018 at which time the agreement provides a 1% wage increase.

The current agreement then continues to operate while bargaining occurs for a new enterprise agreement to support the University and our staff.

FedUni enterprise agreement

We have recently commenced bargaining for the new 2018 FedUni enterprise agreement.

Our University has an exciting few years ahead, as we rise together to meet the challenges in our sector and reinvent ourselves for our future. We are dedicated to making this University a great place for our staff, students and our communities.

The enterprise agreement is the single largest agreement that the University enters into. It will have an unmatched influence in terms of our future operations, staff and our teaching and research. Therefore, it is critical that we all give this process the due consideration and respect that it deserves while being mindful of the fiscal environment we are in.

We will be open and transparent with you throughout this negotiation, and look forward to working with everyone to create a productive enterprise agreement that will help shape a sustainable future for our University.

Our goals for the 2018 enterprise agreement

  • be fair, reasonable, responsible and sustainable;
  • be aligned to our strategic direction;
  • support future sustainability, financially and operationally;
  • have conditions that support improved performance and assist us to react quickly, to be innovative and future-thinking; and
  • reduce industrial relations complexity and operational process complexity, and therefore reduce unnecessary administrative and operational time and costs.

Who represents you in bargaining

Staff have the right to represent themselves or nominate a bargaining representative to participate in the negotiations on their behalf.

If you are a member of a union, your union is the automatic default representative in enterprise bargaining. At FedUni there are three staff unions: the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), United Voice (UV) and the Australian Workers' Union (AWU).

Staff were notified of their representational rights in relation to the upcoming round of bargaining in an all staff email on 23 January 2018, and again in FedNews on 29 January 2018 (download: 29/01/18 - Notice of employee representational rights).

Your engagement

The University encourages all staff to be involved in the enterprise bargaining process. It is important that the University understands staff views and that staff have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion.

Suggestions, questions or feedback about the enterprise bargaining process can be emailed to eb.feedback@federation.edu.au.

If you are a member of a union or have appointed an enterprise bargaining representative, you can also provide them with your feedback.

Bargaining meetings

A series of bargaining meetings between the University and Union are scheduled to productively discuss the University's position and claims put forward by the Union bargaining representatives. We will continue to provide regular brief updates to you on this web page.

3 October 2018

The FedUni bargaining team, the NTEU and AWU met for the twelfth time on Wednesday 3 October to discuss the 2018 Enterprise Agreement for academic and professional staff.

Discussions continue to be positive and productive, and we are pleased to inform you that we have reached in principle agreement on another two clauses including Scholarly Teaching Fellows and Managing Workloads – Academic Employees.

These are very important outcomes for FedUni, the NTEU and AWU and supports our ongoing positive momentum around negotiations for a new agreement that will provide for a strong, secure and more sustainable future for us all.

Meeting Overview – 3 October 2018

The meeting began with a review of future enterprise bargaining dates. FedUni tabled comprehensive responses to the NTEU proposed Scholarly Teaching Fellows and Managing Workloads – Academic Employees clauses.

Discussions were fruitful and both parties worked collegiately to reach in principle agreement on these important clauses.

The NTEU advised FedUni that it would also provide feedback on the revised version of the Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause.

Due to time constraints, discussions on Classification/reclassification will be held at the next meeting on 17 October.

Other matters to be discussed at this next meeting include professional staff hours of work; probation; and the Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause.

Key Meeting Outcomes

  • We have now reached in principle agreement on the Scholarly Teaching Fellows and Managing Workloads – Academic         
    Employees clauses.
  • The NTEU advised it will respond to FedUni’s draft Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause.
  • Commitment to meetings on 17 October, 1 November and 8 November.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding this update, our proposals for the new EA or the bargaining process please continue to contact us via eb.feedback@federation.edu.au.

19 September 2018

The meeting was positive, and we are pleased to let you know that we reached in principle agreement on a new clause for Domestic Violence Leave.

This is a very important outcome which will provide employees experiencing domestic violence access to up to 10 days paid leave per year. The clause will extend these rights to casual employees and also enable a greater range of documentation to be accepted to support an application of this leave.

This increase reaffirms FedUni’s stance against domestic violence and the commitment of all parties to ensuring that staff experiencing domestic violence have the appropriate support they need.

The University remains committed to maintaining this positive momentum in ongoing negotiations for a new agreement that will provide for a strong, secure and more sustainable future for us all. An updated bargaining schedule (pdf, 42kb) has been put forward by the University and is available on the EB website.

Meeting overview – 19 September 2018

The meeting began with an outline of future enterprise bargaining dates and a recap of progress of clauses previously exchanged between the parties requiring further response.

Discussions focused on a number of clauses provided by the NTEU for consideration by FedUni. These included Domestic Violence Leave; Academic Workloads; Uniforms and Protective Clothing. FedUni provided the NTEU with a revised version of the Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause.

