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 support of maintaining the positive momentum following the intensive bargaining session on 1 and 2 September, a working group involving representatives from the parties met on Thursday 29 September.


Further progress continued to be made on fixed-term employment, industrial relations, parental leave, and professional staff workload. A working group meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday 18 October, to continue the discussion on matters outside of the Bargaining Unit.

 

Mark Gladigau


Deputy Director: Advisory Services
People, Talent and Culture (HRM)
Chancellery (CHY)

Significant progress was achieved during our two days of intensive bargaining last Thursday and Friday. Thanks to best endeavors by all parties, we achieved in-principle agreement on new clauses for Academic Workload, and Intellectual and Academic Freedom.

Substantive progress was made through enhanced provisions for transition from fixed term to continuing employment, and provisions for academic and professional casual staff conversion to continuing employment. Professional Staff Workload was also well advanced.

The parties have committed to continue work outside of scheduled sessions to maintain this positive momentum.

 

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

At our full-day intensive bargaining session last Friday we focused on the academic workload clause, with particular considerations that align with our course-based approach to teaching workload allocation.


Other clauses discussed included casual academic staff conversion and fixed-term employment, including severance and eligibility thresholds for assessment for conversion to continuing employment.


The intensive sessions are serving us well and we have agreed to continue to utilise these longer meetings with our next two-day intensive scheduled for 1 and 2 September.

 

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

Last week’s bargaining progressed well with the upcoming intensive session in mind. The parties reviewed the progress of working groups on major organisational change, Aboriginal staff employment, and parental leave provisions.


The parties were able to conclude discussions on workplace bullying and substantially progressed clauses on professional staff workload and ordinary hours.


Work will continue in preparation for the next full-day bargaining session on 5 August and all parties have indicated a commitment to scheduling further intensives to address outstanding matters as soon as practicable.

 

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

The enterprise bargaining group met again last week and I appreciated the positive and constructive intent with which parties had come prepared to make progress on key matters including academic and intellectual freedom, fixed-term employment, and superannuation provisions.


We had a detailed and focused discussion, enabling us to identify specific work that we will progress between, and in support of, our upcoming scheduled meetings.


Looking ahead, parties also agreed to extend the length of our full-day intensive session on Friday 5 August. We next meet in two weeks’ time and I will continue to update you on our progress.

 

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

The fortnightly bargaining meetings continue with last week’s agenda covering workplace bullying, gender affirmation leave, family and domestic violence leave, student evaluations of teaching, superannuation, and salary.

The University signalled its openness to agreeing up to 20 days paid gender affirmation leave a year for staff members, in line with the NTEU’s original log of claims, and to ensuring family and domestic violence leave entitlements reflect the University’s commitment to supporting staff appropriate to their personal circumstances.

The University shared the current uncertain economic and sectoral context and outlined anticipated future challenges impacting our financial sustainability. In providing a salary offer in this context, our key focus is to provide as much clarity for staff as we can in what is, and is likely to be for some time, an uncertain environment.

Our priority has been to agree a nominal expiry date for a new Agreement no sooner than 31 December 2025 to align with our Enterprise25 strategic plan and to provide staff with a reasonable period of certainty about their entitlements whilst navigating a changing higher education landscape. The NTEU requested that salary and the expiry date for a new Agreement be included on the agenda for our next meeting in order for them to formally respond to our offer.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

At our Enterprise Bargaining meeting last Thursday we engaged in further work on some significant clauses, most notably fixed-term employment including provisions for conversion to continuing employment; intellectual and academic freedom; and casual staff employment. We progressed drafting of the fixed-term employment clause and discussed various approaches to the substantially new intellectual and academic freedom clause.


We have committed to continuing our fortnightly meetings through June and July and on the strength of our recent two-day intensive session, we have agreed to schedule an additional intensive full-day bargaining session in early August.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

Dear Colleagues

The first half of 2022 has sped past us at an astonishing rate of pace. Throw State and Federal elections into the mix, a new Premier and new Prime Minister, outstanding successes in CRCs and trailblazer schemes, big initiatives on authentic assessment and academic workload models while all the while holding our own as Australia’s University of Enterprise – and the #1 uni in this state for graduate careers – and there has been *a lot* going on in a very short space of time. Personally, I have never experienced a period quite like it in terms of the sheer volume of busyness and activity underway – or how that activity has been amplified and impacted through the lens of the global pandemic. A plea to those of you who’ve not yet had your third vaccination – from someone who did and was still absolutely knocked for six when he contracted Covid-19 a few weeks back – please do get your booster as soon as possible.

I’m about to take some long-deferred leave to finally see my children and my family in Ireland after two and a half years of pandemic-imposed separation. Before I head north though, I wanted to update you on a few matters.

