UQ has issued these communications about the current enterprise bargaining negotiations. This list is not exhaustive.

6 April 2018 - Email from Chief Human Resources Officer

Dear Colleagues

The National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU) has notified the University of industrial action to be undertaken by NTEU members. This protected industrial action includes:

  1. A stoppage of work for one (1) hour commencing at midday on Tuesday 10 April 2018.
  2. A ban on working before 9am, commencing at 7am on Wednesday 11 April 2018 and ceasing at midnight on Friday 13 April 2018.
  3. A ban on working after 5pm, commencing at 7am on Wednesday 11 April 2018 and ceasing at midnight on Friday 13 April 2018.
  4. For Professional Staff only, a ban on working overtime, commencing at 7am on Wednesday 11 April 2018 and ceasing at midnight on Friday 13 April 2018.

The proposed protected industrial action is limited to members of the NTEU.

NTEU members are not obliged to advise us in advance of their intention to participate or not participate in this protected industrial action, but are required to report their participation after the event.

As you would be aware, no staff member should treat anyone inappropriately or unfavourably on the basis of union membership or non-membership; or on the basis of their decision to participate or not participate in industrial action.

Prohibition on Payment and Reporting

In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) the University is required to deduct pay for the time that the staff member does not undertake any work as protected industrial action.

To ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act staff members who engage in the abovementioned stoppage of work and/or a work ban that results in them working less than their ordinary hours, are required to advise of their participation by completing the pro forma Participation Form (PDF, 40KB).

Following completion, the Participation Form is to be returned to Human Resources by emailing the form to ebfeedback@uq.edu.au 

Reduced pay as a result of industrial action will, in turn, lower the superannuation contribution from both the member and also the University.  Both contributions are calculated as a percentage of pay.  For UniSuper members, it is possible for the member to "top up" both the member and employer contribution to maintain their contribution at the full time rate for the affected pay fortnight(s).  If you are concerned about the impact on your superannuation entitlements, including the impact on your insurance benefits, please contact UniSuper.

Should you require further assistance or advice please contact one of the staff members in the Workplace Relations team:

Mr Anthony Lennon, Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations) Ext. 53030 or anthony.lennon@uq.edu.au
Ms Ann-Maree Waugh, Senior Workplace Relations Consultant Ext. 60401 or a.waugh@uq.edu.au 
Mr Richard Bannister, Senior Workplace Relations Consultant Ext. 51118 or r.bannister@uq.edu.au
Ms Nicole Perry, Senior Workplace Relations Consultant Ext. 52498 or nicole.perry@uq.edu.au
Ms Ja Khan Senior Workplace Relations Consultant Ext. 31365 or jarunee.khan@uq.edu.au

Regards

Dr Al Jury

Chief Human Resources Officer

29 March 2018: Email from Provost

Thank you to those staff who participated in our bargaining feedback questionnaire.  We are pleased with how many colleagues engaged in this process; your feedback has given the University’s enterprise bargaining team valuable information as we look to conclude a new Agreement.

Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they were either satisfied or neutral with respect to the proposed package of pay, benefits and conditions.  While some people expressed disappointment that the University could not offer higher salary increases, there was also an understanding of the constraints under which UQ is operating.

There was strong support for the University’s view that the negotiations need to be brought to a conclusion, with 80% of respondents saying that it was important for us to reach Agreement in a timely manner.  We are continuing to talk with the Unions and I remain optimistic that we will have an Agreement in the near future.

The ‘free text’ comments have drawn our attention to the fact that many colleagues would like greater clarity on the pay rises that would apply at their classification, rather than the indicative pay points that we included in our summary guide.  If you would like to see how it is proposed that your salary will increase over the life of the next Agreement, you can access the proposed new salary tables (PDF, 37KB).

The proposed salary increases at UQ compare to those that have been agreed at other universities during this round of bargaining.  Across the University sector, most pay rises have typically ranged from 1.5% to 2.0% per annum.  Our proposal will see the highest paid staff receive aggregate increases of 8.0% over four years, while lower paid staff will receive increases of up to 11.2% over the same period.  This compares favourably with outcomes at other universities.

