The University of Newcastle, Australia

Enterprise bargaining update

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Get the latest update from the Enterprise Bargaining Team about our new staff enterprise agreements.

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Dear colleagues,

At the Tuesday 5 November 2013 Enterprise Bargaining meeting bargaining representatives discussed the following:

  • A major stock-taking exercise to ascertain major items for discussion / items yet to be tabled/administrative items and items agreed or close to agreement.
  • Performance Review and Development (PRD).
  • Bargaining representatives also agreed to hold an additional special Consultative Committee meeting as soon as possible to discuss Performance Review and Development.  This meeting will be held in addition to the next scheduled Consultative Committee meeting on Wednesday 27 November 2013.

As we take stock of the current state of bargaining we are well aware of the wide range of issues that are currently on the table.  Our commitment is to ensure that we now work towards a set of priorities for resolution that are consistent with the principles we outlined at the beginning of the process.  Through the bargaining process we seek to:

  • Ensure that the University is competitive and financially sustainable into the future
  • Value the good working relationships that exist across the University and support staff to deliver the outcomes we need to achieve our NeW Directions 2025 vision
  • Maintain honest, open and effective communication consistent with an intelligent and agile organisation committed to meeting the needs of our key stakeholders
  • Have the ability to work through disagreements in a dignified, timely and respectful manner and
  • Strengthen partnerships across the University by promoting flexible and continuous improvement, leadership, career opportunities as well as job and income security.

So far we have had 14 Enterprise Bargaining meetings with staff bargaining representatives including the NTEU and CPSU.  The University has put forward a number of proposals and has so far examined 20 claims put forward by the unions and bargaining representatives.  While some of these claims speak to the way in which we conduct our work, others such as salary and superannuation claims have a price - and in the current external environment our assessment is that those claims would require the University to spend an additional $100m over three years. 

We hope that you will be patient as we try to identify which areas we can support and continue to bargain in good faith to achieve an outcome that has the right balance, preserves our financial sustainability, makes the University a great place to work and meets the needs of our students and other key stakeholders.

We would like to thank staff and the unions for the cooperative way in which discussions are occurring and look to continue that cooperation as we work towards finalising our new Enterprise Agreement as early as possible in 2014.

The next scheduled Enterprise Bargaining meeting will be held on Friday 22 November.  University representatives are keen to establish a solid priority list of items for bargaining prior to the Christmas break.

The University Enterprise Bargaining Team:

Andrew Parfitt
John Germov
Sharon Champness
Paul Munro
Greg Kerr

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