Bargaining Updates

To keep you informed about the Enterprise Bargaining negotiations, updates will be published at each stage of the process. Also see the Bargaining Agendas webpage for the dates of bargaining meetings held, and their associated agendas.

In the interests of expediting our progress, the bargaining parties have agreed to an intensive two-day bargaining session in late May. In addition, we have agreed to increase the length of our regular fortnightly bargaining meetings.

In our most recent bargaining meeting last Thursday, we discussed a range of clauses proposed by the NTEU. One of these was a ‘right to disconnect’ clause which the University considers is already an unquestionable right of our staff. We therefore conveyed our view that we do not believe the Enterprise Agreement should constrain the ability of staff to exercise their own autonomy about how they wish to manage their engagement with their work.

We have initiated work on a framework for flexible/remote working that would seek as much flexibility as possible for staff to make their own choices about where, when, and how they work in a safe and sustainable way.

During discussion of other clauses, we signalled our willingness to consider additional provisions for special leave with pay, processes for conversion to continuing employment for fixed-term and casual staff, and a range of areas related to academic workload in the context of our recent consultation on a new course-based approach for workload allocation.

We now look forward to the upcoming two fortnightly meetings in late April and early May, ahead of what we hope will be a productive two days in late May.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

At our most recent Enterprise Bargaining meeting last Thursday we returned to a constructive and respectful engagement in progressing discussion.  As we worked through the agenda, the University’s approach was founded on continuing to enable flexible and responsive conditions through the most appropriate mechanisms – such as policy and procedure, or the EA – that enable us to amend, nuance and update responsively as need arises.

Our approach recognises that now more than ever, things can change quickly, and that so often, one size does not fit all. Most importantly, our approach enables us to preserve and build upon the unique UniSA culture that we value so deeply.

I’m also pleased to report that all parties agreed to attend an additional meeting this week to specifically explore how we may more expediently progress the bargaining process. We have now spent more than a year negotiating changes that are being sought to our current Agreement, which itself was agreed within nine months in the last round of bargaining, and has stood us in very good stead since 2019 and continues to serve us well.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

We have just passed the anniversary of our first bargaining meeting (we commenced bargaining on 25 March 2021), and so we hope to return to constructive and respectful engagement at our scheduled Enterprise Agreement bargaining meeting later this week.  

Whilst there is a fundamental difference of opinion between a number of the bargaining parties on a key technical matter, pragmatism and respect are deeply held tenets of our institution and we will continue to engage in good faith with the intention of making more timely progress on advancing the process. This is in everyone’s best interests.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

The University’s bargaining team attended the scheduled session of enterprise bargaining on Thursday 17 March. For context, the meeting was chaired by the NTEU and agenda items had been agreed several weeks in advance of the meeting.

The first agenda item, not requested by the University, was opened for discussion by the Chair and became a point of disagreement. Despite constructive suggestions on how the matter could be dealt with, none of the proposals made were entertained by the NTEU, and as a threshold matter which could not be resolved within the meeting, material progress on other bargaining matters could not be advanced.

The NTEU have advised their members that the University ‘refused to negotiate’ and did so without providing any context as to what actually occurred in the meeting. It’s important that I communicate the facts – over half the scheduled meeting time was spent trying to reach an acceptable position on the matter in question. At no time did the University act in any way other than in line with good faith bargaining principles and in accordance with our stated position, and at no time did the University refuse to negotiate – any assertion of that is categorically untrue.

The matter remains a point of disagreement, it is still unresolved, and is of significant concern to several of the parties engaged in bargaining with respect to the integrity of the bargaining process. The matter needs to be resolved so that bargaining can continue to progress. The NTEU do not consider there is an issue, with the NTEU bargaining team further clarifying that they take their direction from their national office in Victoria. Hopefully, this national direction accurately and appropriately represents the views of their members here at UniSA.

