Wednesday, 19 October 2022

University of Sydney CPSU NSW Members Newsletter

Here’s the latest news in brief from the Sydney University union branch.

EBA Negotiations Update

Professional staff issues may well be nearing the home straight. Unfortunately, the EBA cannot be finalised for professional staff due to some academic staff issues being contested – in particular, the 40:40:20 workload rule – which academics want retained. The 40:40:20 rule means that academic workload time is broken down to 40 per cent teaching, 40 per cent research, and 20 per cent administration. If professional staff still had a separate EBA to academic staff – as we used to have up until 2013 – then it is highly likely you would soon be enjoying a pay rise as well as new hard-fought conditions and protections.

Recently the University has signaled that it might be willing to retain the requirement to advertise job vacancies internally only in the first instance at certain professional staff HEO levels after originally wanting this condition removed from the Agreement altogether. Negotiations on this continue.

University of Sydney Severance Pay Survey

Currently if your position is made redundant any severance pay you are entitled to is calculated according to your fraction at the time your position is made redundant. This can be very disadvantageous to staff who have worked full time for long periods of their career, but have recently or temporarily changed to part time and are then made redundant.

In Enterprise Bargaining, the University has offered to change this so that redundancy payments are calculated via averaging your fraction across your entire career.

However, the University will not provide any analysis regarding to what extent the effects of this are likely to be disadvantageous (ie. they will not investigate and report on the number of staff who would be likely to receive less severance pay should this change occur).

The CPSU NSW is surveying the membership on this matter. The survey can be completed  HERE. The survey is confidential and will not identify the membership.

Car Parking Issue

For the last 18 months, the CPSU NSW has been taking up the cause of restoring university car parking spots to staff during core hours as existed prior to the end of 2019. In June 2021, after the CPSU NSW lobbied university management, the Western Avenue Carpark was restored for staff use only during core hours. However, we were not satisfied with this outcome, so we kept lobbying university management. In late September this year, there was finally a win with the number of car parks for staff use only (from 830am to 430pm Monday to Friday) increased to 14 as follows:  The Law School Carpark; Charles Perkins Centre; Abercrombie Business School; Edward Ford Building; Western Avenue Carpark; McMaster/Vet Hospital; Sand Roll House; Merewether Building; Chemical Engineering; Rose Street Carpark; Manning Road Carpark; Wallace Theatre; Russel Place Carpark; Nicholson Building. The new arrangements will begin 1 November 2022.

As of January 2023, the University is introducing a Pay As You Go (PAYG) parking system to replace the current annual permit system. We are concerned about the sharp rise in staff parking fees for full-time staff associated with this change of policy, and we will work further to reduce these fees or slow their adoption by the University.

Library Staff Members Get Back Pay

Recently, our Library members were retrospectively changed by the University from shift-workers to day workers and were compensated for lost overtime for the years they were treated as shift workers. CPSU NSW identified errors in the University’s calculations, resulting in substantial additional payments to many staff – with some receiving thousands of dollars. We believe that the recent rectification payments may also have been miscalculated, and we are now working to address this concern.

Employment Conditions You May Not Know

Either a staff member, a supervisor, or a union, can apply for a re-assessment of the staff member’s position and HEO level once during any 12-month period. We are aware that staff are often told that their positions cannot be submitted for reclassification as there is a change process underway or quickly approaching. This is incorrect – where you think it is justified, you have the right to request a reclassification once in any 12-month period and irrespective of the existence of a change process. Please contact your delegate for further information about this, or assistance with a reclassification.

Know someone who is not a member of the CPSU NSW?

Ask them to join online HERE

Want to network with other Professional Staff? You can do so in this private Facebook group

Stand with us today!

Professional Staff: Worth Every Cent!

Please contact one of our delegates if you have any questions

University of Sydney CPSU NSW Branch Committee

President – Grant Wheeler

Vice President  – Ivan Coates

Secretary – Patrick O’Mara

Assistant Secretary – Ruth Livingstone

Women’s Officer – Rachelle Down

Membership Registrar – Holly Eades

Branch Delegates

Norton Roughley

Peter Adams

Virginia Hilyard

Lachlan Grant

Matthew Etherton

Al Yap

Rachel Hassett

CPSU NSW Member Support Centre on 1800 772 679