Earlier this year, the CPSU NSW lodged a dispute in the Fair Work Commission regarding TAFE’s refusal to convert casuals to permanent in accordance with the amendments made to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act).
Last week, the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision after the CPSU NSW pursued this matter through until arbitration. The Fair Work Commission determined that the CPSU NSW’s arguments regarding TAFE’s obligations under the Act were correct, which means that the union won the dispute.
The Fair Work Commission acknowledged that the decision applied only to the three casual employees who gave evidence as a part of the hearing. However, the union will write to TAFE and ask whether they intend on making offers of permanency to all casual employees who meet the criteria under the Act. TAFE also have 21 days to appeal the Fair Work Commission’s decision, which they may do.
However, if TAFE doesn’t appeal the decision, then the ruling of the Fair Work Commission could potentially mean that any casual employee who meets the criteria for conversion under the act (i.e. length of service and a regular pattern of hours) might be eligible for an offer of permanent employment. This is a huge win, and a major step forward in the union’s fight for secure and ongoing employment at TAFE.
The union will keep all members updated regarding the dispute, including whether or not TAFE appeals the decision. In the meantime, if you are a casual and have any questions concerning the dispute, please contact the CPSU NSW on 1800 772 679.