Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Any questions or comments you have regarding the updates and/or the negotiations can be emailed to Enterprise.Bargaining@unisa.edu.au.

It is an agreement about the relationship between an employer and a group of employees that is approved by the Fair Work Commission. It sets out the employment conditions for staff including salaries, leave, workload arrangements etc, and is tailored for the specific workplace.

Academic, professional, security, grounds and document services staff employed by UniSA are currently covered by the University of South Australia Enterprise Agreement 2014.

Representatives of both the University and employees sit down and discuss proposed changes to the current conditions of employment. The discussions focus on ensuring that employment conditions enable UniSA to continue to attract and retain skilled staff, while also providing an industrial framework which supports the strategic directions of the University.

Once the representatives have reached agreement, the new provisions are put to employees for them to vote on whether the proposed Agreement should be approved. If the outcome of the ballot is yes, then the Fair Work Commission will be asked to approve the Agreement and consider whether it meets certain requirements such as the “better off overall test”.

Once the proposed Agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission, it replaces the current Agreement and takes legal effect seven days after the approval.

The key steps of the bargaining process are outlined in the Overview of Bargaining Process at UniSA

UniSA’s current Enterprise Agreement has been in operation for four years and has a nominal expiry date of 9 June 2018. There is a commitment in the current Enterprise Agreement for the parties to commence renegotiation three months prior to the nominal expiry date. Therefore formal discussions with employee representatives will commence in March 2018.

The length of time negotiations take varies, as it is important to make sure that the Agreement addresses the interests of both parties. Negotiations generally continue until an agreement is reached.

Although our current enterprise agreements expires in June, the provisions remain in force until a new Agreement is negotiated, voted on and approved by the Fair Work Commission.

Employees have the right to represent themselves or nominate a bargaining representative to participate in the negotiations on your behalf.  If you are a member of a union, your union will automatically represent you in enterprise bargaining. At UniSA there are two staff unions – the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community, Public Sector Union (CPSU).

Representatives of the University consult widely with key stakeholders to understand what works well in the current Agreement and what may need changing or updating. This feedback is provided to senior management who considers, refines and ultimately approves the proposals for discussions with employee representatives during the negotiation process.

Every current employee covered by the proposed new agreements at UniSA who is eligible to vote, is invited to participate in the ballot once discussions are completed. While not compulsory, voting is encouraged to ensure a range of voices from across UniSA are heard.

Once the bargaining process is complete, voting information will be sent to all staff covered by the agreements. Prior to the vote, an access period of seven days allows staff time to review the agreement and any other materials that will help explain the agreement and support you in the voting process.

There are several ways in which staff members of the University can have effective input into the negotiation process:

  • Any questions or comments regarding the negotiations can be emailed to Enterprise.Bargaining@unisa.edu.au;
  • Staff can provide feedback on matters raised in enterprise bargaining updates from the University during the negotiations;
  • Staff can discuss any issues or feedback with their bargaining representative; and
  • There will be an opportunity for affected staff to have their say on the proposed changes when the draft Agreement is put to an employee vote.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, both an employer and an employee have the right to appoint a person of their choice to act as their bargaining representative in negotiations for an enterprise agreement.

Any queries about an individual’s personal conditions or entitlements can be directed to their direct line manager or their People, Talent and Culture Business Partnerships representative.

Regular updates will be published on the UniSA Enterprise Bargaining website.  You can also email enquiries to Enterprise.Bargaining@unisa.edu.au