Monday, 16 July 2018

University of Newcastle – Enterprise bargaining update

University of Newcastle – Enterprise bargaining update – July 2018 (PDF version)

Your union met with management on 12 July 2018 in an attempt to finalise outstanding claims.

Very little was achieved.

Staff Development was presented as a joint union clause with which management were unable to engage as a result of having no one on their bargaining team with authority to progress this matter.

A request was made for the University to consider increasing the minimum hours of casual engagement from 3 to 4, which was declined on the spot, with management stating that they believe the current 3 hours’ minimum to be (and we quote) “generous”. We consider it to be standard, not a measure of generosity.

Management were also asked to consider increasing the amount of notice given for expiry of fixed term contracts. They responded that the current EA gives 4 weeks’ notice and they ‘usually’ offer more than that, but are not inclined to write it into the Agreement.

This idea that we can write things into the Agreement but do something different if we feel like it has become a bit of a trend recently, with a senior management rep at a previous meeting declaring that if they couldn’t get agreement to put what they wanted into a particular clause the university would just do it anyway. The CPSU NSW puts the university on notice that if they do, we will just sue for a breach of the EA anyway.

Very little else was put on the table and the meeting ended well short of its two-hour timeframe.

We are particularly frustrated by a number of concerns:

  • A lack of urgency on the part of the University
  • A management bargaining team that cannot confirm attendance of members with authority to make decisions this close to the end of the process
  • No real knowledge of what management wants or plans to bring to the table

This suggests that management has no appetite for bargaining in good faith.

Your union has repeatedly requested that the University table its Redundancy clause, which continues to fail to appear on the agenda. We fail to understand why.

The CPSU NSW has been telling management for weeks now that we have tabled and talked to our claims. Management is unable to say if it actually has any, leading us to believe that the University is simply stalling for time for reasons best known only to itself. The federal Government’s funding cap has come and gone, as has the recruitment of a new Vice-Chancellor. We would like to know for what else the University could possibly be waiting.

On your behalf, we have requested that the University bring a summary of their outstanding matters to the bargaining table to which, despite lack of agenda items and truncated meetings, we will continue to attend in good faith. We look forward to reporting that management are also attending in good faith.

At the end of the negotiation you will be asked to vote on the package and we want that to be an informed and deliberate vote by staff whose working lives are covered by the Agreement. Ask your colleagues to stand with you by JOINING CPSU NSW today.

UoN Professional Staff representatives

Sue Freeman

Lyn Keily

Stephen Hopkins

CPSU NSW staff

Phoebe Dangerfield    –

Please note:
CPSU NSW members are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body for, and resources and manages, the CPSU NSW.