Factually, we find ourselves, after almost a year of good faith bargaining, without in-principle agreement on any of the 52 points included in the NTEU log of claims. By comparison, our current Agreement, which has served all parties well since 2019, reached in-principle agreement in 9 months.

What is undeniably true is that the bargaining session concluded without making progress. That is both regrettable and disappointing as a lot of work had been done to progress matters in advance of our team sitting down to engage.

Enterprise Bargaining is a formal process which must, by law, be conducted in good faith. There are formally agreed protocols which additionally govern how matters progress, to ensure the professionalism and integrity of the process. Of course, disagreement and different perspectives will arise during bargaining. My expectation is that this can be done constructively and respectfully. I was personally concerned by both the tone of the meeting and some of the behaviour exhibited – it was quite unlike any engagement we have had in bargaining in this past decade, which has hitherto been constructive, collegial and respectful, and in the best interests of all parties.

I do look forward to resolving this matter and to more constructive engagement moving forward.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

As staff would be aware, the University and union representatives have been negotiating a new Enterprise Agreement over the course of the past twelve months.

Progress has been particularly slow compared to previous rounds of bargaining with only one clause nearing in-principle agreement to date.

Regrettably, the last two scheduled meetings were cancelled. We look forward to continuing discussions at our next meeting on Thursday 17 March.

Until such time as we conclude negotiations, our current Agreement, which has served staff and the University well over the past few years, will remain in place. 

Further updates on the discussions will be provided as negotiations progress and you can visit the EB information page, which details the proposals put forward by both the University and the union representatives, and information about the negotiating process.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress of the University’s enterprise bargaining negotiations.

Since our last update on 28 May, the bargaining teams comprising the University, unions and staff representatives have met on three occasions: 24 June, 8 July, and 22 July.  We have an agreed schedule and broad approach in place and have spent time in these sessions exploring our respective priorities in more detail.

We continue to have constructive discussions to share the principles and objectives of the key priorities and to understand the positions and perspectives of the parties.  

To date we have progressed discussions in respect to the following provisions:

  • Paid parental leave
  • Overtime and TOIL
  • Consultation and Organisational Change
  • Professional Staff Development
  • Professional Staff Workload

To facilitate our discussions, we have provided further clarity on the University’s priorities for bargaining and this is available on this link

We will continue to explore our respective claims in further detail and anticipate that in the coming meetings we will be working through the following important considerations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment
  • Academic Workload
  • Casual staff employment
  • Fixed Term employment
  • Ordinary hours of work
  • Leave provisions

I look forward to providing further communication regarding the progress of bargaining soon. In the meantime, for information regarding enterprise bargaining please click here.  You can also contact us at People, Talent and Culture with any questions and feedback you would like to offer.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

Dear colleagues

As we open enterprise bargaining negotiations with the NTEU and CPSU, I’m getting in touch to share with you the context within which we are operating and which has shaped the key priorities the University will pursue in negotiating a new enterprise agreement.

Thanks to our collective efforts, despite adverse significant financial impact, we have navigated through 2020 largely on course and have withstood the first wave of financial impact arising from COVID-19.  Our current enterprise agreement and people-focused policies have served us well and have enabled us to respond to the challenges we’ve faced to date.  With any recovery in international student numbers now not anticipated until well into 2022, and with the commencement of the Job Ready Graduate Scheme from next year, we are facing greater financial challenges ahead in 2022 and 2023 and possibly even further out. 

We have a solid institutional strategy and we’re not about to change direction, but given what we know, and what lies ahead, it is important that we understand what’s realistic and achievable in a new enterprise agreement.  A key priority in 2020, and again this year, was to preserve employment levels as best we can and this will remain front of mind as we negotiate a new agreement.  To do this we will continue to exercise prudence and restraint and this approach will underpin how we respond to the matters discussed in our negotiations.

Our key priorities are modest, reflecting the reality of our context and position, and are positioned to maintain those current employment conditions that have served us well.  Our key priorities are now available under the bargaining updates section on the University’s enterprise bargaining website along the NTEU and CPSU logs of claims the University has received from both unions.

