Dec 15, 2017

CPSU NSW e-News – December 2017

CPSU NSW e-News – December 2017 (PDF version)

“Change the Rules” campaign continues to grow

A Change the Rules rally was on 16 November with CPSU NSW, PSA and other unions to raise awareness of the need for fundamental changes to make the system fairer for working Australians.

NSW Industrial Relations laws need to change

The NSW Government has effectively prohibited running a “work value” case based purely on what the real value of the employee’s work is.

  • Because SAS Staff are overwhelmingly women, and have had a long history of being paid less than what the PSA (CPSU NSW) believes our members are worth your Union is claiming improved pay and career paths through pay equity laws.
  • The Public Service Association of NSW (all members of CPSU NSW are also members of the PSA) is running a Pay Equity case for School Administrative and Support Staff working in our public schools.
  • You can support the Pay Equity Case for SAS Staff by asking your colleagues to JOIN the CPSU NSW (PSA).


Federal industrial action laws need to change

A recent High Court Case has severely limited how workers can take industrial action. If a union makes any mistakes in relation to complying with a Commission Order, then all industrial action for that whole period of negotiations for a new enterprise agreement will now be illegal.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said, “Even if you make a small mistake and it gets found out years later you can be opened up to being sued. We think this shows our industrial laws are fundamentally broken and tips the power even further in favour of employers. There is urgent change that is needed.”


University of NSW in (another) asbestos scare

The CFMEU and Seven News are reporting the Biosciences building contains asbestos which is being transported across Sydney. Long-term members at UNSW should not be surprised at many of the old buildings are known to contain asbestos. The university has been aware of the asbestos risks for decades and CPSU NSW delegates and members have been heavily involved in working with the university to minimise these risks.

You can see the Seven News report HERE.


Other news affecting CPSU NSW members

CPSU NSW (and the PSA of NSW) represents more than 36,000 members in NSW alone. This includes employees of State Owned Corporations, General Staff in TAFE, School Administrative and Support Staff in public schools and prison officers.

One of the privatised prisons called Parklea is staffed by CPSU NSW members, and there a growing number of significant issues affecting our members. A parliamentary enquiry has been established to look into it.


Enterprise bargaining – end of 2017

Preparation for negotiations is happening at University of NSW, Macquarie University, Southern Cross University and University of Wollongong with formal negotiations yet to commence

University of Sydney – finalised

CPSU NSW achievements include:

  • Maternity leave will be available for the Primary Carer, regardless of gender. Paid leave is provided at one week per month of service up to first year; 14 weeks during second year of service; or 22 weeks during third and subsequent years of service.
  • Redeployment periods of nine months for HEO Levels 1-7, available until 31 December 2019 after which it returns to the current 12 weeks
  • Pay rises of 2.1 per cent a year paid on 30 June 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and
  • $500 uplift in salary rates for HEO Levels 1-6
  • $500 sign-on bonus (pro rate for part time) for all ongoing and fixed term employees
  • Seventeen per cent superannuation for all fixed term employees, implemented in stages during the agreement
  • Improvements to flexible working arrangements and management of workloads

Western Sydney University – Finalised

  • Two years of salary maintenance for staff who elect to be redeployed to 1 HEW position lower
  • Increased redeployment to 20 weeks for HEW Levels 1-6
  • 17 per cent superannuation for all fixed term employees from date of commencement, to start 2019
  • $500 sign-on bonus before Christmas 2017; and 0.1 per cent administrative pay rise in January 2018
  • Two per cent a year paid in March for four years; and $500 sign-off bonus in December 2020
  • No loss of entitlements and nothing moved to policy, in the face of ongoing attempts by WSU for slash and burn most conditions
  • Improved management of workloads
  • An additional six weeks of partner leave
  • Ten days paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave
  • An end to broadbanding HEW Levels.

Charles Sturt University

Bargaining at CSU has failed to progress despite efforts to address differences over academic workloads, academic casual conversion, indigenous employment, redeployment and the expiry date of any future enterprise agreement.

The parties met again for a full day bargaining session on Monday, 27 November but were unable to substantially progress discussions on key stumbling blocks, with CSU indicating the University may put an offer directly to staff without the endorsement of all bargaining representatives.

In light of the distance between the university and academic union representatives in relation to those outstanding matters, the CPSU has urged the Vice Chancellor to pay an immediate administrative increase in salaries as any settlement appears unlikely prior to at least February 2018.

The last union won increase was paid by the university prior to Christmas in 2016.

University of New England

After nine Professional Staff bargaining meetings, CPSU NSW is frustrated to be mired in preliminary discussions around principles, rather than engaging constructively with clauses.

So far we have discussed: Unsatisfactory Performance, Misconduct/Serious Misconduct, Grievance Resolution, Fixed Term categories, Long Service Leave, Performance Planning, Development & Review, and Domestic Violence Leave.

We have made some headway in identifying nine non-contentious clauses to be rolled over with minimal changes.

Bargaining will recommence in February 2018.

Australian Catholic University

The first meeting was held in mid-November and the university made an offer to roll over the agreement with a 1.7 per cent pay rise. This was rejected as the unions are seeking some improvements, and ACU is seeking to remove a number of conditions such as Misconduct Committees.

ACU is not seeking widespread cuts or reductions so far, and negotiations on academic workloads is taking up a lot of time. Negotiations will continue early next year.

University of Technology, Sydney

The CPSU has been negotiating with UTS since 29 August 2017.

The VC, Anne Dwyer has attended our last two bargaining meetings and the process has now picked up pace.

UTS have just given staff a one per cent administrative pay rise as the bargaining continues.

The NTEU appear to have reached an “in principle” agreement with UTS, letting go of their five per cent per annum salary increase to one per cent every six months.

The CPSU is reconsidering its position on a wage increase and to date have not agreed to:

  • One per cent per six months (two per cent per annum)
  • Four-year agreement
  • Accepting an unchanged Misconduct clause. (The CPSU wants this changed to allow a fairer process.)
  • The CPSU also wanted a “Working from Home” clause, but as yet the university’s “policy” has not been finalised or presented to the bargaining team. We are keeping our clause on the table until such time as the policy is presented to us.

Some positive aspects of bargaining are:

  • The “Objectives of Agreement” have been retained
  • There will be no joint agreement for Professional Staff and Academics
  • Twenty days’ paid Domestic Violence Leave and the removal of evidence requirements
  • Parental Leave changed to the primary carer (as opposed to the mother only) and if needed, a transfer to a “safer” position
  • Also adding appointments for pre and post adoption appointments to Parental Leave
  • Updating Individual Flexibility Agreements to reflect the FWC model term
  • NAIDOC Cultural leave increased from one day to five days
  • Student interns will now be paid under the EBA at HEW Level 1. Descriptors yet to be defined
  • Superannuation extended to all fixed term staff from January 1, 2020
  • Ten days’ paid Trade Union training Leave
  • A joint consultative meeting held twice a year with unions regarding the implementation of the agreement. (This was a sticking point for both unions as there is presently no consultative forum for unions and management at UTS.)
  • UTS agreed to three consecutive days without a medical certificate in the Sick Leave clause. They originally wanted more accountability.

UTS is also considering the consolidation of existing rights and entitlements into a single clause on Flexible Work.

The Bargaining team is yet to run this by our members for their feedback.


Indigenous flag dot painting small