12 May 2017
[open as pdf]

TO: QTU MEMBERS IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND

EB update

As advised in last week’s Newsflash, the single bargaining unit reconvened this week for a big push towards resolution. Parties dedicated significant amounts of time – full days – to working towards an outcome that works for all categories of employees and the ongoing success of the university.

Progress in negotiations

Significant progress has been made in keeping the draft provisions of the agreement, as they apply to VET educators, consistent with existing entitlements – one of our top priorities in these negotiations. Compared to version 1 of the draft agreement, the current version is a vast improvement.

The university has proposed a change to non-attendance time (NAT) whereby annual leave will be increased by two weeks and NAT to three weeks. There are also some different conditions attached to NAT re: accessibility. However, this is a step forward in that it recognises NAT as leave, despite previous suggestions by TAFE Queensland that it was not.

Additionally, the university is seeking accountability measures for VET educators for attendance on campus, or engagement in related duties, for the full 36.25 hours/week, rather than the current 32 hours/week with the use of remaining 4.25 hours being at the VET educator’s discretion.

Salary increases

The QTU continues to maintain a view that TAFE teachers and tutors in CQU should receive the same remuneration as their colleagues in TAFE Queensland. The current offer, though greater than the previous 1.25 per cent offered by management, still does not deliver this parity.

The university seeks a pay increase that will apply equally to all staff, regardless of whether they are VET educators, academics or professional staff. This “one size fits all” approach ignores the different history of the VET educators, and the disproportionate salary increases that CQU staff members have received since the time of the merge.

Since mid-2014, VET educators have received only 2 per cent, while academics and professional staff have received 10 per cent. Against that backdrop, a uniform salary increase is not acceptable.

Separate agreement

The QTU retains the view that a separate agreement for VET educators at this time is preferable, however if pay parity with TAFE and broad retention of existing entitlements is achieved, we will consider a single agreement. To do so is the fastest route to you receiving a pay-rise.

Actions to be taken by QTU members at CQU

Matters that continue to be at issue in the negotiations include:

  • pay (the current offer, though improved, is insufficient to achieve parity in salaries with those members employed by TAFE Queensland)
  • single vs separate agreement (the university continues to persist in its desire for a single agreement)
  • the acceptability (or otherwise) of the proposed changes to NAT 
  • the acceptability (or otherwise) of being accountable to the university for 36.25 hours/week rather than 32. 

The draft agreement is available to view on StaffNet, and feedback regarding the issues outlined above should be sent to: tafe@qtu.asn.au

Where to from here?

Any agreement will, of course, need to be considered in its entirety.

Currently, the views of members are clear and the QTU will not trade conditions or concede to a single agreement to secure a pay-rise that will keep the salaries of members in CQU behind your TAFE Queensland colleagues. However, should counter proposals be made that may address these issues, the Union will work with members on the acceptability or otherwise of these proposals.

Thank you to the members who have provided feedback on the draft agreement; please keep it coming in.

These are complex matters, and it helps the bargaining team to know which issues are most significant to the majority of members.

No course of action will receive unanimous support from our members; so as a democratic union your views are vital. The more we know, the better we can represent you.


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union