Staff Agreement

Bargaining Updates

29 June 2017 - Announcing an interim pay increase for all staff

During the past nine months, the University’s enterprise bargaining team has been meeting regularly and bargaining in good faith with the relevant unions representing their members to negotiate new agreements for our University.

In recognition that bargaining is still ongoing, and that in the ordinary course a pay increase would have been provided in July, the University will provide a 1.5 per cent interim pay increase, from the beginning of the first full pay period after 1 July 2017.  The interim increase will be paid to you in your 24 July 2017 pay.

While no firm salary offer has been discussed during negotiations as yet, staff are able to consider this payment as recognition for their hard work and dedication to the University.

The interim increase is ahead of the CPI calculation for Tasmania (currently 1.3 per cent) and is equivalent to national CPI.

The interim increase does not presume the final outcome of bargaining and will continue to be paid until new agreements are finalised and the negotiated increases are implemented. The interim increase will be incorporated into any negotiated increase for 2017.

Throughout the negotiation process, and with the prospect of significant cuts in Commonwealth Government funding announced as part of the Higher Education Reform package, the University’s bargaining team has been focusing on how best to meet the needs of all members of the University community, while also securing the future of the high quality teaching, research and professional services of our University. 

Through a new agreement for our University College we are aiming to ensure the introduction of teaching-focused roles to enable a career path for teaching specialists and to recognise and reward teaching excellence. 

The bargaining team is committed to finalising the agreements so we continue to build our University and retain and attract great staff.

June 2017 - Productive discussions continue and agreements are being drafted to reflect discussions

During June, your University Enterprise Bargaining (EB) team is working to develop clear enterprise agreements which are easier for you to understand and apply and for supervisors to follow and implement.  The agreements will seek to reduce current ambiguity and remove provisions which are unnecessary. They will also seek to retain and improve many of the current provisions and entitlements and will support our workforce to be able to meet future student expectations and the future direction of our University.  

Productive  discussions have been held with union representatives regarding the University’s revised academic workload clauses which clearly articulate better academic workload management and also outline teaching-focused roles (with 80% allocation to teaching and related activity) to support our University College, AMC and academics who are required to maintain strong professional linkages with industry, clinical or creative practice. A separate agreement is still required to ensure that teaching focused staff can be appointed by the University as the current agreement does not clearly support this.

Your EB team welcomes any opportunity to discuss the new agreements with you and will continue to engage at staff meetings across the University.

April 2017 - The University continues to negotiate for a fair, sustainable and progressive agreement

The University continues to negotiate in good faith with all unions to reach an enterprise agreement which recognises the vital contribution of our staff, meets the needs of our institution and will allow us to best navigate in a rapidly changing sector. Good progress continues to be made.

We are seeking new classifications to support teaching-focused staff working in our University College and for Vocational Education and Training-focused practitioners in our Australian Maritime College. These provisions are important to the recruitment of staff and the long-term ability of our University to enable sustainable career structures for our teaching focused staff.

Constructive discussions are occurring around the improved management of academic staff workloads and this has been very positive.

Clear procedures which outline the processes which apply to any research misconduct or other misconduct matters are also being discussed.  Clarifying these procedures will provide confidence to our staff and will ensure procedural fairness.

Further discussions are occurring around annual leave and how this can be better managed, giving our staff access to annual leave in a way which suits and reducing the financial impost to our university.

We appreciate staff interest in the progress of the enterprise agreement and we will continue to keep you informed as discussions progress.

Update - March 2017

Negotiations between the University and the unions have continued throughout March.  

The University has also provided new suggestions in a number of key areas including improvements to the current academic workload allocation framework and has continued the discussions regarding the introduction of teaching only academic positions at the University in particular areas such as the University College and vocational educational programs we deliver. 

We are also continuing discussions on other areas such as the classification and the reclassification process, ELC clauses, fixed-term conversion and flexible working arrangements.   Negotiations will recommence on 12 April.

Update – February 2017

Throughout February, members of the University negotiation team continued to meet with staff about the enterprise agreements that are currently being negotiated.   Face to face meetings were held with staff from the Cradle Coast Campus, Health Sciences at Newnham, staff from the School of Engineering and Information Communication Technology, the School of Architecture and Design, the Tasmanian College of the Arts at Inveresk and staff from Information Technology Services and the Governance and Executive Services Team.   Staff engaged positively and expressed support for the University’s proposals regarding academic workloads clauses and guidelines and the concept of School-specific guidelines.  Staff also expressed support for the University continuing to offer the "grace days" falling between Christmas and New Year.

Negotiations with the unions recommenced on 1 March 2017 and the parties intend to meet fortnightly.   Topics of discussion on 1 March were setting bargaining protocols for 2017, sharing staff feedback information and insights from the University and the unions and outlining the key areas where the parties are yet to reach agreement.

Update – January 2017

Throughout December, members of the university negotiation team (Jane Hanna, James Stronach and Russell Jentsch) have taken the opportunity meet with staff about enterprise bargaining.  Meetings were held with groups of staff from Cradle Coast Campus, Medical Sciences Precinct (Hobart), Rozelle Campus, IMAS Salamanca and IMAS Taroona and the Faculty of Education Forum (Campbell Town).  Staff attending engaged very positively in discussions, providing helpful feedback and were very interested in receiving further face to face updates.  More staff meetings are being scheduled with all University campuses during January and February to allow everyone an opportunity to attend and participate.

In the meetings held so far, staff and the negotiating team discussed a wide range of issues, the most common topics being:supporting the development and delivery of the new associate degrees at the University of Tasmania College, academic workload and associated guidelines, superannuation and types of paid leave including parental leave and annual leave.

The University will continue to hold meetings with staff to provide updates and gain feedback.