Progress of CQU EB negotiations
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 5, 30 July 2021, page no.17
As the Australian Education Union Queensland Branch, the Queensland Teachers’ Union represents the interests of vocational educators employed in the dual sector institution Central Queensland University (CQU).
Following the first formal meeting of the CQU single bargaining unit (SBU) on 27 May, the parties to the agreement have continued to meet formally in pursuit of a replacement agreement. Negotiations to date have mostly examined clauses where there is no substantial change.
Unfortunately, due to illness and the recent COVID restrictions, the formal meetings of 1 and 8 July were, with the agreement of the parties, postponed.
From the first meeting until now, the AEU(Q)/QTU has maintained that a 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…”
Subsequently 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 negotiations in the current form is unfair.
At the time of writing, no substantial negotiation had 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.