Tuesday, 6 March 2018

University of New South Wales member update

University of New South Wales member update – March 2018 (PDF version)

Another meeting between unions and the university in this round of Enterprise Bargaining occurred last Thursday. Your CPSU NSW delegates attended supported by CPSU NSW officials.

We discussed and pushed a number of issues:

  • Redundancy payments. We have received much positive feedback from members concerning our push to remove or greatly increase the cap on redundancy payments. We accordingly raised the issue again, but this time, unfortunately, encountered opposition from the university’s representatives. CPSU NSW argued the issue very strongly, and we will keep it alive, and hopefully get a better response later in the bargaining process.
  • Performance management (that is, the disciplinary process). We argued for a minor technical improvement to this, which, if implemented, will assist staff going through the process.
  • Parental leave.
  • The Agreement still uses the term ‘maternity’ to refer to the main type of leave taken due to the birth of a child. The CPSU NSW believes that this is inappropriate, and the term should be updated to ‘parental’. This would allow fathers to be regarded as the primary care giver.
  • The Agreement gives a shorter period, 14 weeks’ leave, in the case of unplanned cessations of pregnancy, or where the child dies during early infancy. The CPSU NSW is asking for this period to be lengthened to the same as for a live birth.
  • Finally, we are asking that returning mothers have a right to paid lactation breaks. The CPSU NSW is proud to have argued these issues in the lead up to International Women’s Day.
  • Flex time. This was not comprehensively discussed, but we flagged it as a main topic for the next meeting. Some people might remember that in the previous round of bargaining, the CPSU NSW argued strongly, but unsuccessfully, for a comprehensive flex time provision. We have continued to hear concerns from members as to the availability of flex time arrangements. CPSU NSW is investigating options, but we are considering that as a minimum, the Agreement should include a provision requiring work units that do not allow for flex time to explain the exact reasons why not.

In order to speed up this round of bargaining, all parties have agreed that meetings will now be held every fortnight. The next one accordingly will be held on Thursday 15 March. Feel free to send any feedback you might have to CPSU NSW Organiser Chris Bird , or one of your local delegates.

Yours in solidarity,
Your CPSU NSW Bargaining Team.