General Meeting Report - Enterprise Bargaining in 2013
The last General Meeting of the UTS Branch of the NTEU on 5 June was the first step of the Branch's consultation with members about the next round of Enterprise Bargaining negotiations for Academic and Support staff Agreements.
Two Branch delegates, Patrick Tooth and Tony Brown, attended the National NTEU Bargaining Forum 15 & 16 June, so this meeting provided an opportunity for members to feed their views on UTS issues into the national discussion on NTEU bargaining priorities.
Our current agreements expire at the end of June 2013, but other universities, such as University of Sydney and UNE, will soon be kicking off the round. The General meeting provided an overview of what was achieved in the current agreements; emerging issues; and profiled the demographics and employment status of UTS general and academic staff; and led to a discussion amongst the membership on key issues at UTS for union members.
Members were also interested in discussing how to achieve implementation of agreements and improvement of conditions when many staff submit to corporate managerialist techniques as well as the variance between what the agreement says and actual practice. The long fight of the members in the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health to achieve equitable workloads, and a reduction in excessive teaching hours, was noted as a great example of how the NTEU can achieve proper compliance by faculties and departments who refuse to follow the agreements.
The messages to members out of this meeting were: to keep on asking staff to join our growing branch; inform the Branch Committee and Branch Organiser of issues of concern and work with the branch to address them; and stay engaged with the bargaining and implementation processes by discussing union issues with your colleagues, NTEU members, and communicating with the branch committee and organiser in between general meetings and forums.
Key issues raised included: improving classification procedures for general staff; anomalies in discipline and performance procedures; maintaining competitive pay rises; maintaining and improving superannuation entitlements; improvements for casual staff; and workload clauses.
A resolution in regards to 2SER was also passed concerning the removal of the current talks Coordinator whose work intersects with students and staff of the Journalism Faculty:
This meeting of members of the UTS branch of the NTEU is concerned about current proposals for changes at 2SER which remove the position of the Talks Coordinator from the staff. We note that the Talks Coordinator has played a key role in the production of talks programs which are the hallmark of the station and its reputation, and that despite requests, station Management have failed to provide copies of documents outlining the changes to UTS and Macquarie University staff and students who are stakeholders in the station. We call on 2SER Station Management to halt the current proposal until genuine consultation with students and staff at UTS and Macquarie Universities can take place.
This resolution has been communicated by Branch President, Tony Brown, to Peter Booth, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, and the FASS Faculty Board has passed a similar resolution.
Powerpoint presentations from the General Meeting can be downloaded here: