Progress made in CQU EB process
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 6, 3 September 2021, page no.20
There has been a bit of “movement at the station” in the CQU EB negotiations since the last Journal.
The Queensland Teachers' Union, as the Australian Education Union (Queensland Branch), represents the interests of vocational educators employed in the Central Queensland University (CQU) dual sector institution. This was formed when Central Queensland Institute of TAFE was amalgamated with CQU under the 2014 TAFE reforms.
Following an update on the financial position of Central Queensland University (CQU) on 8 July, the single bargaining unit (SBU) returned to negotiation from 15 July until Queensland’s south east corner went in to lockdown in early August.
The university has offered a solution to the QTU claim for a separate vote for vocational education and training (VET) educators employed at CQU. The solution was put to the QTU TAFE Executive in an extraordinary meeting on 19 July, and it was resolved to simultaneously seek further clarifications from CQU and to put the matter to members in a joint CQU-wide meeting. The university returned the sought-after clarifications, and at the TAFE Executive meeting of 23 July it was decided to recommend to CQU members that the university’s solution was acceptable as it met the claim for a separate vote.
A joint meeting of the CQU TAFE Division branches was duly held on Tuesday 27 July to discuss the matter with members. Officers of the Union reported on considerations, the issues were discussed, and members voted to accept the CQU solution as satisfying the claim for a separate vote. CQU was notified of this outcome at the SBU meeting of 29 July.
In regard to the other QTU claims, negotiators began unpacking the QTU’s proposed changes and clauses including, at the meeting of 15 July, concrete mechanisms to address reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment. The QTU has proposed a pathway enabling existing professional educators who identify culturally as First Nations people to become VET educators through a supported mentorship program. The proposal was received positively by CQU.
Over subsequent weeks, the QTU presented proposals and associated claims re:
the proposed foundation educator classification (CQU and QTU logs of claim)
VET educator classification restructure and salary parity
ordinary hours of work.
CQU provided initial responses re the QTU’s ordinary hours of work proposals, including the professional time proposal, as well as the programming dispute proposal, LVT progression and the LVT peer review panel proposal. Matters regarding parity, classification restructuring and the proposed foundation educator classification, including remuneration level, continue to be discussed at length.