16 June 2017
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CQU EB update

Following a brief hiatus, the Central Queensland University (CQU) SBU has met again for a full two days of negotiations. Overall, the negotiations have been constructive.

The conversation commenced with the recent Federal Budget. While this contained some sobering financial information, the full impact will be decided on the passage of the relevant bills through the Senate. The university is forecasting the likely impact and has been revising its position for the next three years.

CQU has proceeded with a revised wages offer to all staff of five increases of 2 per cent over the life of the agreement (2 per cent on signing and a further 2 per cent per annum on the first of July from 2018 onward). In addition to this, VET educators have been offered an upfront 2.5 per cent salary adjustment in order to maintain parity with colleagues working for the public provider. This takes into account that VET educators have not received a pay increase since 2015. The offer would absorb the locality allowance currently paid to VET educators. This means that TAFE Queensland and CQU VET educators would have parity in salary at the end of the TAFE Queensland agreement, and CQU members would have a further three guaranteed pay increases beyond that point.

While there is good news on the pay front, CQU will not move from a single agreement for all employees. It has also rejected parity with the UniSuper 17 per cent rate or the relaxing of choice of fund.

The AEUQ/QTU has rejected CQU’s position that VET educators should undertake a compulsory 23 teaching hours per week.

Matters on which the parties have achieved consensus include:

  • extending accountability of programmed time to the full 36 ¼ hours, but with a strengthening of the capacity, with consultation, to work off campus
  • a proposed 5.4 weeks’ rec leave and reduction of non-attendance time (NAT) to three weeks, with renaming of NAT as professional reflection and preparation (PRP)
  • the inclusion of VET specific definitions re non-contact time, VET tutors, VET teaching team and TOIL
  • clarifications re timelines for dispute resolution
  • inclusion of paid rest provisions for VET educators consistent with state provisions
  • updating leave provisions, including domestic violence leave
  • inclusion of comprehensive clauses in classification standards schedules re duties for VET tutors, teachers and LVTs.

Still under consideration are:

  • revised methodology for ascertaining casual pay rates
  • span of hours for casuals
  • recognition of prior learning clauses
  • revised “higher duties” for tutors acting as teachers
  • salary on appointment clauses
  • VET teachers delivering higher education.

As is always the case, matters settled in negotiations are subject to finalisation of a package in the form of an offer (heads of agreement) and approval of the package by members through both the Union and employer EB balloting processes.

It is anticipated that the SBU will meet for continued negotiations from the week of Monday 26 June.

The AEUQ/QTU negotiation team has been joined by TAFE Organiser David Terauds, as Research/Industrial Officer Kim Roy is currently undertaking parental leave. We wish Kim and her family all the best for their new arrival and thank her for her work on the negotiations to date, in particular her diligence and commitment.

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