FedUni committed to provide feedback on the Academic Workloads and Uniform and Protective Clothing clauses submitted by the NTEU.

It was proposed that outstanding action items be discussed as part of the agenda for the next meeting to be held on 3 October. This includes Scholarly Teaching Fellows; continuation of discussions on Academic Workloads; the Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause; Public Holidays; and Probation.

Key meeting outcomes

  • We have now reached in principle agreement on the Domestic Violence Leave clause.
  • This change and some other changes previously agreed for annual leave have concluded in principle agreement on leave clauses.
  • Tabling of FedUni’s draft Indigenous Employment and Reconciliation clause.
  • NTEU provided several clauses for FedUni to consider, including Academic Workloads and Scholarly Teaching Fellows.
  • FedUni tabled outstanding action items from previous meetings for both FedUni and the NTEU to update at the next meeting.
  • Commitment to meetings on 3 October, 17 October and 1 November and 8 November.

29 August 2018

The meeting began with a recap of action items from our last meeting on 1 August 2018 (meeting 9). Unfortunately, the NTEU advised that they had not had sufficient time to provide a response to FedUni’s proposed changes to the Academic Workloads clause (clause 36). However, this allowed the parties to review all clauses which have been previously discussed and agree to finalise a number of outstanding action items.

The NTEU also advised that they will be making an additional claim as part of the negotiation process, and will provide FedUni with details of a proposed new process to deal with bullying/harassment investigations.

FedUni provided an updated proposal for Scholarly Teaching Fellows (clause 9.5), which incorporated suggested amendments from the NTEU. The parties have moved closer to an agreed position on this clause, however there are still some gaps which the parties will discuss further.

Both parties also committed to a schedule of meetings over September and October. The NTEU will provide the University with a number of clauses for consideration and an agenda for the next meeting to be held on 19 September.

Key meeting outcomes

  • While we are yet to reach agreement on FedUni’s revised proposal for Scholarly Teaching Fellows (clause 9.5), progress has been made and discussions will continue between the parties.
  • FedUni will provide the NTEU with an updated schedule of outstanding action items.
  • The NTEU, AWU and FedUni have agreed to continue discussions on 19 September 2018, with the NTEU undertaking to provide an agenda with a number of clauses for discussion.

1 August 2018

The meeting began with a recap of meeting 8, held on 27 June 2018.  There were a number of proposals on the agenda for discussion, including Academic Workloads (clause 36); Academic Classification (clause 42); and Scholarly Teaching Fellows (clause 9.5).
Key items discussed included:

Academic Classifications, Workloads and Roles (clause 35 to clause 37 and clause 42):  As detailed in the update for Meeting 8 on 27 June 2018, this is a very important matter in bargaining for FedUni and the NTEU, and both parties have put forward carefully considered proposals to ensure this clause adequately provides a fair and adequate allocation of work.

The parties reached in principle agreement on retaining the Academic Classification clause (clause 42 in current Agreement).

Although the parties have not reached agreement on Academic Workloads (clause 36), both FedUni and the NTEU share common ground in recognising the importance of scholarship to teaching and the impact of student loads in determining allocations for teaching and teaching related activities.  The NTEU formally withdrew its proposal for a new academic workloads clause.  The University further explained its proposed clause which is based upon the existing provisions, with changes to ensure appropriate and fair allocation of workload across research (scholarship), teaching and service and to streamline any review processes.  The NTEU are to respond further to the University's proposed clause and will be providing an updated response draft.

Scholarly Teaching Fellows (clause 9.5):  At the previous meeting on 27 June, both FedUni and the NTEU tabled clauses for Scholarly Teaching Fellows, which provide opportunities for FedUni sessional staff and a pathway for academics with excellence in teaching.

FedUni supports the concept of Scholarly Teaching Fellows and proposes to look for reasonable opportunities for Scholarly Teaching Fellow positions on an annual basis, with positions to be advertised internally within the University.  The NTEU provided suggested alternative and/or additional wording to various sub-clauses proposed by FedUni for consideration.

Key meeting outcomes

  • We are yet to reach agreement on FedUni’s revised proposal for Scholarly Teaching Fellows (clause 9.5).  The NTEU has provided suggested amendments, including some additional and revised wording for consideration by FedUni.
  • The NTEU has undertaken to provide a revised version of the Academic Workloads clause (clause 36) which clarifies their position on matters of significant importance and reflecting the negotiation discussions.
  • FedUni provided updated drafts of Academic Casual Employees clause (clause 9.4.1) and General Staff Classifications, Position Descriptions and Reclassification of Positions clauses (clause 43-45) taking into account feedback from previous EA meetings for consideration by the NTEU and AWU.
  • The NTEU, AWU and FedUni have agreed to continue discussions on 29 August 2018.

