Sydney University member update – 16 December 2015

Sydney University – member update – 16 Dec 2015 (PDF version)

Casual conversion

A member has had a request for casual conversion refused, as they had not participated in a Performance and Development evaluation, a requirement for conversion to continuing employment.

The CPSU successfully argued that it was the fault of management that prevented the Performance and Development process from occurring. An undertaking was gained from the University for the member to be paid over the Christmas close-down. The University has also agreed to ensure management undertake P&D reviews for all casual staff, ensuring opportunities for conversion to ongoing employment where appropriate.

Redeployment and probation

Managers have informed a number of members they are on probation for the first six months of their redeployment after restructures. Unfair dismissal laws do not apply to probation, leaving workers extremely vulnerable.

The CPSU has now received assurances from the University that ‘trial period’ was what was meant in these circumstances, rather than ‘probation’. The University will emphasise to managers that the ‘trial period’ referred to in clause 329 of the enterprise agreement should only be in effect in limited circumstances. This may include situations where a staff member is deemed to require extra training to meet the needs of the new role, following the merit selection process. Otherwise, there should be no ‘trial period’ in effect.

Professional Staff Development Fund

The University has expressed disappointment regarding the low staff uptake of this centrally run scheme, which was won by the CPSU in the last enterprise bargaining negotiations. Next year they will devolve this to Faculties and PSUs to a greater extent, making $1.3 million directly available to assist staff locally. Account codes will ensure this funding MUST only be spent on the next step of Professional staff development.

Position description survey

Clause 107 of the Enterprise agreement provides that ‘The Classification Assessment Team’ will conduct position description surveys University-wide every two years and report the results to the Classification Monitoring Panel. This has not occurred, and the CPSU has raised the matter at the Management and Staff Consultative Committee forum. The University and CPSU will meet to discuss implementation of this clause. It is hoped it will address comparative inconsistency of duties and responsibilities within each HEO level across the University.

Library matters:

  • Draft leave and flexible working hours provisions

Library management are attempting to introduce what we see as draconian changes to leave and flexible working hours provisions through a local variation to the enterprise agreement. This includes placing onerous restrictions on the taking of leave. The CPSU believes that, under the enterprise agreement, leave provisions cannot be subject to local variations. We have requested library management drop the changes. The NTEU are currently in dispute with the library regarding the process of consulting around the document. We are required to wait for this dispute to end before library management is able remove leave provisions from the document.

  • Library JCC

The CPSU has led the way in resisting the Library Draft Leave and Flexible Working Hours Provisions referred to above. This push back has led to library management relenting, and agreeing, after years of refusal, to meet regularly with us via a Joint Consultative Committee. This will allow us to formally raise matters directly with management on behalf of members in the hope of better outcomes without the need for dispute action.

CPSU branch office move

After 70 years of existence, the Transient Building has been cleared for demolition. The CPSU Office has now relocated from Transient to Rooms 389 and 389A of the Merewether Building.

Enjoy your break!

Finally, at the end of another very challenging and disrupted year for all members (and indeed all professional staff of the University) we wish you and your respective families a wonderful and relaxing Christmas break. We will be back next year, refreshed and more active than ever, and looking for fresh assistance via our long-overdue AGM.

Please consider representing your faculty or professional service unit within the CPSU Branch Committee next year. This helps us to assist you and your workmates, as well as providing you with unique insights regarding developments across the University. More news next year.

Please strengthen your union by:

  • Forwarding this email to colleagues;
  • Asking your colleagues to Join the PSA/CPSU