Monday, 20 February 2023

University of Sydney EBA Negotiations Update

The CPSU NSW Bargaining Team thanks the University for their willingness to listen and respond positively to our arguments presented at the bargaining meeting held on 7 February 2023. Consequently, the following issues look likely to have positive outcomes:

  • Independent Medical Examinations
    • CPSU NSW has already achieved very significant improvements, including an extension of the required notice period the University has to give a staff member before medically retiring them – from 4 weeks to 6 month; a requirement for HR to be consulted – so it is not solely a managerial decision; an emphasis on having a support person present; and better communications about the decision and reasons.
    • At our recent meeting, we sought to ensure that staff can only be required to undergo independent medical examinations for appropriate reasons by removing the current ability of the University to require it simply if you have taken more than 20 sick days in a 12-month period. This was agreed.
  • Internal Advertising of vacancies
    • The University wanted to remove all requirements to advertise Professional Staff vacancies internally before going external, which would have been a real blow to staff development at University of Sydney. Both unions opposed this.
    • Currently if there are suitable internal candidates at levels HEO 1-5 external advertising will not occur. The University is “encouraged” to interview internal applicants at HEO 6-9 first.
    • The University has suggested instead requiring internal applicants to be considered ahead of externals for HEO 1-7 in return for introducing eligibility lists (see below) and being able to advertise internally and externally simultaneously for HEO8 and above. This is not yet resolved.
  • Eligibility lists
    • Agreement in principle reached – indicating that if you apply for a role and you are considered appointable but not the successful candidate, and the same or substantially similar role becomes vacant within 12 months, you will be considered appointable to that role without repeating the application process. There are details that still need to be worked through.
  • Casual Conversion
    • CPSU NSW sought to alter current clause wording to prevent the potential in the current wording for a single, satisfactorily resolved performance issue from preventing conversion to a fixed-term or continuing role forever!
    • The University agreed in principle.
  • Periodic Employment
    • There are currently measures in the Enterprise Agreement that allow for limited employment of Professional staff on a periodic basis (eg. continuing employment, but each year during semester periods only).
    • CPSU NSW sought to alter the current wording to ensure that Professional staff were not inadvertently affected by these changes. This was agreed in principle.
  • Professional Staff Development Fund
    • This was mentioned in the last newsletter as an excellent staff development tool that you should consider via the staff intranet (or by asking a CPSU NSW Delegate about it).
    • This was not managed well in its early life by the University, but the Unions have gained agreement on improving administration of the fund and staff awareness of its existence, as well as ensuring it is for individual career progression and not to be spent by managers on generic group training. The unions are considering allowing for a re-set of the fund if the University withdraws its claim that the annual roll-over of unspent funding is discontinued.
    • Whatever decision is made, we will not be accepting discontinuation of the funding roll-over.


Enterprise Bargaining Meetings – Members Only

The CPSU NSW University of Sydney Bargaining Team will conduct two member-only meetings related to Enterprise Bargaining this week – please make sure you attend one of them!!

The first meeting, Wednesday 1pm, will be a zoom-only meeting:

Meeting 1

Time: Wednesday Feb 22, 2023 01:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 837 2119 6144

Passcode: 109456

Meeting 2

The second meeting, on Thursday 23 Feb, will be a hybrid in person, zoom meeting:

Time: Thursday Feb 23, 2023 01:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 5522 6205

Passcode: 919588



in-person at A35 – Education Building Lecture Room 424

These meetings are for CPSU NSW members only – please don’t share or forward on the meeting URLs!

See you this week!

Your Bargaining Team

Grant Wheeler – Delegate

Ivan Coates – Delegate

Rachelle Down – Delegate

Holly Eades – Delegate

Patrick O’Mara – Delegate

Lisa Nelson – CPSU Senior industrial officer