Our employment conditions at CSU are governed by documents called “Enterprise Agreements”. They typically last 3-4 years. When they expire, union members enter a period of “Enterprise Bargaining”. We put forward a series of proposals to improve our working conditions and then appoint representatives to negotiate them with CSU management.
Members then campaign to raise awareness and support for what we’re proposing to help us convince management.
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What improvements are NTEU members proposing?
This is what we are proposing this time:
A fair pay rise
With annual inflation having risen above 7% in Australia during 2022 and 2023, NTEU members are seeking the greater of a 15% pay increase calculated from the expiry of our previous agreement or CPI + 1.5% pa.
This is a fair proposal given the increased costs of living and the incredible hard work of CSU staff who’ve been faced with work intensification and job cuts over the past few years. We’ve had low pay rises at CSU over recent years, including only a 2% pay increase and the one-off financial incentive for voting to delay Enterprise Bargaining at the end of 2021.
CSU had operating surpluses for least 20 consecutive years from 2002 to 2021 and has accumulated more than $500 million in cash and other financial assets. Management can afford to give pay rises that ensure CSU staff can deal with cost of living pressures. Doing so will be an investment that ensures the University is an attractive employer for current and prospective staff.
Job security for ALL staff, including casuals
- Redundancy only when work performed in the position is no longer required to be performed by anyone.
- A limit of one workplace change process affecting your position during the life of the agreement.
- A right for fixed-term staff to convert to permanent employment after three years’ continuous service or two successive contracts.
- Requirement to create new continuing academic positions where casual or fixed-term staff have collectively performed more than 1035 hours of teaching for two consecutive years.
Professional staff workloads
- Protections against work intensification as a result of organisational change.
- Protections against excessive work, uncompensated overtime and unmanageable workload spikes.
- Improved Flexible Working Hours and Higher Duties Allowance provisions.
- Workload allocation for the majority of continuing and fixed-term academics to be 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% service.
- Collegially developed workload allocation policies must be approved by affected academic staff, not just by the Head of School.
- Effective hours-linked caps on academic workloads established by an accurate estimate of the actual time taken to undertake activities.
- An allowance in all casual contracts to enable staff to maintain currency with their discipline areas.
- During a period of leave, for staff to be relieved of the actual work they would have performed if they were at work.
A more inclusive workplace
- Improved leave entitlements, including paid infectious diseases leave, gender affirmation leave and paid sick leave for casuals.
- Remote work provisions, enhanced rights to work from home and the right to disconnect from CSU systems outside work hours.
- A stronger First Nations jobs target and improved language and cultural load allowances for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
- A strengthened definition of academic freedom and staff freedoms to engage in public debate, including on the operation and governance of the University.
What is CSU management proposing?
Unfortunately, instead of making things better, CSU management is making proposals we think will take our working conditions backwards. While these proposals are still under discussion in bargaining, to date they include:
CSU management's proposals
- Removing protections in workplace reorganisation that ensure an employee would continue to hold their position if the duties have not significantly changed.
- Removing the Job Classification Advisory Committee so that job reclassification applications by general and professional staff would be determined by management without staff or union input.
- Although management has not tabled an academic workloads clause in negotiations, they are instead focussing on a model being developed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), and on NTEU analysis so far we have significant concerns that it would make things worse for many staff.