Monday, 24 October 2022

CPSU NSW update: UTS Enterprise Agreement Bargaining

CPSU NSW Condemns UTS Attack on Staff Working Conditions

The CPSU NSW UTS bargaining team reconvened with UTS for an all-day meeting on 18 October 2022.

Pay & Leave Under Attack

UTS unveiled their official pay offer:

  • 1.75 per cent administrative increase for Professional Staff effective from 11 November 2022
  • 2023 – 4 per cent
  • 2024 – 3 per cent
  • 2025 – 3 per cent

These increases are well below expectation. No consideration has been given to the ever-increasing inflation and cost of living, or the efforts of UTS staff in carrying the University through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disturbingly, UTS in their update to staff on 19 October 2022 have misconstrued the status of bargaining and provided a deeply insulting blow to its staff.

UTS stated in their update:

“The University may consider movement in the current offer depending on the resolution of other obligations in the agreement having a material impact on our finances, some of which are outlined below.”

The University is seeking to hold pay increases to ransom unless CPSU NSW members and all staff at UTS agree to:

  • Cutting the total maximum accruable annual leave from 40 days to 20
  • Enabling a manager to deduct 10 days annual leave from a staff member when their annual leave accrued is above 20 days.
  • Enabling the university to dictate the taking of annual leave or other leave to fund additional “extended shutdowns” beyond the normal end of year break
  • A sub-par Gender Affirmation Leave clause that undermines the progress made across the sector

This effectively means that a Professional Staff member who accumulates 21 days annual leave can be forced to reduce this to 11 days – little more than 2 working weeks – with only 2 months’ notice, and the manager can dictate when the leave is to take place.

On top of this, those 11 remaining days will then be at the mercy of UTS directing you to take further annual leave under a faux “extended shutdown”. UTS acknowledges this is not a 100 per cent shutdown of university activities, rather it refers to a scenario where some staff or units can still be directed to work with no penalty rates applying.

Clearly, the University is not interested in the health and wellbeing of staff choosing when they can take their leave, flying in the face of UTS’s current rhetoric.

Planning a proper holiday break or an overseas trip to visit family or recharge will be a thing of the past.

Gender Affirmation Offer Insulting

Gender Affirmation – an extremely complex and deeply personal health and social issue – is not being taken seriously by UTS.

Originally UTS agreed to 20 days leave for a Professional Staff member to affirm their gender. As with all social and critical health issues, standards are redrawn on a day-to-day basis in response to genuine concerns and lived experience of affected community members.

Other universities have acknowledged the importance of such leave to individuals and have offered well above an arbitrary 20 days in total, to 30 or more days per annum, for members of our community to take the time they need for important and essential, unavoidable medical and legal appointments.

Instead, UTS are, in an unfortunate and embarrassing display of ego, retaining their stance on 20 days leave in total. As a ridiculous and insulting compromise, UTS have offered the following:

  • extend the circumstances personal leave may be used to include appointments and commitments associated with pre and post gender affirmation procedures and processes
  • ability for staff to access their sick leave entitlements for the purposes of essential and necessary gender affirmation procedures
  • up to 20 days of paid special sick leave granted when a staff member’s sick leave balance has been exhausted.

Let’s be clear. Those embarking on affirming their gender are NOT sick. They face incredibly social stigma and discrimination on a daily basis that will only be compounded by the label of special “sick” leave.

Bargaining teams have strongly supported an increase from 20 days to 30 days gender affirmation leave. In light of the “compromise” above, it makes absolutely no sense to grant additional leave on the condition that their leave which is to be used for genuine times of sickness has been exhausted.

In this respect the offer of 30 days gender affirmation leave per annum is a logical, fact-driven and socially responsible approach that must be supported by UTS. The cost burden to UTS to include this progressive, positive clause in the enterprise agreement will be negligible given the minority of staff who will need to utilize such leave.

The CPSU NSW condemns this backwards approach by UTS.

The CPSU NSW UTS bargaining team remain strongly committed to professional staff issues in a separate Professional Staff enterprise agreement as raised in our members’ Log of Claims.

UTS’s unfortunate pursual of a single enterprise agreement for both Professional and Academic staff has been wrought with difficulties and delayed the settlement of an agreement for Professional Staff.


EBA negotiations have now reached a critical point. Understandably there is a lot of angst amongst staff as to what UTS’s offer in their email on 19 October 2022 means.

The CPSU NSW will be hosting an All Members Meeting at a time to be advised via MS Teams to address staff concerns.

Until then, please do not hesitate to email the bargaining team or CPSU NSW at to voice your concerns or questions.


The CPSU NSW will explore all available options to push back on UTS’s arbitrary offer.

EBA negotiations have now passed 18 months in duration. Enough is enough.

Join the CPSU NSW Team!

The CPSU NSW is always encouraging members to come on board as workplace delegates to further advance the rights of employees.

Join the fight with a strong, dedicated team committed to representing Professional Staff interests across UTS.

If you are interested in being a delegate or would like more information about the role, you can email or and put Delegate in the subject line, or call the CPSU NSW.





Andreas Dalman

Gregory Hampshire

Mark Christopher

Michael Cope