TAFE EB10 Bulletin no.12, 26 July 2019

EMPLOYER’S FORMAL OFFER 
FAILS TO ADDRESS KEY PARTS 
OF THE QTU LOG OF CLAIMS

The QTU remains committed to good faith bargaining to deliver a replacement certified agreement that delivers increased pay, improved access to permanent employment, and programming measures to mitigate workload. Following consultation with QTU branches and TAFE Council throughout 2018, the QTU’s EB10 log of claims was formally provided to the employer on 6 March 2019. 

The employer presented an initial response to the QTU’s log of claims during formal negotiations on 5 July, and this was reported to members in EB10 Bulletin No. 9. The QTU analysis of the initial response can be viewed as a member only document on the QTU’s EB10 page. The employer’s initial response to the QTU log of claims frequently observes that the employer’s offer remains consistent with whole-of-government policy and that it is unable to support claims that generate additional costs.

At a special meeting of QTU TAFE Executive on 16 July, the response was rejected because it failed to meet the threshold issues that members determined - with overwhelming support - in the protected action ballot that was conducted in June.

Failings of the employer’s formal offer

Two weeks after tabling the initial response to the QTU log of claims, and with no changes to government policy, the employer tabled a formal offer to the QTU negotiating team and sent a copy to our General Secretary, Graham Moloney. The employer’s formal offer still fails to address key aspects of the QTU’s log of claims. The formal offer:

  • Fails to deliver pay increases that are comparable with interstate colleagues, arguing that the offer is consistent with government wage policy that is 2.5%

  • Is silent on measures to address gender employment inequity, although the initial response stated that addressing gender employment equity would increase costs and was not supported by whole-of-government policy and

  • Makes no commitments to improving access to permanent employment, however the initial response stated that the Union’s claim was not consistent with whole-of-government policy.

A light in the tunnel

The QTU will continue to work with stakeholders on the need for changes to whole-of-government policy like ensuring that 70% of public investment in skills and training is invested in TAFE as the training that Queenslanders can trust. 

While formal negotiations on pay and permanency are stymied by whole-of-government policy, the QTU continues to engage in productive negotiations on programming matters that sit outside government policy. 

In accordance with the EB10 log of claims regarding programming measures, a number of in-principle agreements have been achieved or progress has been made. Some examples of programming measures where progress has been achieved pursuant to the QTU log of claims includes:
 

  • The inclusion of Educational Team Leaders and Higher Education lecturers in the certified agreement because the QTU’s long-standing position has been that the use of individual employment agreements is abhorrent. Agreement on a new salary classification is progressing..
  • Refining non-attendance time (NAT), an in-principle agreement has been achieved that breaks the nexus between preparation and NAT and that recognises the professionalism of TAFE Educators
  • A simplified dispute resolution process in which the parties have in-principle agreement to reduce the stages of a dispute from five to four, as well as refined the timelines for each stage
  • Introducing Sabbatical Leave as a provision for educators, and the parties have an in-principle agreement to insert a clause of purchased leave
  • Developing and implementing, in consultation with the QTU, a well-being and mental stress WHS policy, and the parties have in-principle agreement to insert clauses into the certified agreement that support employees dealing with mental health conditions.

QTU TAFE Division members directed to stop work 
for two hours from 10:00am on Tuesday 30 July

To live stream the statewide online meeting from 10:30am on 30 July, 
click www.encore.com.au/QueenslandTeachersUnion

Protected industrial action

The following statement was formally read at the meeting of the single bargaining unit on 26 July. 

The Queensland Teachers’ Union of Employees (QTU) has directed all QTU members of the TAFE Division to stop work for two hours from 10:00am on Tuesday, 30 July.

The directive to stop work is protected industrial action that complies with section 235 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016. 

The employer has been notified of the planned action in previous formal meetings of this single bargaining unit as well as in written correspondence from Senior Officers of the QTU.

The QTU is alarmed by reports of potential adverse actions and the QTU reserves the right to commence dispute resolution procedures on behalf of our members.

Graham Moloney
General Secretary
Craig Wood
Research Officer - Industrial Advocate

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street,Milton, QLD, Australia, 4060

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