There were some queries about the effect of the increase to the ‘span of hours’ for UQ professional staff engaged in the administration occupational category.  This is an important and necessary change for the University community.  It will bring UQ into line both with competitors in the Group of Eight as well as other Queensland universities and reflects the reasonable expectations of our student community.

A change in hours will underpin what we can effectively deliver in terms of improvements to the student experience in terms of a more responsive administrative function; it is also the case that such a change will enable staff to have greater flexibility in their work-life balance.  To be clear, the proposed change does not mean that staff will be required to work longer hours than they currently do. HEW Level 1-7 staff members will continue to be entitled either to TOIL or overtime.  We are also mindful that many of our staff have carer or parental responsibilities and that these commitments must be taken into account.

We thank all staff who shared their views through the feedback form and will keep you updated as we look to conclude the new Agreement.

Thank you again for supporting our efforts to improve UQ.

Regards

Aidan

Professor Aidan Byrne

7 March 2018 - Email from Provost

Dear Colleagues,  

Bargaining has been underway since April 2017 for our new Enterprise Agreement – an important document that underpins our staff experience by setting employment conditions and supporting UQ’s operation.

You may have seen worrying headlines about the impact of cuts on universities across the country. While UQ is well placed to manage these challenges, it is important we have an Agreement that is clear and operationally sensible, while maintaining procedural fairness for all staff. To address this, UQ has proposed a range of substantial new benefits for staff and some changes to improve our operation.

After 37 bargaining meetings, we have made substantial progress and reached in-principle agreement on many matters. University negotiators believe we have a pay offer that converges with the stated position of the unions.  It is now time to decide on outstanding matters so we can deliver the next salary increase that staff are due.

In January this year, after considering our financial position and the impact of the Australian Government’s recent changes to university funding, UQ tabled an indicative salary offer for the proposed four-year Agreement, which was structured in a way that significantly benefited staff at lower pay increments. Feedback received from staff was to improve the offer for more senior staff.

UQ has taken this feedback on board and responded with an improved salary offer for staff at all pay levels equivalent to at least 8% over the life of the Agreement. The offer ensures that all staff receive a real increase in their salary once inflation is taken into account, and specifically provides higher increases for staff engaged at lower pay levels. Those staff earning $50,000 per annum will receive an aggregate salary increase of 11.2% over the life of the Agreement and those earning $70,000 per annum will receive an aggregate salary increase of 9.2%. 

Our new offer compares very favourably to those that have been agreed by other universities which have recently negotiated new agreements. 

I encourage you to read Enterprise bargaining: UQ’s position (PDF, 4MB) and give us your feedback. It is a guide to how the proposed salary increase will benefit you, and also provides details about the position UQ is taking on several key matters. Overall, I am confident that the strong package of benefits and conditions both rewards our staff and also provides a foundation for UQ’s continued success, notwithstanding a challenging external environment.

Thank you for your patience during this process. Be assured that we are trying our hardest to reach an Agreement.

Professor Aidan Byrne
 

13 February 2018 - Email from Provost

Colleagues,

I would like to update you on the progress of negotiations around a new Enterprise Agreement.  We held a day-long meeting on 23 January and a further meeting today in an attempt to resolve outstanding matters.  While the parties have reached an understanding on the majority of issues, regrettably there are a number of critical matters that remain unresolved, preventing the finalisation of a new agreement.

The University is not proposing radical change.  In broad terms, we wish to ensure that our staff continue to enjoy excellent and fair terms and conditions of employment.  Like most other universities, we are also striving to obtain some simplification of our Enterprise Agreement to make it easier to understand and apply.

While at the meeting this morning the University indicated a willingness to reconsider its salary offer; we also advised that an improved salary offer is contingent on reaching agreement on the remaining outstanding issues.  

Our preference has always been to work with nominated bargaining representatives so that we can jointly recommend an agreed package to staff.  We remain mindful that staff have been very patient as we have worked through the bargaining process.

Throughout the process, our bargaining team has been appreciative of the comments and feedback that staff have provided.  If you have any thoughts to share or any questions that you would like to ask, please email ebfeedback@uq.edu.au

Regards,

Professor Aidan Byrne BSc MSc Auck. PhD ANU
 

18 January 2018 - Email from Provost

Dear Colleagues,

First of all, I’d like to welcome you back and wish you all the best for a prosperous 2018.

