Apr 4, 2013

Summary of Changes to your Draft “In Principle” Agreement

Enterprise_Agreement_2013_to_2016 in principle agreement (PDF)

All changes are subject to approval by CPSU Members employed at Charles Sturt University. Only CPSU members employed at this University can tell your Bargaining Reps to go back and make changes. Join your CPSU Today to have your say!

This Agreement will last beyond the life of any new Federal Government with a nominal expiry date of the end of 2016.

Salary Increases in this proposed Agreement will be;

1.5% in April 2013 (Paid)    1.4% in December 2013

3% in December 2014       

3% in December 2015       

3% in December 2016

And a new Allowance for Health and Safety Representatives of $1184 per year, increasing in line with salaries.

Leave Conditions

Sick Leave and Carer’s Leave is now called Personal Leave. These were the same block of leave entitlements so combing them made sense. Who you can take Carer’s Leave for has also been extended to include people who you have a “Significant caring responsibility for”.

Parental Leave of 20 weeks will be made available to the primary carer if they are employed by CSU. This is regardless of gender, or how the new born is brought into this world. In addition to this, 6 weeks of Parental Leave is exclusively reserved for the birth mother when employed by CSU. This ensures that there is adequate time to recover while genuine choice can be made about who may be the primary carer for the new child.

Defence Force Leave has been extended to 14 weeks. The first 2 weeks on full pay remain, with the extra 12 weeks being top up pay. This supports the extra training requirements that the ADF requires from their Reserve Forces and the financial support given to employers for their staff to be on leave to attend.

Special Leave which includes Compassionate Leave, or Bereavement Leave has been added to. This allows for an extra 2 days of Compassionate Leave for every occasion if your Special Leave has been used up. Compassionate Leave is for a death of a close family member, or life threatening illness or accident.

Domestic Violence Clause has now been included to allow staff to use Personal Leave and Special Leave to help get through a difficult time. While we didn’t get a full Domestic Violence clause in the Agreement itself, the University has proposed an excellent Domestic Violence Policy which is one of the best we have seen, and contains all the recommended support mechanisms for staff who may be experiencing Domestic or Family Violence.

Long Service Leave will be changed after a few months to be calculated in “working days” and not “calendar days”. This has caused a lot of confusion for many staff as 2 days out of every 7 “calendar days” of Long Service Leave is unpaid leave for weekends. This is a historic weirdness that needs to be fixed up, and will be during the early life of the Agreement. You will not lose any entitlement to paid Long Service Leave. The only change will be the deduction of unpaid Long Service Leave for weekends!

Also for LSL, is the right for you to nominate when you will take long service leave, with 6 months’ notice. This cannot be refused by management at all, unless the application is for less than 15 working days AND the refusal is reasonable because it is a critical work period. Applications over 15 working days cannot be refused when you give 6 months’ notice.

And more for Long Service Leave, is the right to take up to 2 months leave without pay. This fixes up an anomaly from the current Agreement which was meant to allow this, but was not specific enough to be properly implemented. This allows you to in effect take Long Service Leave at half pay, no loss of leave accrual or gap in recognition of service.

Job Security

A range of changes have been made to help improve the job security of Professional Staff.

Increased right to be redeployed into vacant positions, with priority consideration for people seeking redeployment, and the inclusion of possible training when seeking to meet the essential criteria, allowing greater chance of staying employed. There is also a new internal list for secondments to help Professional Staff develop skills through short term secondments.

Early notification of change management meetings, and notice to the CPSU to allow greater involvement and support for members.

The definition of “significant change” has been expanded to ensure that staff have more say on possible changes to the workplace.

For staff who choose an early redundancy, the additional 8 weeks will be available, regardless of how long they’ve worked for CSU.

Improved casual conversion with casuals being eligible to apply for conversion after 2 years, regardless of their weekly hours.

We’ve also had the ability for the University to stand down Professional Staff without any pay removed, except in circumstances where it would otherwise be summary dismissal. This is a great outcome as being stood down without pay for an investigation can often be the same as instant dismissal for CPSU members.

Flexible Working Scheme

The high level of flex time being accrued by Professional Staff and how this is sometimes lost is concerning. Every single hour Professional Staff work should be compensated by either money or time off where appropriate. This is unique for us, as academics are paid for their appointment and do not get overtime, penalty rates or flex time.

We now have the right to have flex time paid out, even if you move job, resign or become redundant. This helps protect your right to be compensated for every hour you work. If you accrue over 56 hours of flex time, and are unable to take this time off, then ask to have this paid to ensure you don’t do unpaid work.

 

Measures to Address Bullying

While this is a difficult issue to address in an enterprise agreement, the University is committed to addressing bullying in the workplace, and is rolling out a training program which we strongly suggest all staff get involved in. Some changes have been made in the Agreement, including statements of how staff should treat each other, and a process making it clear how managers should deal with complaints.

On Call, Call Back and Annualisation of Hours

These changes are a little complex. The On Call allowance when provided has been at 33% of the current wage, per hour. This is much higher than anywhere else. UTS as an example is 2% of level 7 per hour. Most people do not receive the On Call allowance.

Call Back rates that are Annualised into a staff member’s salary is what most people receive. This provides an estimated number of times that a staff member can be called back into work in any one year, an included in the base annual salary. This flows onto all other entitlements, including leave, superannuation, overtime, annual leave loading etc. Staff who are on this often think they are “on call” but are technically not as they do not receive the on call allowance.

Where staff have an annualised rate of pay, they must not be disadvantaged as a result. We can review the annualised rate if there are problems with how its being used. More details about this will be published to staff in coming months.

Other Changes

Re-wording of General to become Professional/General Staff

Hours of Work, Span of Hour etc updated to reflect the standard 35 hour week

Tea breaks to be held nearby for outdoor workers

Able to cash out annual leave using an Individual Flexibility Agreement, where there’s a financial hardship

A central fund for staff development of around $200,000 which equates to around 0.1% of staff income. This does not replace the current staff training funds that are administered locally for Professional Staff.

And alot of other small technical changes.

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