Academic Workloads Dispute
The NTEU has lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission about the lack of implementation of the Academic Workload Guidelines (AWG) negotiated under the current agreement. All schools are required to have a workload model that is consistent with the AWG.
The NTEU undertook a survey recently of academic members that indicated that only 22.9% of members believe that they have a transparent, fair and equitable workload model in place, 57.9% of members do not believe that a reasonable workload model is in place, and 19.3% are not sure.
Taking UTAS to the Commission is not a decision that we made lightly, we have been in discussions about this matter for over six months and we are now going to the Commission as a direct result of the reluctance of the University to ensure that reasonable models are in place to protect the health and safety of employees.
The UTAS Academic and the introduction of the Research Performance Expectation’s assumes effective workload models are in place – the expectations are weighted depending on the amount of time available to do research, so it is essential that we get this right. This means that a reasonable workload model is fundamental to your job security: without an effective workload model in place, the expectations of your role may become unreasonable and unrealistic.
Adapting all workload models in line with the Academic Workload Guidelines is in the best interests of everyone, including UTAS. These guidelines have been developed to be adaptable to the needs of all disciplines. By contrast, in our recent negotiations, the University flagged it wanted the AWG to be scrapped and removal of the workload clause from the Academic Staff Agreement, claiming that it is "not assisting the University".The NTEU hopes that the University will now commit to ensuring that appropriate workload models are in place so that the dispute can be resolved which is in the best interests of all parties.