7 July 2021 | DOWNLOAD PDF
TO: CQU MEMBERS,
Following the first formal meeting of the Central Queensland University (CQU) Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) on 27 May, the parties to the agreement have continued to meet formally in pursuit of a replacement agreement. SBU meetings are held on Thursday afternoons, both face-to-face and via Zoom.
Negotiations to date have mostly examined clauses where there is no substantial change.
Unfortunately, due to illness among negotiators and the workload impact of the recently reimposed COVID restrictions, the formal meetings of 1 and 8 July have been postponed, with the agreement of the parties.
An update on the finances of the university will be provided in lieu of the formal meeting of 8 July.
Progress on AEU(Q)/QTU claims
From the first meeting until now, the AEU(Q)/QTU has maintained that the separate vote for VET educator working conditions is a threshold issue arising from the log of claims. The following are comments made by AEU(Q)/QTU negotiators in the first formal SBU meeting.
“The foremost (AEU(Q)/QTU claim is for a separate vote on VET educator conditions. The AEU(Q)/QTU maintains that VET educators are numerically disadvantaged within the broader group of CQU employees, with a range of significant differences in working practice and requirements that necessitate substantially different employment conditions from other categories of employee at CQU. That said, there is no way currently for the VET educators to practically influence the outcome of a vote…”
At subsequent meetings and through other communications, the case has been made that VET educators at CQU are organisationally and operationally distinct from other categories of employee at CQU, and that to continue the negotiations in their current form would be unfair.
No substantial negotiation has taken place regarding the working conditions of VET educators. The specific VET educator employment conditions are described within Clause 16 and Schedule 9 of the current certified agreement. It is likely that considerable time will be needed to unpack the competing claims from the parties re the VET educators.
In order to pursue the claim for a separate vote for VET educators, the AEU(Q)/QTU is asking for a standalone enterprise agreement. If the employer can provide an alternative measure which will satisfy the claim for a separate vote for VET educators, the AEU(Q)/QTU will consider it.
How can I have a say in the bargaining process?
Every employee gets to vote on whether the final offer is accepted through an employer ballot of all staff. This is federal law. You get the opportunity to say if you like it or you don’t, simply by being an employee.
But if you want a voice in the negotiations, you need to be a part of a union or appoint a bargaining agent.
The unions who are party to the agreement provide negotiators on behalf of their members as a part of the process.
Joining your Union will ensure that your voice is heard. While the AEU(Q)/QTU only represents vocational educators in this negotiation, it is important that everybody has the opportunity to contribute to the discussion that is taking place over the next few months.
So, join your Union to ensure your voice is heard.
You can find the union parties to the agreement at Clause 2.1 Coverage in the enterprise agreement.
If you are a vocational educator, you can join the AEU(Q)/QTU online or call our membership team on 07 3512 9000.
Restructure of the Rockhampton and Emerald TAFE Branches
Following a strong YES vote by Rockhampton TAFE members of the AEU(Q)/QTU, a decision was taken at the 2021 QTU Biennial Conference to amalgamate the Emerald and Rockhampton TAFE Branches and to rename the amalgamated branch Central Queensland CQU TAFE Branch. The administrative processes of amalgamation are underway and when the ‘paperwork’ is done members will be notified of the formal change.
This means that there will be a single executive for the new branch made up of an Honorary President, Honorary Vice-President and Honorary Secretary, and it will have Workplace Representatives across both workplaces.
It is important to remember that there is no change to the current representation of Emerald and Rockhampton TAFE members at QTU TAFE Council and TAFE Executive, as both existing TAFE branches are currently represented by a single TAFE Council position, and that position will not change. The incumbent for that position is Mr A. Abbas, who is also a member of the TAFE Executive.
Strengthening publicly provided vocational education
CQU is part of the great heritage of TAFE in this country: it is the inheritor of the values of accessible and quality public provision. AEU(Q)/QTU is proud to support both TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity as the public providers of vocational education in this state.
CQU is TAFE. The Australian Education Union recently launched a new national campaign in support of publicly provided vocational education through the TAFE network. With hundreds of campuses all around the country, TAFE can help Australia rebuild in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, TAFE is perfectly positioned to provide skills, jobs, purpose and opportunities to millions more Australians, and can help to create a positive future for all of us. But TAFE has suffered government funding cuts – so while right now is the time Australia needs TAFE more than ever before, it's also the time TAFE needs funding more than ever before.
Will you add your voice and ask the government to invest in a positive future for all of us? #rebuildwithTAFE
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064