Nteu Scores A Winning Goal With Access To Flexible Work Arrangements
In a landmark outcome for Macquarie University staff, NTEU has successfully claimed and secured access to flexible working arrangements as part of your new enterprise Agreement.
The claim widens the National Employment Standard (NES) provisions which currently enables staff with children under school age to seek flexible work arrangements. Under the NES, these requests can only be refused on reasonable business grounds.
Under the NTEU proposal which has now been agreed by University Management, any staff member with carer responsibilities (irrespective of whether they have under school age children or not) can make a request for flexible work arrangements, which could include but is not limited to: a decrease in the number of hours of work, more flexible and variable patterns of work, changes in start and finishing times, job sharing etc. As with the NES, these requests can only be refused on “reasonable” business grounds.
Detailed written reasons must be provided by Management for any failed application to flexible work and significantly, these provisions will be subject to the dispute settling provisions of our new Agreement.
Importantly, this claim means that people who are responsible for elder care, care of people with disabilities, care for pre and school age children of any age, will be better able to organise their working lives at Macquarie.
“This is a really positive outcome for this round of enterprise bargaining” says NTEU negotiator, Agnes Bosanquet from the Teaching and Development Unit.
“Although some positive progress is now being made, Management has continued to put up road blocks in relation to some significant NTEU bargaining claims which are designed to improve and reform the Macquarie workplace” .
“However, in relation to flexible work, Management has been prepared to move and to build on the family friendly initiatives such as 26 weeks paid parental leave already negotiated in past agreements by the NTEU”
“This provision will open up possibilities for elder and other forms of care which is critical to an ageing workforce. This provision goes some way to improving the work life balance for so many University employees”
Below is a copy of the draft claim on flexible work:
Draft – Without Prejudice – MQ DRAFT 1 July 2010
Flexible Work V3
1. Staff Members with caring responsibilities may make a request to move to a flexible work arrangement for up to three years (or longer by agreement between the staff member and their supervisor).
2. Staff Members, who wish to access flexible work arrangements, will make written application to their supervisor, setting out the nature of flexibility required and the proposed period of time the arrangement will be in place. Flexible work arrangements may include temporary transfer to part time employment; job sharing; accessing the University’s Variable Working Hours Scheme; and alteration of start or finish times.
3. The University may refuse an application for flexible work arrangements on reasonable business grounds. If the application is refused the University must provide detailed reasons in writing to the staff member.
4. In addition to any other rights in this Agreement, if an application for flexible work arrangement is refused the staff member may make further application where circumstances have changed, or twelve months from the date of the initial application.