We look forward to continuing through constructive negotiations with the NTEU and CPSU and we will keep staff regularly informed as bargaining progresses. 

If you have any questions or feedback please contact People, Talent and Culture at PTC@unisa.edu.au

Best regards,

David

Professor David G. Lloyd FTSE FRSC
Vice-Chancellor and President
University of South Australia

See details of the NTEU Log of Claims (PDF 139KB).

See details of the CPSU Log of Claims (PDF 700KB).

I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress of the University’s enterprise bargaining negotiations.

Since our first bargaining meeting on 25 March 2021, the bargaining teams of the University, NTEU and CPSU have met on 3 occasions (25 March, 21 April and 13 May). We have established, and agreed to, a set of enterprise bargaining protocols to facilitate a positive and constructive bargaining process, a copy of which can be viewed here. These bargaining protocols also include details of the bargaining units and membership for the University and each union.

We look forward to further consultative and collaborative discussions over the coming months and are next scheduled to meet on 3 June 2021. We anticipate that we will explore the following matters over the coming period of negotiation:

  • confirmation of meeting scheduling
  • legislative changes
  • union claims.

I look forward to providing further communication regarding the progress of bargaining soon. In the meantime, for information regarding enterprise bargaining please click here. You can also contact us at People, Talent and Culture via PTC@unisa.edu.au with any questions and feedback you would like to offer.

Jane Booth
Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture
People, Talent and Culture (HRM)
Chancellery (CHY)

Notice of Employee Representational Rights

The University is commencing negotiations for our next Enterprise Agreement with the NTEU and CPSU on 25 March 2021, as the nominal expiry date of the current University of South Australia Enterprise Agreement 2019 is 30 June 2021.

As negotiations are about to commence, all academic, professional, security and grounds staff covered by the current Enterprise Agreement are advised of their right to appoint a bargaining representative, as set out in the Notice of Employee Representational Rights.

Staff are encouraged to keep informed about the process and have input into the bargaining progress via the Enterprise Bargaining website, or by emailing People, Talent and Culture with questions and feedback.

We look forward to a constructive bargaining process and will keep staff informed as the negotiations progress.

Ms Jane Booth
Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture
People, Talent and Culture (HRM)
Chancellery (CHY)

Dear colleagues

I am writing to let you know that the University is liaising with the NTEU and the CPSU to commence negotiation of our next Enterprise Agreement.  The current Agreement nominally expires in June and we will look to start negotiations on a new agreement this month.

You will see further communication about the bargaining process in the staff announcements and there will be a webpage which will provide information and updates as discussions progress.  You can also contact People, Talent and Culture - PTC@unisa.edu.au - with questions and feedback. 

For this round of negotiations, the University’s bargaining team will include Professor Joanne Cys, Executive Dean: UniSA Creative, Jane Booth, Executive Director: People Talent and Culture, Mark Gladigau, Associate Director Workplace Strategy, and Anne-Marie Edmonds, Manager: Employee Relations.

The discussions will take place at a challenging time given that the significant impacts of COVID are still being felt across our community, and especially in higher education, and this will continue for some time.  As you know the University has committed to maintaining employment levels as best we can, and we’ve honoured previously agreed salary increases and working conditions.  Through our collective efforts, I think we can feel some pride in how well our staff have so far weathered the unique circumstances we have faced and continue to face.  We are in a strong position to deal collectively – and prudently - with the continuing pressures on our finances and operations.  As a result, the bargaining process and its timing presents us with an important opportunity to strengthen our distinctive culture and workplace, to build on the University’s 30 years of success, and to further our mission as Australia’s University of Enterprise.

I look forward to the consultative and collaborative discussions that will take place over the next few months.

Sincerely

David

Professor David G. Lloyd
Vice-Chancellor and President
University of South Australia

For further details regarding the bargaining priorities please refer to the UniSA Bargaining Priorities 2021 - In Further Detail PDF (1.3MB).