3 July 2018 | download as pdf
Dear QTU CQU members,
The QTU is continuing its campaigning for TAFE and CQU members, not only on a local level, but nationally in a number of areas. This includes the Change the Rules campaign, which is calling for a more fair and equitable working environment for all Australians. As part of the Australian Education Union, the QTU has secured a commitment from the federal opposition that two thirds of all VET funding will be guaranteed for TAFE and dual sector institutions nationwide. This will greatly enhance TAFE and the dual sector’s long term future as the number one provider of vocational education in Australia.
It has been a busy time for the QTU over the past two months - re-engaging with CQU TAFE members, addressing their concerns and consulting on the agreement. Work also continues on the QTU CQU Back to Basics Guide for the agreement (due for release later in term three), and strengthening our position on teachers’/tutors’ employment conditions with TAFE Queensland.
Inquiries from members requiring clarification with regards to the agreement are being addressed each day. These enquiries can vary in nature, however some have a common theme and I will endeavour to address these in this and future TAFE Union News newsletters. I would encourage members to print and distribute these to fellow members and non-members.
Central Queensland University Agreement update
In October last year, the QTU, acting as the AEU(Q), was a reluctant signatory to the Central Queensland University Enterprise Agreement (EA). Reluctant because we did not support all of the contents of the EA but had to sign to become party to the agreement. Otherwise, we would no longer have been able to represent or advocate for members in CQU. The EA was signed off and lodged with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for approval. Despite being lodged on 20 October 2017, the EA was not approved until 8 March 2018.
Given the significant period of time that has elapsed since the EA was signed and approved, the QTU had put it to CQU that Schedule 1 of the EA provided for a salary increase in 2017 and as such, consideration should be given to backpay. The university’s position was that there would be no backpay. CQU cited cost saving measures that are yet to be implemented in the EA that would have been a source of funding for the pay increase.
The QTU put forward that backpay would be sought. The matter of backpay was also discussed with the Together union. As VET educators are not the majority of employees covered by the EA and other parties had not sought backpay, CQU came to the decision that no backpay prior to the signing of the EA would be forthcoming.
Hours of work and overtime
The Central Queensland University Enterprise Agreement 2017 states that the ordinary hours of duty for VET educators are 36.25 hours per week. Under the agreement, teachers may be directed to teach a maximum of 22 contact hours per week. Tutors may be directed to tutor 25 contact hours per week.
Under the agreement, employees may be required to work reasonable overtime hours where the university has directed and approved the working of overtime that cannot be reasonably performed during working hours. This is more than 22 contact hours per week (VET teachers), more than 25 contact hours per week (VET tutors) or more than 32 hours non-traditional delivery.
Non-contact time is the difference between 36.25 hours and the contact hours (including non-traditional work based delivery as outlined in the relevant section). If a teacher or tutor completes more than their maximum contact hours and incurs overtime, their non-contact time decreases so the total hours per week remain at 36.25 hours.
For example, if a teacher is required to teach 28 hours contact in a week, their non-contact would drop to 8.25 hours, so the total remains at 36.25 hours.
The ERA process is not listed as part of contact or non-contact duties of a VET educator. They must be granted the appropriate time to undertake the ERA on site, to enable them to accurately make the assessment of the workplace. We believe this time would need to be taken proportionately out of contact and non-contact time for the week, not just non-contact time. Alternatively, if the time required cannot be part of the standard 36.25 hours programmed for the week, the teacher can be asked to undertake the ERA in addition and receive the appropriate overtime remuneration as per 16.5 of the agreement.
I have provided below a list of links which I thought might be useful to you.