An ICC meeting was held at Maitland campus on 16 February 2016 and a meeting was held on 29 February 2016 to discuss more specific industrial issues. This bulletin is provided to give an overview of discussions.
Hunter Institute has announced a number of proposals for restructuring which have currently stalled, awaiting higher approval. These include Learner Services, which is awaiting Ministerial approval and the External Relations restructure. TAFE management has offered to meet with the PSA (CPSU) regarding the latter proposal should approval be granted.
It is not however anticipated that this would occur in March.
The PSA (CPSU) raised concerns regarding the negative impact that such delays have caused by creating uncertainty and insecurity. The PSA (CPSU) is also concerned delays in meeting any planned reductions could mean even deeper cuts may need to be made to come in on budget.
The PSA (CPSU) will continue to monitor the situation and participate as needed.
Hunter Institute announced the launch of a continuous-orientation process – Onboarding. Mandatory training will be held at various intervals throughout the year, designed to capture new employees and employees new to a role. TAFE advises Priority 1 topics will require mandatory training annually.
In answer to our queries, we were advised that all mandatory training will be in paid time, whether completed in person or on-line. Members, particularly casuals and temporary staff, are advised to seek additional paid time as required to complete the training.
A number of members have asked questions about this process. TAFE has advised it will require all staff engaged for three months or more will need a Performance Development Plan (PDP). Employees are free to choose which template they use until the new process is finalised. The PDP process is not intended to capture the aspirations of casual or part-time staff to work additional hours.
Members are encouraged to alert their managers and the recruitment team of availability for additional work. Members are also encouraged to note in their PDPs any aspirations for training or relief opportunities in higher positions.
The PSA (CPSU) notes many of our members were upset over a recent media report allegedly quoting Christine Warrington. We want to reassure members this issue was raised with management. We were assured the quote was out of context and we understand that steps have been taken to clarify this point with at least some staff.
The PSA (CPSU) remains critical of a practice which relies increasingly on temporary employment, thereby avoiding paying full-time permanent positions. Members have raised concerns about being terminated before the break at the end of 2015, even though they already had letters of offer for 2016. As a result of our concerns Hunter Institute has reaffirmed a commitment to ensuring genuine temporary and casual appointment. They advised that some staff were “disengaged” at the end of the year rather than “terminated” as this preserves entitlements.
Hunter Institute has advised further efforts will be made to improve communication between the relevant areas to ensure staff are able to preserve their entitlements when being re-engaged.
Members have also raised concerns regarding the refusal of requests made at team leader level for longer temporary contracts for some staff. Hunter Institute has assured us that there is no policy for short or 12 week contracts. The PSA (CPSU) was advised that managers are required to present a business case for longer contract approvals.
Affected members are encouraged to speak to their managers to ascertain why longer contracts were refused. If any member believes they have been treated unfairly in relation to their temporary or casual contract or that their position is not truly temporary or casual, they are encouraged to speak to a delegate or contact the PSA(CPSU) on 1300 772 679 or email to
A reminder the Hunter TAFE workgroup AGM is scheduled for 17 March 2016. This is your opportunity to get involved in your union as a local contact or campus delegate.
Gale Isseppi – Gosford
Loraine Fitzjohn – Gosford
Lisa Dunn – Singleton
John Winters – Glendale
Stephen Miller – toolstore contact