I’m writing to update you on our discussions to conclude the new University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement.

After thirty-three bargaining meetings in 2017, we are within reach of agreement on outstanding matters and have scheduled a full day meeting on Tuesday 23 January with this objective in mind.

Having reviewed the University’s financial position and outlook, we are now in a position to table a salary offer similar to other agreed offers across the sector, which will ensure that UQ staff continue to receive competitive salaries that provide fair and reasonable reward.

In making this offer, the University has taken into account the adverse impact of the $2.2 billion funding cuts to universities announced in December 2017. These cuts regrettably include a freeze on the maximum amount of government funding for bachelor degree courses for 2018 and 2019 and significantly constrain our capacity to grow thereafter. As staff would also be aware, the University faces some additional uncertainty in 2020 following the graduation of Queensland’s split year school cohort.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the University is in a position to offer staff the following pay increases each year until 2021, with the first increase to be paid immediately upon the approval by staff of the agreement in a ballot.

Subject to a successful conclusion of negotiations, our salary offer comprises:

Upon approval by staff of the Agreement by ballot (Year 1) 

1.5% increase 

Year 2 

$1500 increase 

Year 3 

1.6% increase 

Year 4 

$2000 increase

In addition to these proposed salary increases, the University has indicated a preparedness to improve superannuation benefits for fixed-term staff and paid parental leave for primary caregivers. We have also reached in-principle agreement to improve staff benefits with respect to domestic and family violence leave, cultural leave and a number of other matters.

We also expect to achieve simplification of some key processes and arrangements in the Agreement so that it is easier to understand and implement, while ensuring that staff continue to have high confidence in UQ’s commitment to procedural fairness.

If you have any comments or questions with respect to this salary offer or any other aspect of the bargaining process, I encourage you to email the the Enterprise Bargaining Team via EBFeedback@uq.edu.au. Further information is also available at the University's enterprise bargaining webpage at www.hr.uq.edu.au/eb.

I’d like to thank all staff who have provided feedback to date and who have expressed their interest in a timely conclusion to negotiations.

Yours sincerely,

Aidan

Professor Aidan Byrne BSc MSc Auck. PhD ANU

11 December 2017 - Email from Provost

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the end of the year, I am writing with an update on enterprise bargaining.

Bargaining at UQ has been a thoughtful and constructive process, characterised by respectful exchanges of views and information among all parties. In recent weeks, bargaining has intensified as we look to reach an outline agreement before the end of the year.

Over the course of our meetings, we have discussed the full range of rights and responsibilities that underpin each person’s employment. We have reached in-principle agreement on important matters such as academic and intellectual freedom, cultural leave, domestic violence leave, and improving the employment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. And we are close to agreement on many other important issues.

While there have been preliminary discussions with respect to salary, the University is yet to make a formal pay offer. In so doing, we have been mindful of the current state of uncertainty with respect to University funding and the prospect of further cuts given the Federal Government’s failure to pass its higher education reform package this year. At the same time, and despite this uncertainty, we are committed to ensuring that staff at UQ continue to benefit from remuneration increases that are broadly comparable to those that have been agreed elsewhere in the University sector.

Bargaining will continue throughout December.  By the holidays we expect to have reached agreement on most items.  The remaining items will then be addressed as early as possible in the New Year.

I would like to thank each of the representatives who has worked with the University this year towards an agreement that works for all our staff. This includes the National Tertiary Education Union, the Together branch of the Australian Services Union, United Voice Union and individual staff representatives.

My thanks also to colleagues outside of the formal process who have taken an interest in enterprise bargaining this year, especially those who have provided feedback or suggestions to the bargaining team.

Yours sincerely

Aidan

Professor Aidan Byrne BSc MSc Auck. PhD ANU

20 September 2017 - Email from Provost

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to provide you with a further update on enterprise bargaining at UQ.

Bargaining has been continuing on a weekly basis and we continue to make steady progress. Our Agreement is a long and complex document so it has taken some time to work through all the detail in a careful way.