27 June 2018

FedUni met with the NTEU and AWU on 27 June 2018 to continue discussions about our new EA.  There were a number of proposals on the agenda, key items discussed included:

  • Annual Leave (cl. 48 and cl. 49):  Agreement was reached on wording regarding taking of leave, including excess leave and a technical change to update the calculation of leave loading against ABS figures.
  • Academic Workloads/Roles (cl. 35 to cl. 37): This is a very important matter in bargaining for FedUni and the NTEU, and clauses were tabled by both parties.

    The University’s proposed clause is based upon key existing provisions with some changes to provide for a fair and appropriate allocation of work that takes into account workload and output allocated under workload models and requirements of the clause.  It is proposed that some matters in the current clause be dealt with in University policy, in addition to seeking some capacity for teaching of up to 80% for the small number of staff that have no research allocation.

    The NTEU has proposed an alternate clause, based upon an outcome recently negotiated and approved at Deakin University, with some modifications for FedUni.  The NTEU emphasised the importance of a clause providing for allocation of workload in hours.

    There were productive discussions about the clauses and the parties have committed to further discussion (which is now to occur at the next meeting).

  • Scholarly Teaching Fellows (cl. 9.5):  The University and the NTEU tabled clauses providing for Scholarly Teaching Fellows and further discussion will occur at the next meeting.  These clauses provide opportunities for FedUni sessional staff and provide a pathway for academics with excellence in teaching.
  • Status Report: We discussed a summary of outcomes to date, including matters requiring further discussion and actions that needed to be taken to progress those matters.

Snapshot of previous meetings and progress

In previous meetings (April - July) the negotiating teams have tabled and discussed proposals for a number of important aspects of the new EA.  This includes discussions regarding:

  • Domestic violence leave (including to extend to casual employees and make accessing the leave easier)
  • TOIL (which the parties are still substantively discussing)
  • Senior staff PBCs (substantive agreement)
  • Disputes procedure (with streamlined process proposed)
  • Annual leave (substantive agreement)
  • Probation (streamlined process proposed)
  • University holidays and closedown (clarification and compliance issues being reviewed)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (seeking simplification of clause, whilst maintaining commitments underpinned by Indigenous employment strategy)
  • Modes of employment (with proposals regarding fixed-term categories and consolidation of severance pay provisions)
  • Performance management, misconduct and disciplinary action (proposed streamlined process based upon natural justice and procedural fairness with clear steps, access to disputes procedure and other protections)
  • General staff reclassification (with streamlined processes proposed, whilst maintaining a joint classification review committee)
  • Committees (proposed reduction in number of historical committees, given other protections and efficiencies)
  • Financial briefing (including preliminary discussion regarding salary issues)
  • Professional staff hours (including a broader span for some employees proposed.  Further discussions to occur)

21 March 2018

The most recent enterprise bargaining meeting between the University and representatives of the NTEU and AWU was held on 21 March at the SMB Campus.

To ensure that the enterprise agreement is fair, reasonable, responsible and sustainable, a schedule was set around fortnightly and weekly meetings, as well as a suggested list of topics/clauses to be discussed at each meeting.

Detailed discussions were held during this meeting regarding necessary clause changes to TOIL, domestic violence leave, apprentices and trainees, uniforms, supplied accommodation/housing and resolving workplace disputes.

The FedUni enterprise agreement team is hopeful that the domestic violence leave clause can be agreed to in the coming weeks.  Further consideration of the views of the University, NTEU and AWU is needed prior to an agreement being reached for the other clauses discussed.

The next enterprise bargaining meeting is scheduled for 11 April at the SMB Campus.

7 March 2018

FedUni is facing a constrained financial environment and the changes to federal government funding last year have compounded the challenges we face.

We acknowledged that the enterprise agreement (EA) is a key part of our environment and that we need to ensure that conditions in the new 2018 enterprise agreement are adaptable, performance focused, simpler and less administratively burdensome. This is necessary to ensure our future sustainability, financially and operationally and continue to modernise and adapt quickly.

The University outlined key clauses that are important for inclusion in the new EA. The conditions sought by the University involve a number of changes, but are important for the future success and sustainability of the University. They are also substantively consistent with conditions agreed to by the NTEU and bargaining parties at other universities and should be adopted at Federation University Australia.

Download: the University’s priorities (pdf, 55kb)

The unions provided the University with their log of claims. The unions are consolidating some of the log of claims provided and they will be included here once received.

Download: the NTEU's log of claims (pdf, 134kb)

The claims include 15% wage increases over three years and a number of increased restrictions on how the University and staff perform work. The University expressed concern that a number of these claims would be untenable and create further financial hardship for the University and weaken its ability to meet future challenges.

We recognise and acknowledge the dedication and hard work of our staff. We must all work together to ensure terms and conditions are fair, reasonable and sustainable, with consideration of the fiscal environment we are in.

Next meeting date

The next bargaining meeting is scheduled for 21 March 2018. Any questions or comments can be emailed to eb.feedback@federation.edu.au.