Friday, 23 September 2022

CPSU NSW update: Macquarie University – Major Workplace Change in Library & Professional Staff Bargaining

Library Major Workplace Change

Macquarie University has released it’s proposed implementation plan for major workplace change in the library.

A Workplace Change Proposal was released to staff on 18 August 2022, proposing to establish a new model for the Macquarie University Library.

On 20 September 2022 the university held a Q&A session with 65 staff, inviting them to make inquiries in response to the implementation plan. Staff feedback to the proposal, which was open from 18 August to 6 September 2022.

In response to feedback, the university has made changes to the implementation plan:

  • An additional Library Services Officer (HEW 4) position has been added to the Client Experiences Department, increasing the number of these positions from 5.5 to 6.5 Fulltime Employees (FTE);
  • Reporting lines for the Library Services Assistant (HEW 3) position has been changed to the Learning Spaces Team from the Information Services Team;
  • A number of position titles have been changed;
  • Several position descriptions have been revised (subject to final evaluation)

The university is open to applications for the EOIs noting flexible working arrangements being a preference for applicants, for discussion with the university.

Other staff on other redeployment lists are available to submit an EOI, as is required by university policies and obligations.

Anyone who is current re-deployee is eligible for applying to the EOI process. Re-deployees are given priority for any vacant roles. The process is planned to be completed by end January 2023 with the new and translated positions filled.

A summary of the proposed implementation timeline is below. At the meeting there was a strong consensus voiced for additional time to be allocated to feedback from the implementation plan presentation. The university was receptive to this and as a result the below timetable is likely to be amended to allow for more time.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to any affected staff member.

The CPSU NSW supports all affected members during this difficult and uncertain time. Please do not hesitate to contact us below if you believe you are affected by this workplace change and require more information or support.

The University has confirmed that access to any support services can be taken on paid work time, not on your own time.

Enterprise Agreement – Professional Staff

The CPSU NSW committee met with Macquarie University on 25 August and 8 September 2022 to continue enterprise agreement negotiations.

The committee believes progress has been made on several clauses, with the university agreeing to review and amend their responses to claims by the CPSU.

Flexible Working Arrangements

The parties discussed how the application of a flexible work arrangement clause would translate across different university departments.

The university put forth an amended flexible working arrangements clause including:

  • Flexible working arrangements requests on a team-based level with managers;
  • Flexible working arrangements requests as permitted under the National Employment Standards; and
  • The Right to Disconnect.

All aspects of these clauses require further amendments, but the parties are confident that progress is moving in the right direction and that an in-principle agreement can be reached on these provisions.

The CPSU NSW undertook to table an amended Right to Disconnect clause ahead of the next meeting to secure greater certainty for staff in fear of being unnecessarily contacted outside their normal work hours.

There was concern at the meetings around how the university sought to monitor flexible work requests that are declined by management. The university was hesitant to agree to providing high levels of detailed feedback in response to such applications.

Fixed Term Employment and Job Security

The parties discussed the university’s concerns over genuine circumstances in which a fixed term contract is in fact fixed term not an attempt to avoid conversion to full time permanent work.

Job security is a prime consideration of the CPSU NSW and cannot understand why the university refuses to decrease reliance on precarious employment.

The university undertook to revisit their position at future meetings.


The CPSU NSW is seeking basic protections in the enterprise agreement against any efforts of the university to outsource work. The university did not see any problems with their current outsourcing practices but suggested amendments to the managing workplace change clause may resolve concerns.

This remains to be seen.

Future Meetings

The CPSU and university agreed to re-examine and negotiate the Managing Major Workplace Change and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clauses further down the track as bargaining narrows down contentious issues.

Prior to the next meeting the CPSU NSW will table a Right to Disconnect clause.

The next bargaining meeting will be rescheduled due to the public holiday on 22 September.