Monday, 12 December 2022


On Friday CPSU NSW Members met to discuss the proposed enterprise agreement that the University has put forward for ballot from tomorrow (Tuesday 13 December 2022).

When the set of proposed conditions and salary were set out to them in full detail, they have voted unanimously to REJECT the agreement.

You may wonder why, given it has taken 15 months to get to this point, and when no doubt your email is clogged with good news stories from management, urging you to accept it.

Well this is the first of three Bulletins to explain in no uncertain terms why you and your colleagues should VOTE NO in tomorrow’s ballot.


Like all negotiations, there were some positives and negatives for all parties.  The University has pushed what it considers to be the advantages, some of which are questionable, and there is no need to further canvas them here.

But there are some clear disadvantages that the University is probably not making the same effort to bring to your attention:

  • The expansion of the flex time bandwidth for all workers to 7:00am to 7:00pm without, despite hours of repeated arguing for one, any protection for staff who cannot work family-unfriendly hours from being directed to do so;
  • Confusion around whether tea breaks were still a right or at managerial discretion; and
  • A below-par salary offer that will be explained separately.

But most concerningly is not what the CPSU NSW bargaining team can tell you about the proposed agreement, but what we cannot tell you with any certainty.

Up until two weeks ago, the flag piece of the agreement was the University’s introduction of “life leave” – 10 days non-accruable leave (in trade off for a reduction in accruable personal leave) that we were told could be used for any purpose, without restriction.

Then after our last bargaining meeting on 2 December, the CPSU NSW was alerted to changes the University had made to the agreement, without discussing them, that will curtail the use of life leave to certain unspecified circumstances.

Our concern then is, what other amendments have the University made to the proposed agreement without notifying us?  What else have they introduced changes or restrictions to?  And why, after 15 months of negotiating, would they look to alter conditions at the eleventh hour?

As we told management, the irony in an enterprise bargaining process that moved at the pace of a glacier for fifteen months then looking like a hasty rush job at the end is not lost on us.

And this is one reason why the CPSU NSW bargaining team, and its membership, are urging all staff to VOTE NO for a FAIR GO!