NTEU Refers CSU Branch Workloads Dispute To Fair Work Australia
The NTEU has been working hard to ensure that reasonable academic workloads are assigned fairly and transparently at CSU. We took up this work at the last round of bargaining because members were telling us that they were at breaking point. Their family life and health was suffering and they were finding it increasingly difficult to produce quality teaching outcomes, engage with the community as innovative professionals and undertake research that is of real benefit to our communities. We knew this was a problem and a fundamental bar to the mission of the University, but as we worked on building a solution we were surprised at the depth of the problem and the damage it was doing to the role of CSU as an important regional university.
The objective of the clause we negotiated in the Enterprise Agreement is to ensure that workloads are equitable, transparent and manageable. Although there have been reductions in workload allocation for some staff, thanks to our union's ongoing dispute, senior CSU management have failed to take responsibility for ensuring that the clause is applied properly. There are many outstanding matters to be implemented.
In order to be as clear as possible about what needs to be resolved, in March the NTEU CSU Branch lodged a dispute with CSU Management on the implementation of the Academic Workloads Clause. The purpose of this dispute was to encourage senior management to work closely with Heads of School and provide them with the support they need to resolve this very damaging problem. After over 3 months of work to resolve this dispute Senior Management have still refused to take responsibility and to properly implement the Academic Workloads clause. As a result of this failure we have referred the dispute to Fair Work Australia for resolution.
The outstanding matters in dispute are that CSU Management has:
- failed to provide transparent and manageable workloads
- failed to develop workload policies at a school level that take account of the specialised nature of particular work areas
- failed to ensure that employees are not asked to work excessive hours
- failed to eliminate the practice of workload overallocation
- failed to ensure distant education teaching is respected and time costed appropriately in policy
- failed to put remedies in place for staff who were overloaded in 2011 and for possible overload that may occur in the future due to unanticipated circumstances.
For more details of the unresolved matters click here.