28 July 2016 | Download as PDF

Enterprise bargaining begins

Now that the modern award has been made, the path is clear to commence negotiations for a new certified agreement. We have written to TAFE Queensland, and they have written to us, expressing a desire to commence negotiations, which fulfils the requirements of the Industrial Relations Act to commence bargaining. 

Log of claims

The log of claims is the document that will inform QTU negotiations. In preparation for bargaining, the QTU sought member input regarding issues and inclusions for the new certified agreement. That input was presented to TAFE Council, who considered member input and developed the draft log of claims. The log was further revised by TAFE Executive before it received its endorsement. The endorsed log of claims is attached for your information. 

Replacement agreement

TAFE Queensland has indicated its intent to create a single certified agreement to cover all TAFE Queensland employees. The QTU and the Together Union do not agree with this, and the unions seek to maintain a separate agreement for TAFE educators, to use the language of the modern award. 

We have written to TAFE Queensland and to Minister D’Ath expressing this view, and we were very clear on this point in discussions with Minister D’Ath when she visited TAFE Council on the 11 June.

The matter remains unresolved, and the QTU has sought legal advice regarding options to resolve the issue. We will keep members informed as matters progress. 

Single bargaining unit

In order to draft a new certified agreement, a single bargaining unit (“SBU”) is established. The SBU contains representatives from TAFE Queensland, Treasury and the relevant unions. Because of TAFE Queensland’s stance regarding a single agreement, it has invited all the relevant unions to attend the SBU. This includes representatives from the QTU, Together Queensland, United Voice, the Queensland Nurses’ Union, the Electrical Trades Union, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy, Industrial Union of Employees and the Automotive, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Industrial Union of Employees. 

The QTU, acting on advice from our TAFE Council and TAFE Executive, is wary of being involved in negotiations in a SBU which presupposes a single certified agreement. However we are also mindful that members have been without a pay increase since July last year, and we don’t wish to unnecessarily delay negotiations. 

Thus we have indicated to TAFE Queensland and our union colleagues a willingness to meet only when issues relevant to TAFE educators are being discussed in the SBU. 

The first meeting was held last week, purely for scheduling purposes, and negotiations proper will commence today. 

We look forward to productive negotiations and hope they will progress promptly, to ensure TAFE educators are fairly recognised for their hard work and commitment.

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