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TAFE EB10 Bulletin no. 21,  21 October 2019
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TAFE’s EB10 Campaign update

The drafting of the TAFE Queensland Certified Agreement – 2019 has concluded and we are one step closer to certification of the replacement agreement.

In the weeks since two thirds of QTU TAFE Division members voted to accept TAFE Queensland’s offer, I have been leading your QTU team as we continue to negotiate and edit clauses. We believe that the appropriate amendments to references to legislation, cross referencing of clauses, syntax and grammar and the like have finally been resolved. 

We have also ensured that all the parties to the agreement share the same understanding of the meaning and intent of the new clauses. I recognise the contribution of TAFE Queensland CEO Mary Campbell in this extended process
 
We now have a final and settled agreement.
 
In numbers, this is the culmination of:

  • more than 18 months of working with rank and file members, in branches and through your representatives at TAFE Council
  • seven long months of negotiations and 24 formal meetings of the single bargaining unit
  • six TAFE Executive meetings (to date) and three special, additional TAFE Executive meetings
  • two periods of protected industrial action, totalling 26 hours.
     

This has resulted in one agreement that delivers salary increases and improved working conditions for our TAFE Division members employed by TAFE Queensland.

We know that there are matters that we will need to return to throughout the life of this agreement. Allowances are an example of this, and QTU TAFE Organiser David Terauds has already visited some of the branches where allowances have the greatest impact. TAFE Queensland have committed to a review of the reimbursement processes and timeframes for domestic and international travel claims.

The salary increases that will be delivered across the life of this four-year agreement are significantly greater than the 2.5 per cent per annum that was on offer before our first protected industrial action. The revised salary and introduction of senior tutor and senior teacher classifications delivers increased salary horizons, and all leading vocational teachers will be paid more than $100,000 per annum by the end of the agreement. The commitment of QTU TAFE Division members to engage in a second protected action delivered the $1,250 sign on bonus, that will be paid in the first available pay period following certification of the agreement by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. which was not on offer the night before that 24-hour stoppage. 

A suite of enterprise bargaining commitments will be addressed throughout the life of the agreement. TAFE Queensland’s request for a four-year deal was, in part, only agreed to upon the employer’s acceptance that there is an extra 12 months to undertake additional consultative work with the Union/s. An example of this is TAFE Queensland’s commitment to establish a TAFE Queensland Consultative Committee (TQCC) sub-committee to review processes around permanency. QTU officers have already been working through TQCC to reach agreement on the terms of reference for that group. The Best Programming Guide for Educators is listed as one of the first commitments, as is a review of TAFE Queensland Online. Both of these items were specifically listed in our log of claims.

As is typical in a certified agreement that is covered by a modern award in Queensland, the agreement contains a no further claims section, which means that it is final and settled and that no party to the agreement will seek to change the conditions it contains.  However, the QTU has ensured that TAFE Queensland will deliver on its responsibilities specific to gender employment equity measures once, as we anticipate, they become whole of government policy. 

There are also transitional arrangements for education team leaders (ETL) and educators delivering higher education. The negotiation of the transitional arrangements was difficult, but eventually delivered a new competitive remuneration allowance. This payment meets the requirement for grandparenting arrangements for some ETLs and higher educators as they transition from their individual employment agreements to the protection of the collective industrial instruments. The competitive remuneration allowance payment ensures that employees are not disadvantaged.

We have previously foreshadowed the employer’s obligation to ballot TAFE employees who are educators. The timing of the employer ballot is a matter for TAFE Queensland, but the QTU has secured an agreement that educators will receive back pay to 1 July 2019.

I take this opportunity to thank all members of the QTU TAFE Division for their engagement in our EB10 campaign over many months, for your collective work in branches and your strong participation in our TAFE tele-townhalls, online ballots, and two periods of protected industrial action.

Kevin Bates
QTU President

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