It remains one of our objectives to simplify the Agreement where possible and sensible.

Job security has been a focus of our recent discussions. It is important to both the University and our bargaining representatives to get this right.

Fixed term contracts and conversion

While the University has a preference for continuing employment, fixed-term appointments are sometimes necessary to allow for work to be done on a specified task or for a specified period.

Currently our Agreement restricts when staff may be engaged on fixed term contracts. This has meant that casual employment is often used more than we would like. To provide for greater job security for some staff currently employed under casual arrangements, the University is seeking less prescription around the use of fixed term contracts for professional staff.

Allied to this is a proposal for fixed term conversion; a new right for eligible staff to apply for conversion to continuing employment where they have commenced employment on a fixed term basis and have subsequently had their contracts renewed.

Discussions are continuing in relation to the precise terms of these new provisions; however I am confident that with good will from bargaining representatives we will be able to achieve a positive outcome that best suits the needs of staff and the University.

For academic staff, the current restrictions around the use of fixed term appointments will remain.

We welcome your input and feedback

We welcome feedback, which will be used by the bargaining team to refine our approach as discussions continue. If you have any suggestions for improvement based on your personal experience of how the current Agreement has worked for you, please let us know.

There are two ways you can get in touch with us and learn more:

  1. Make comments, ask questions and provide feedback to the Enterprise Bargaining Team via EBFeedback@uq.edu.au
  2. Visit the University's enterprise bargaining webpage for further information and updates at http://www.hr.uq.edu.au/eb

To those who have already contributed feedback, thank you. I will of course continue to keep you updated as discussions continue.

Yours sincerely,

Aidan

Professor Aidan Byrne BSc MSc Auck. PhD ANU

Provost and Senior Vice-President

10 August 2017 - Bargaining update

Since the last update, we’ve been continuing to work through the detail of our Agreement in a methodical way.

You can view the draft clauses tabled by the University to date. These draft clauses remain subject to ongoing negotiations and may change as the University receives feedback and considers alternative proposals and/or claims made by bargaining representatives.

Consultation on Major Change

Our current Agreement requires us to undertake quite complex and involved processes. The University is proposing to make organisational change simpler and easier for staff to navigate.

In particular, we are aiming to improve the way in which we handle proposals for major change so that staff are provided with all the information they need in an initial single Proposal document, rather than receiving multiple communications over an extended period of time.

Our experience at UQ is that change is more likely to be successful when staff feedback is genuinely considered and used to shape final outcomes. It is hoped that the new process will provide staff with clear opportunities to provide input into change processes to facilitate better outcomes for staff as well as the University.

The University’s proposal is also aimed at allowing change to be managed in a way that does not expose staff to protracted periods of uncertainty, as sometimes occurs under the processes required under the current Agreement.

Redundancy Entitlements: Academic Staff

The University is proposing to clarify the entitlements of academic staff in circumstances of redundancy.

It is proposed that in circumstances of redundancy, academic staff will receive a payment of 26 weeks’ salary plus two weeks’ salary for each year of continuous service, capped at a maximum of 64 weeks. This payment will be in addition to:

  • the required notice period (as per the Agreement or as specified in the staff member’s contract of employment) or payment in lieu; and
  • pro rata long service leave entitlements for staff with five (5) years or more service.

Misconduct and Serious Misconduct

The University is proposing to streamline and simplify procedures for misconduct and serious misconduct in the new Agreement.

While these provisions are rarely used, it is important that the University be able to deal with alleged instances of misconduct or serious misconduct in a way that both protects the rights of the staff member, particularly with respect to due process and a fair hearing of the allegations, the staff member’s response and any extenuating circumstances; and allows the University to resolve issues of misconduct and serious misconduct in a timely and efficient way.

How you can be involved

We welcome your input and feedback. There are two ways you can get in touch with us and learn more:

  • Make comments, ask questions and provide feedback to the Enterprise Agreement team via EBFeedback@uq.edu.au
  • Visit the University’s enterprise bargaining webpage for further information and updates at hr.uq.edu.au/eb

We encourage anyone with an interest in bargaining to provide feedback on the University’s proposals and draft clauses.

