The NTEU has achieved a breakthrough after twelve months of pushing to have university management implement Teaching Focus Roles (TFRs) which were won by the NTEU in the last round of bargaining.
Management’s continual refusal to implement the roles, despite the terms of the Collective Agreement, forced the NTEU to take the matter to Fair Work Australia (FWA).
Yesterday, following 5 days of hearings in FWA, and with the NTEU asserting that the university management was in breach of the Collective Agreement, an agreement was reached which will see management contact all casual academics who have worked eight or more teaching hours per week, and invite them to apply for Teaching Focused Roles. Over 200 casual employees will be eligible to apply.
These new roles will be fixed term instead of casual and will provide far greater job security and recognition for work performed. Applicants cannot be knocked back on financial grounds, and must be appointed if the work exists and they meet the requirements of the role.
This is a great win for the NTEU, but more than that, it is a great win for education at the University of Western Sydney. Unit Coordinators will be better able to organise teaching coverage for their subjects, and both staff and students will have certainty about teachers and other academic commitments.
It is also a win in terms of the integrity of the Collective Agreement and the rights and conditions contained within it that you all fought so hard to achieve.
The university management is required to inform eligible staff of the positions by the 18th of May and must make offers to staff by no later than the 30th of June. This will enable existing staff to be able know availability in time for teaching commitments in Spring Semester.
The NTEU will be discussing appropriate hours with each Dean and will ensure that no excess workloads are created as a result of this win.
The NTEU encourages all casuals to take advantage of this win. We suggest that you contact the NTEU to ensure that you are not missed in the process. We will provide members with all possible support in their applications. Further details on the process will be posted on our casual network page; details of this page can be found here; http://www.nteu.org.au/uws/casuals
Secretary, NTEU NSW Division