Feb 18, 2013

Charles Sturt University Negotiations Update No. 2

The CPSU Bargaining Team met with the University, United Voice and the NTEU Wednesday and Thursday 13/14 February.


We discussed a range of Leave matters that form Part 9 of the Enterprise Agreement, submitted a joint-draft Resource Agreement to ensure your negotiators have the time and resources to negotiate for you, and to consult with you as needed. We also made a comprehensive request for information and data to see how the University is progressing, in particular a range of matters which we can use to evaluate a range of criteria to support increased pay rises for all Professional General Staff.


Name Change – The feedback we received regarding the name change showed a fairly evenly equal preference for General Staff and Professional Staff, with the combined value just over 50% . It seems that while views were greatly diverse, and there was no clear preference, the most inclusive term ends up being “Professional General Staff”.


This maintains our “General Staff” referencing which remains important to many of us, while adding the term “Professional”. All of us do our work in a professional manner, and our diversity continues to grow with more and more workers considering themselves to be “Professionals” for many different reasons. The choice CSU General Staff have made is to now be called “Professional General Staff”.  Please see the attached results for a snapshot of comments and results.

CSU Name Change Survey

The CPSU, United Voice and NTEU lodged a joint claim for Domestic Violence Leave. This clause is based on significant research undertaken by the Domestic Violence Clearing House at UNSW for requirements in Enterprise Agreements. The CPSU won the first Domestic Violence Leave clause at UNSW and this Clause ensures that the key principles required are met to ensure staff have the support needed. The University Executive will consider our claim and respond next meeting. The CPSU is hopeful that the Executive support this Clause. We have offered to arrange a meeting with the Clearing House staff if required, to understand better the reasons these terms must be in an Enterprise Agreement and not just policies.


Personal Leave has been well considered, which combines Sick Leave and Carers’ Leave. This was logical as Carers’ Leave just referenced Sick Leave anyway. We did ask for an broadened definition of whom Carers’ leave can be used for, and the University was fairly supportive. Details to be confirmed next meeting.


Annual Leave Loading  – we were asked if there was any way members would be willing to trade in the 17.5% Leave Loading, and the University was told that without a very significant benefit to members it would remain a very strong NO! The University may come back with a proposal but the final decision will always be CPSU Members’ to make.


Long Service Leave –  The University did not agree to one of the Union’s claims to increase the LSL to 3 months at 10 years. Across the 15 year period, CSU staff have the same averaged entitlement that most other University’s staff have. The University will consider earlier access to pro-rata LSL between 5 years of service and 10 years. They will respond at the next meeting. We did request to convert the “calendar days” to “working days” as the current method of calculating LSL is confusing to many staff. Calendar days included weekends, so 28 days of LSL is actually only 20 working days, and 8 weekend days. These accrue as weekend days and are used as each 5 days of LSL are taken. TO bring this in line with Annual Leave, and to clear up the confusion, the University is strongly considering agreeing to the change. They will respond at the next meeting.


Parental Leave – The number of claims from the Unions were well considered by the University representatives. A short summary of the combined claims are: reduce/remove the 40 week eligibility period; increase adoption leave, increase parental leave to 36 weeks, and provide free child care or rebates for child care costs.

The Uni’s representative reaction was mostly a no, its too costly. But there was some movement on a few issues. They did suggest they could agree to;

  • increasing adoption leave for children over 2, from 14 weeks to 20 weeks
  • consider a pro-rata amount of parental leave for new staff between 20 weeks to the 40 week eligibility period
  • increase the amount of leave parents can take together from 1 week to 2 weeks.

This is a good start, and we’ll see how this progresses in the next  meeting


Compassionate Leave – Special Leave

The CPSU did put a claim in for Compassionate leave to ensure the Agreement at least met the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act (plus a little more as CSU is/should be a good employer!) The removal of bereavement leave from special leave was strongly rejected but they will strongly consider amending Special Leave to improve bereavement / compassionate leave as discussed.

This is likely to extend bereavement leave to when a family member / household member is in a life threatening condition from an accident or illness, and provide an unlimited number of additional periods of bereavement / compassionate leave after special leave is used up. This would meet the National Employment Standards, and hopefully provide a little better (such as 3-5 days per occasion, and access to other leave, not just 2 days per occasion).


Leave Without Pay

Discussion was had around the recognition of prior service where staff have had long periods of LWOP or long periods between contracts. The University indicated they already do this, but were agreeable for this to be explicit in the LWOP clause. The actual wording will be considered at the next meeting.


Defence Force Leave

The CPSU claimed increased paid Defence Force Leave as a ‘top up pay’ after the first 2 weeks paid leave is used. The University can be paid $1,325 per week for staff who are on leave, and this should be used to ensure CSU staff don’t lose their usual salary. The University representatives will strongly consider the proposal


Public Holidays

The claim was made for paid Christmas Shutdown Leave. This was not rejected, but not agreed to either. It was made clear that any claim would need to incorporate public holiday such as the August Bank Holiday. This matter will be discussed further, at a later stage.


Jury and Witness Service Leave

There were no changes requested by any of the Unions or University, this clause is now “agreed in principle” pending the final Agreement.


There was a lot of discussion around Bullying in the workplace. The University is aware of a range of matters and are currently developing a workplace culture program to help improve the CSU workplace experience. They will seriously consider additional tools discussed to help address and prevent workplace bullying and improve workplace respect.



Do you want an anonymous phone line where you can report work areas affected by bullying?


What other prevention methods do you think CSU could consider?


Would you be willing to challenge someone who does bullying style conduct to a colleague?


Please respond by email to John Jones jjones@csu.edu.au Blake Stephens  bstephens@psa.asn.au or Wayne Marr wmarr@csu.edu.au




Part 9 – Leave Arrangements



Clause Agreed In Principle?
Domestic Violence Leave Will check with the University Executive
Personal Leave Nearly – final wording to be considered
Annual Leave Agreed In Principle – No Change
Annual Leave Loading Considering Alternative
Long Service Leave CSU to consider 5 year access, and moving from calendar days to working days
Parental Leave Still being negotiated – Increased leave for adoptions of children over 2, and allowing 2 weeks off together.
Special Leave Still being discussed – Mutual support for increasing “Compassionate Special Leave”
Defence Force Leave Increases as “top up pay” to be considered
Leave With Out Pay (LWOP) Nearly agreed – confirming wording around recognition of previous CSU service
Public Holidays & Christmas Closedown Not yet agreed –  but considering
Jury and Witness Leave Agreed in Principle – No Change

on  P.S  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for real time updates to the negotiations @ http://www.facebook.com/CPSU.CSU.


Wayne Marr – Negotiation team delegate, wmarr@csu.edu.auJohn Jones – Negotiation team delegate, jjones@csu.edu.au Nathan Bradshaw – Organiser, nbradshaw@psa.asn.au      

Blake Stephens – Industrial Officer, bstephens@psa.asn.au


To join the CPSU download a membership form or to change to Direct Debit: https://membership.psa.asn.au



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