Your feedback will be used to shape our approach to concluding an Agreement that meets the needs of our staff as well as positioning the University for continued success.

The UQ Bargaining Team

Professor Aidan Byrne, Bill Kernahan, Anthony Lennon and Ann-Maree Waugh

30 May 2017 - Enterprise Bargaining Update

Following a series of preliminary meetings, we’re now at the stage of discussing the detail of specific matters in the Enterprise Agreement. Recent meetings have focused significantly on leave and the University’s proposed approach to simplifying our Agreement. View the draft leav e clauses tabled by the University to date, which remain subject to ongoing negotiations.

Parental leave

The University recognises that many staff are responsible for caring for a child after birth or adoption. Currently, birth mothers and adoptive parents who are primary caregivers can access 26 weeks paid leave. The University is proposing to also offer a new type of paid parental leave, called Primary Caregiver Leave, which would provide a primary caregiver – who is not the birth mother – with 14 weeks paid leave.

Personal leave

The University is proposing to restore parity between academic and professional staff for entitlement to personal leave. In the new agreement, we are proposing that all continuing and fixed-term staff have access to the community standard of 10 days personal leave, which can be a combination of sick leave and carer’s leave as required, and will continue to accumulate from year to year if not used.

Our current Enterprise Agreement provides an entitlement for academic staff to access up to an additional 35 days of personal leave each year. This entitlement is not available to professional staff and considerably exceeds community standards. Provision will remain for staff to access accumulated personal leave and the University also facilitates paid special leave in exceptional circumstances. For these reasons, we do not expect this change to have a major impact; however, it will bring our University into line with what our community would expect.

Staff will continue to have access to the additional five days non-accumulative carer’s leave.

Domestic and family violence leave

As a responsible employer, the University recognises that staff affected by domestic and family violence will require support in a range of ways, including but not limited to the provision of paid leave.

UQ’s current guidelines: Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Support Options Available for Staff [5.55.06] presents support options, and bargaining representatives have had productive discussions with the University about further steps we can take to support those affected by domestic violence.

The University is therefore proposing to include a new clause in our Agreement dealing specifically with domestic violence and confirming employees’ entitlement to paid special leave in these circumstances.

Cashing out annual leave and long service leave

The University is proposing to offer staff much greater flexibility by allowing them the option to cash out untaken annual leave and long service leave. We’re pleased to be proposing this additional benefit to staff in response to previous staff requests for the University to allow this.

This new entitlement will include some sensible and reasonable conditions. For example, in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009, staff will need to have a balance of at least four weeks leave following any cash out of annual leave, so that staff maintain the capacity to take regular breaks from work at any given time.

Simplifying our Agreement

The Enterprise Agreement underpins the working conditions of all staff, so it should be a document that can be readily and easily understood by everyone. Unfortunately, many of the provisions of the current agreement are either ambiguous or highly complex, so we’re seeking changes to our Agreement that make it far easier to understand and work with.

For example, current processes relating to organisational change, misconduct, unsatisfactory performance and medical conditions affecting performance are often difficult for the staff involved. The University would like to address the complexity of such processes so they are easily understood and can be completed in a timely manner, while remaining fair to the parties concerned.

How you can be involved

We welcome your input and feedback. There are two ways you can get in touch with us and learn more:

  • Make comments, ask questions and provide feedback to the Enterprise Agreement team via EBFeedback@uq.edu.au
  • Visit the University's enterprise bargaining webpage for further information and updates at hr.uq.edu.au/eb

The UQ Bargaining Team

Professor Alan Rix, Professor Aidan Byrne, Jane Banney, Anthony Lennon, Ann-Maree Waugh

27 April 2017 - Email from Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear colleagues,

I'm pleased to advise you that negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement for UQ staff recently commenced.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the University's broad priorities for our new Agreement. These priorities reflect issues that have been raised about the operation of the current Agreement and also our consideration of the current and future context for the university sector.

UQ is an outstanding university ranking well within the top 100 universities worldwide with a 50,000-plus strong student community and more than 7,000 academic and professional staff. We pride ourselves on our significant research capability and outcomes and on delivering a student experience of the highest quality. We are successful because of the hard work and ongoing pursuit of excellence by our staff.

