Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Macquarie University member update

Macquarie University member update – March 2018 (PDF version)

The CPSU NSW, the Professional Staff Union, is actively considering a new approach to Enterprise Bargaining for this round as requested by the university. Known as Interest Based Bargaining, this is a process in which the Fair Work Commission acts to facilitate the process from the outset. Currently Macquarie University is using Interest Based Bargaining to develop its Academics’ Enterprise Agreement and is keen to do the same for Professional Staff.

What is Interest Based Bargaining?

(the following information is from the Fair Work Commission found HERE)

In interest-based bargaining, the parties to a negotiation approach the process by identifying their individual or shared interests, rather than focusing on their positions or log of claims.

Some interests are shared, some are different, and some are conflicting. Successful, productive negotiations recognise and find ways to balance these interests.

By identifying individual or shared interests, the interest-based bargaining process uncovers ways that each party’s interests can be met without disadvantaging the other party.

Interest-based bargaining processes are usually facilitated by an independent person, and generally open with discussions around an issue and each party’s interests. Joint problem solving sessions follow, and decisions are made by the whole group following assessment of each option against a set of agreed criteria.

Sub-groups to progress a particular issue may be formed, but information is shared and final decisions are made by consensus. Options are assessed against criteria developed by the broad negotiation group, and may be trialled before they are fully implemented.

Macquarie University has not suggested it is after wide-ranging cuts to pay and conditions along the lines of what Western Sydney University or Murdoch University has attempted. All evidence so far suggests Macquarie University is genuinely interested in pursuing this option. The CPSU NSW met with Deputy President Booth of the Fair Work Commission to discuss how Interest Based Bargaining operates, and how things have progressed so far with the Academic’s bargaining.

Why consider Interest Based Bargaining?

This is an opportunity to establish a new relationship between management and employees, which is based on a more open dialogue and greater consideration of the needs and interests of all sides. Through this process, the Fair Work Commission hopes to help establish lines of communication between management and employees that can benefit everyone, not just through enterprise bargaining, but into the future. This is not always successful, but it is definitely an opportunity for Professional Staff to establish strong links to university management in ways that require management to take into consideration the needs and interests of Professional Staff.

CPSU NSW Members’ Meeting

  • Friday 6 April 2018
  • 12pm to 1pm
  • Room: 14SCO 263 Tute Rm

The CPSU NSW wants to hear from members if this is an approach members are willing to support. We are also keen for some additional volunteers to be part of the process as well. These discussions and negotiations will impact on the pay and conditions for all Professional Staff at Macquarie University and we strongly encourage to you come long on Friday 6 April 12pm to 1pm, in Room 14SCO 263 Tute Rm.

If you are interested in getting involved with the negotiations with the university and Deputy President Booth, please contact CPSU NSW Industrial Officer Phoebe Dangerfield at and come along to Friday’s meeting.

It’s your pay and conditions so have a say and get involved. Ask your colleague to JOIN your Professional Staff Union, the CPSU NSW at

For information about CPSU NSW at Macquarie University, visit