5 May 2017 | View as pdf

TO: QTU MEMBERS IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND

EB update 

We hope you remained safe during the dreadful weather and flooding our state has recently endured and that you enjoyed a well-deserved Easter break.

Progress to date

In the CQU Newsflash dated 28 March we outlined to members the reasons why we declined to participate in single bargaining unit (SBU) negotiations on 27 and 28 March being an incorrect understanding CQU management have of the interaction between the copied award and the copied instrument. Their stated position was one which could have seen large scale erosion of award entitlements. We postponed bargaining in order to seek legal advice and weigh up our options including lodging a dispute with the Fair Work Commission.

However an unexpected opportunity arose for the SBU to meet on Monday 3 April, and while there was not an agreed resolution to the interaction issue, management was willing to consider issues arising from the copied award. On this basis the union determined to participate in the full day SBU on 3 April, and VET was the focus.

THE QTU/AEU(Q) were able to raise all of copied award issues identified, and felt management was willing to consider the issues raised. This saw a significant number of award issues resolved, including:

  • provisions related to the 12 month limit on contract employment for VET educators and the requirement that extension requires union agreement, 
  • a definition of “approved teaching qualification” has been included, 
  • provisions pertaining to part time employment, and 
  • LVTs are back in, as is public holiday pay.

We are yet to resolve, but management have indicated they will consider, provisions regarding casual rates of pay, Industrial Relations Education leave, incidental and peripheral tasks and how proposed changes to policy capturing pre-transfer directive entitlements will be dealt with.

This builds on the progress made last SBU, where it was agreed to:

  • Remove the employers draft provisions prohibiting LVTs being paid overtime, 
  • remove the requirement for timesheets unless overtime is being claimed, and
  • include better provisions re surrogacy leave.

As such the union has determined to hold off on lodging the dispute. It has been made clear to the SBU that the union does not consider the specific issue resolved and will revisit it if need be.

Outstanding issues

The Union continues to pursue the securing of all existing conditions in a new certified agreement.

The main issues the QTU/AEU(Q) is negotiating on behalf of CQU VET educators are proposed changes to:

  • NAT – shifting 2 weeks of it to leave, renaming it Teacher Preparation Time and a tightening of the conditions; 
  • the span of hours
  • increase minimum compulsory teaching time to 23 hours per week (up from the existing 21 minimum hours before TOIL applies) and 
  • a shift to make all 36.25 hours accountable, (rather than the existing arrangement of 32 accountable hours leaving the remaining 4.25 hours to the educators’ discretion.)

As the proposals re working hours will deliver productivity gains, they must be considered in the context of the pay offer. Management’s draft proposes increases of 1.25% per annum for 4 years. This is unacceptable. Central Queensland University has taken on the responsibility of being the Public Provider and as such should ensure your working conditions and salary are similar to those of the other public provider.

The SBU hasn’t yet discussed pay increases in any depth – which is fairly typical of other negotiations we’ve been involved in. Typically pay is discussed towards the end of negotiations. We will keep members updates once those discussions have been had.

The latest iteration of management’s draft is available to you on StaffNet and members are encouraged to read through the document. It is important that members understand what it is that management is proposing.

Next steps

In order to progress matters the SBU will next meet formally for a week long lock down commencing Monday 8 May. The union will continue to keep members informed as to progress.

Upon conclusion of negotiations members will have the opportunity to vote for acceptance of the certified agreement both in a QTU run ballot as per our rules and in one run by the employer per FWC requirements.

Feedback on the current draft can be sent to tafe@qtu.asn.au.


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