At the beginning of 2022, the CPSU NSW wrote to TAFE on several occasions and requested that bargaining for the TAFE Managers EA commence, as the nominal expiry date of the EA was 2021. TAFE advised the union that the TAFE Managers EA would have to wait as the TAFE Admin and TAFE Teachers EAs were a priority.
In October 2022, TAFE NSW finally agreed to begin negotiating with the CPSU NSW, the NSW Teachers Federation and unaffiliated TAFE NSW Managers to address the now expired EA.
There have now been five separate meetings between TAFE NSW and the unions as well as several unaffiliated TAFE NSW Managers.
TAFE’s initial position with respect to bargaining was that they were not willing to offer any retrospective wage increase for 2022, despite the Enterprise Agreement between TAFE Managers and TAFE NSW expiring on 31 December 2021. As for future wage increases, TAFE NSW advised that they were only willing to offer the maximum allowable wage increase under the NSW Government Wages Policy (2.53 per cent + superannuation) and that increase would only apply from January 2023.
The CPSU NSW told TAFE in no uncertain terms that this was offensive and questioned why TAFE managers were expected to wait until next year for their pay increase to take effect. TAFE NSW advised the unions that they expected managers to ‘take one for the team’ and show leadership, due to the fact that teachers only received a pay increase of 0.3 per cent in 2020. The CPSU NSW pointed out that the Teachers EA is completely separate from the TAFE Managers EA, and the 2020 result was due to totally different circumstances than exist today. Further, it is the view of the union that TAFE NSW Managers have already taken ‘one for the team’, in having had no increase in 2022, and that they should not be expected to wait until next year to receive their pay increase.
Following further negotiations, TAFE NSW has indicated that they would be willing to offer TAFE NSW Managers a 0.3 per cent wage increase backpaid from July 2022.
Last week, the CPSU NSW met with TAFE NSW again in relation to the TAFE Managers Enterprise Agreement. At that meeting, TAFE NSW agreed to insert a conversion clause into the EA, for those managers who are temporary employees but wish to become permanent. The unions are still working on the details of this clause. However, this doesn’t negate the fact that TAFE NSW are refusing to acknowledge what the managers, who ensure the seamless running of the organisation, are worth.
It is likely that TAFE NSW will put the Managers EA out to a vote without having reached agreement with the unions involved. If this does occur, the CPSU NSW is recommending that members vote ‘no’ to the EA. There is no plausible reason as to why managers should have to wait for their pay increase when members covered by the TAFE Admin EA will receive theirs immediately upon certification of the EA.
When the CPSU NSW hears anything further from TAFE, we will update members accordingly. Until then, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the union on 1800 772 679.