Welcome to the preparation period 2011. By now you will be aware of new expectations within your specific area and the many anticipated adjustments arising from Operational Excellence restructuring initiated in 2010. It is an appropriate time to reflect upon the various changes that have occurred during the 2010 and the many colleagues and friends who have moved away from the University.
Thank you Alan Needham
Alan’s position as Branch President came to an end in late 2010, after successfully defending members’ rights and conditions over many years. We all owe a great deal to the energy and intellect that Alan invested into the Branch. He positioned an excellent committee with Branch Secretary Ute Mueller and Industrial Officer Judy McCulloch. We wish Alan all the best and trust that he spends more time exploring his interests in astronomy and musical theatre, as well as enjoying a good ‘red’.
Tony Fetherston’s Resignation
In January Tony informed the Branch that he was not able to continue as Branch President due to workload pressures. His loss underscores the workload pressures that all colleagues face in a very stressed university sector. The Branch thanks Tony for his efforts in tackling some very complex tasks during his time and understands the personal difficulty in making his decision to step down.
I will remain as Acting Branch President until supplementary elections are held in April. It is an important time for Branch renewal. Please consider participating in your union. The many benefits that you enjoy are due the collective efforts of many members over time.
Academic members should have completed their workload documents for this semester. Please remember that the workload distribution should be an open and transparent process and that as part of this the summary workloads in your school should be accessible to every academic in the school prior to the beginning of semester. It is important to make sure that you not only record your intended workload formally, but also keep a diary of all the extra tasks that you accumulate along the way. If universities act upon evidence-based decisions, then members should personally audit their finite time.
Most General staff members are still experiencing the fallout of Operational Excellence, with the workload pressures that it entails. If you are experiencing problems in your area, remember that there is a provision in the General Staff agreement for work areas to raise workload concerns (for more information contact Jayne Van Dalen, our Branch Organiser).
Your well-being should not suffer by unrealistic expectations and marginalised resourcing. Social and organisational sustainability should not exist as a rhetorical statement, but should engage active processes and feedback. Fairness should be equally applied to all colleagues. Fairness also extends into the well being of your family context. If you are experiencing health or wellbeing issues seek professional support.
Academic Staff Performance Expectations and Outcomes Framework
In December 2010, Professor Arshad Omari (Deputy Vice-Chancellor-Academic) announced the above initiative. The University will be conducting consultation workshops in the next two weeks. It is essential that you participate in this process. If you have concerns, become part of the debate.
We have a whole year in front of us with no bargaining, so now is the time to get some of our recruiting and membership activities underway. Jayne Van Dalen and Arnold Lee (Division Industrial Organiser) are undertaking responsibility for planning and coordinating this year’s campaigns, this can not happen without committee and membership involvement, so please get involved.
Geoff Lummis (Acting Branch President)
15 February 2011