The proposed Enterprise Agreement for Institute Managers (now called TAFE Managers) contained a number of issues the PSA (CPSU) believes are not compatible with the Fair Work Act and relevant Modern Award. In particular, your union is strongly opposed to the new form of temporary employment called “Maximum Term Contracts”.
TAFE NSW has indicated it will only be employing new TAFE Managers on these new temporary contracts. A key feature of these contracts is they can be terminated at any time for no reason at all. The only protection for the TAFE Manager is any notice period they have negotiated to be contained in the contract itself.
A previous decision of the Fair Work Commission which rejected a proposed Enterprise Agreement with a similar provision supports the union’s view that these forms of contracts are not compatible with the Fair Work Act, the National Employment Standards and the relevant Modern Award. TAFE NSW rejected all the attempts by unions to encourage them not to introduce this form of employment contract. The offer by TAFE NSW to all current permanent Institute Mangers for an individual contract guaranteeing permanent status resulted in the proposed Agreement being voted up by the Institute Managers.
The PSA (CPSU) raised our objections with the Fair Work Commission as the Commission considers approving the proposed Enterprise Agreement. The PSA (CPSU) has not requested that the Commission reject the Agreement, only that it require TAFE NSW to provide undertakings addressing the range of issues including the “Maximum Term Contracts” issue. You can see the union’s application HERE
TAFE NSW requested the PSA (CPSU) withdraw its objections and provided a range of justifications for their proposed Agreement. The PSA (CPSU) did not agree to withdraw its concerns. TAFE NSW’s request can be found HERE
The Fair Work Commission initially agreed with the objections raised by PSA (CPSU) requesting a range of undertakings from TAFE NSW, including the removal of Maximum Term Contracts. TAFE NSW now has the opportunity to provide those undertakings in consultation with the unions. You can see a copy of the Commission’s request HERE
TAFE NSW has also been given the opportunity to table its claims in relation to how the proposed Agreement may be compliant with the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act and the relevant Modern Award. The PSA (CPSU) sincerely hopes TAFE NSW accepts the Commissioner’s recommendations to provide the full range of undertakings and not continue with its claims to casualise all future TAFE Managers with employment contracts able to be terminated at any time for no reason or notice (other than what’s negotiated in the contract itself).
In order for your union to continue to strongly defend your conditions of employment, it is vital you encourage your colleagues who may not yet be a member of the PSA to join.
Not a member? Join the PSA today to fight for improvements instead of slashed wages and conditions at www.psa.asn.au.
Members should pass this message on to interested potential PSA members.