The University of Newcastle, Australia

Enterprise Bargaining closer to agreement

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Over the most recent enterprise bargaining meetings, a large number of clauses have been agreed and finalised. A summary is shown below.

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Many of the areas have required significant discussion and consideration by all the parties over a number of months. It is pleasing to have reached agreement on so many important areas.

All agreements

Organisational change

Simplified consultative process where organisational change affects only one staff member


Inclusion of an additional option for staff who are detached to obtain assistance with career transition outside the University in lieu of part of the redeployment period

Intellectual Freedom

Broadened clause on the rights of staff in relation to intellectual freedom


Clearer definition of what constitutes misconduct and serious misconduct


Access to personal leave for staff experiencing domestic violence

Improved leave arrangements for Defence Force personnel

Disputes Resolution

The ability to "fast track" the resolution process by agreement of the parties

Academic staff agreement only

Annual leave

Improved process to enable academic staff to carry forward annual leave where it cannot be used within the year it accrues

Special Studies Program

Reference to SSP included within the agreement


Clarification of the period of notice required for academic staff

Professional staff agreement only

Voluntary Rotation Scheme

Agreement to pilot a scheme to invite expressions of interests for fixed term secondment opportunities to facilitate development


Inclusion of the potential for external secondments within the agreement

Classification Review and Structure

Introduction of an externally recognised job evaluation process to ensure rigour on classification of roles against HEW levels

Professional Development

Requirement for organisational areas to develop training and development plan on an annual basis to provide improved visibility and planning around development

The parties now feel that the end is in sight with the list of outstanding issues and unresolved clauses able to fit on a Post-It note. Most of the outstanding issues are close to resolution however there is still some complexity to work through around Academic Workload and ensuring sufficient flexibility in categories of employment. Some aspects of the Teachers Agreement also need to be finalised and discussions around appropriate salary increases over the life of the agreement are still to occur.

The bargaining team is meeting again next week and the University is optimistic that outstanding issues may be finalised at this time. Once outstanding clauses are agreed, staff will be provided with all the details of the proposed agreements and invited to vote. Upon agreement, the agreed salary increases will be implemented.

There still remains a possibility that the outstanding issues will not be able to be resolved between the parties at the bargaining table given the complexity and different needs of the parties. The parties have worked constructively through a number of difficult issues to date and it is hoped that the final few issues can be resolved in the same way. Should this not be the case, the University intends to still provide the proposed agreements to staff in order for them to make an informed decision during a vote.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding enterprise bargaining, please feel free to direct your questions to

Andrew Parfitt

DVC Academic

John Germov

PVC Education and Arts

Sharon Champness

Director People and Workforce Strategy

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