While the Enterprise Agreement in itself is not the key driver of our collective and individual success, it provides arrangements which underpin the staff experience at UQ, forming an important component of the structural factors we rely upon to be successful.

The new Agreement will provide the conditions of employment for eligible academic and professional staff and for Language Teachers in the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education.

Securing our continued success

In the simplest of terms, UQ is seeking an Enterprise Agreement which secures our continued success. We wish to use continued and improved performance to secure the employment of our staff to the greatest extent possible. Aligned with that ambition, we wish to recognise good performance and allow for the timely and fair management of under-performance. We are seeking to support a workplace in which staff can develop and prosper and be treated fairly and with respect whilst always seeking to serve our students and other external stakeholders as best as we possibly can.

Our Agreement should describe benefits in a way that is easily understood by all staff who look to the Agreement for clear information and guidance as opposed to being more confused after reading it.

We are also seeking to remove detailed prescription and repetition from the Agreement and provisions which slow down our academic and operational progress. Our approach will be sensible and reasonable.

An important part of these negotiations is the consideration of salary increases and changes to conditions of employment which affect the staff experience at UQ.

The University's salary offer will have regard to current economic conditions, community expectations and crucially the University's financial position, including the impact of the May Federal budget, to provide salaries for the next few years that are fair, sustainable and aligned with community standards.

Please see the University's Objectives (PDF, 57KB) for more detail.

Our Enterprise Agreement team

In discussions over the new Agreement, I'm pleased to advise that the University will be represented by two Senior Executive members, namely our Provost (Professor Aidan Byrne), and our Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Professor Alan Rix). Our Enterprise Agreement team also comprises our Director, Human Resources (Jane Banney), Associate Director, Workplace Relations (Anthony Lennon), and Senior HR Employee Relations Consultant (Anne-Maree Waugh). To ensure that the university's position is informed by appropriate additional expertise, other senior staff will, as required, participate in the discussions from time to time.

Bargaining meetings are scheduled weekly. Unions who are party to the negotiations are the National Tertiary Education Union, Together, the Australian Services Union and United Voice. Four staff members have also nominated to participate in the negotiations as individual bargaining representatives and we welcome their participation.

Professor Byrne will be in touch with you with further details, including some of the specific changes that we wish to make to employment conditions.

How you can stay informed and be involved

Our Enterprise Agreement team will be providing you with regular progress updates.

I also encourage you to:

  • make comments, ask questions and provide feedback to the Enterprise agreement team via EBFeedback@uq.edu.au
  • visit the University's enterprise bargaining webpage for further information and updates at www.hr.uq.edu.au/eb

Regards

Peter

Professor Peter Høj
Vice-Chancellor and President

9 March 17 - Email from HR Director

Dear colleagues

As you may be aware, the current University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement covering eligible academic, professional and TESOL language teaching staff will expire on 31 March 2017. The terms of the Agreement continue until replaced and the University will soon commence negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) requires all employers who are engaging in enterprise bargaining with their staff to inform them of their right to appoint a bargaining representative during the course of enterprise bargaining. The Notice of Employee Representational Rights (PDF, 137KB) for staff of The University of Queensland is attached to this email. A hard copy of the Notice will also be available from your Faculty or Institute Human Resources team.

You can appoint a bargaining representative by notifying the person in writing that you appoint that person as your bargaining representative. You can also appoint yourself as a bargaining representative. In either case you must give a copy of the appointment to the University. For further information please see the attached notice (PDF, 137KB).

If you supervise staff who do not have daily access to a computer please print a copy of the attached notice (PDF, 137KB) and provide it to them this week. When providing the notice, please ensure it is not stapled to any other correspondence.

Further information on enterprise bargaining will be provided to you over coming weeks and regular updates will be provided throughout the bargaining process.

If you have any questions about or interest in being a bargaining representative please contact Ann-Maree Waugh, Senior HR Employee Relations Consultant (a.waugh@uq.edu.au).

Regards

Professor Alan Rix
Pro-Vice Chancellor

Ms Jane Banney
Director, Human Resources