Firstly, as you’ll probably be aware, the university continues to progress bargaining discussions with the unions for a new enterprise agreement. Our last agreement is still extant during this period and continues to serve us well, as it has since its implementation back in 2019. However, in as we continue negotiations, we are keen to ensure that the valued contribution and efforts of our staff are recognised and I’m pleased to advise we will be advancing an administrative salary increase for staff.

Accordingly, we will be progressing a 3% administrative salary increase for all staff covered by the UniSA Enterprise Agreement 2019, which will be operative from the first pay period on or after 30 June 2022.

Secondly, and directly related to my opening observations, we have looked at the uptake and utility of the extra wellness days which were afforded to staff last year, in recognition of the impact of the sustained pandemic on our community and their well-being. This initial offering was extremely well received by staff and had demonstrable impact and benefit. As 2022 is clearly another year where external pressure is being felt by the organisation across the board, and where we are all working very hard to keep the show on the road, against a backdrop of constrained resource and a significant projected in-year deficit for the university arising from the past two years’ impact on our student numbers, we have determined to provide two additional ‘wellness days’ to eligible continuing and fixed term staff between 4 July 2022 and 22 December 2022. This provision will be pro rata based on staff members’ employment fraction and can be requested for line manager approval from 4 July 2022 via myHR. More information will be provided through staff announcements in the coming weeks. You are strongly encouraged to avail of this provision wherever possible – and to use the extra time to decompress, reset and invest in your well-being.

While I’m away the university will be left in the very capable hands of Professor Marnie-Hughes Warrington and Professor Joanne Cys, who will be alternating as Acting Vice Chancellor over the next few weeks. I hope they don’t take the opportunity to change the locks when I’m gone and that they replace anything they break.

With best regards

David

Professor David G. Lloyd FTSE FRSC

Vice-Chancellor and President
University of South Australia
GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA 5001

The focus of last Thursday’s Enterprise Bargaining session was fixed-term and academic casual employment terms and conditions. Our negotiations on fixed-term employment included categories of employment and conversion to continuing employment, building on the discussions from last week's two-day intensive session. We further developed the detail of the relevant clauses and identified areas for additional review. Some sections have now moved to drafting stage, reflecting our progress to date.


Negotiations were cordial and all parties worked to evolve key matters. With the next scheduled bargaining meeting on Thursday 9 June confirmed as reviewing fixed-term employment, conversion of casual academics, casual employment terms, and academic and intellectual freedom, I feel we are keeping up a productive pace.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

The first day of our two-day intensive bargaining session progressed well, with a collegiate and constructive approach from all parties. We covered major workplace change including consultation, redundancy and redeployment; professional casual staff conversion provisions; fixed-term employment; professional staff ordinary hours and overtime, including working from home/remotely, and professional staff workload, with a key focus on workload review.

A significant portion of the first day concentrated on fixed-term employment, covering employment categories, conversion provisions, and severance pay. A number of clauses were significantly progressed, key threshold items were identified for further consideration, and we agreed to retain the current journey insurance provisions in the new Agreement.

The second day continued in a similarly productive manner. Academic workload was the main feature of our negotiations, with common interest around principles to underpin a collegial approach to course-based workload discussions and teaching allocation. We also discussed academic career pathways and undertook a detailed consideration of workload review. We were able to positively advance additional leave provisions for paid parental leave, gender affirmation and family and domestic violence.

I appreciated the preparation, the time invested, and the level of engagement from all parties. On the strength of this we have extended the length of this Thursday’s scheduled session to maintain the momentum achieved through the two days.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

Our negotiations last Thursday continued with a positive and constructive approach and were a helpful framing for, and precursor to, the two-day intensive bargaining session scheduled for later this week.

Discussions encompassed academic and intellectual freedom, including recognition of the work the University has undertaken to date in establishing its Statement on Academic Freedom and Public Statement Procedure.

We also discussed provisions to address how the University responds to workplace bullying and the University shared the role and value of the Secondment Register in facilitating new opportunities for professional staff.

The NTEU raised matters including union rights and student evaluations of teaching, and a constructive discussion was advanced in relation to the recognition and advancement of teaching at UniSA.

We now look ahead to the two-day intensive session scheduled for this coming Thursday and Friday, 19 and 20 May, with all parties committed to making substantive progress on key matters.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

At last Thursday’s bargaining meeting, the University signaled our openness to work with all parties on a number of clauses, and productive discussions were undertaken on items including Family and Domestic Violence Leave, Professional Staff Workloads, and Professional Casual Staff Conversion.

During discussions on the NTEU’s working from home clause, the University again referred our bargaining colleagues to the work being undertaken on a framework for flexible/remote working. In particular, the University reiterated that the approach is to 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.

We now look forward to one further fortnightly meeting in May, ahead of what we hope will be a productive two full days of bargaining in late May.

Professor Joanne Cys

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Chancellery and Council Services (CHA)

Chancellery (CHY)

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)

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

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