Joint Consultative Committee June 2011 report
Dear NTEU Members at JCU
Your union representatives had another Joint Consultative Committee meeting yesterday with the other unions and senior university management. A number of matters were discussed that members should be aware of.
More Secure Employment for Casuals
Casual academic members should be aware that the Early Career Development Fellowships secured by the NTEU in Enterprise Bargaining are being advertised. Go to http://www-public.jcu.edu.au/jobs/academic/index.htm for more information about the fellowships and to apply. Applications close THIS FRIDAY.
We discussed at length the proposed alterations to the Promotions Policy. Branch President Jan Wegner commended management on their move to incorporate considerations of equity and merit relative to opportunity. Management’s changes to make the recognition of service more prominent were also welcomed as a response to low levels of interest in administrative roles such as Associate Dean.
NTEU suggested amendments to strengthen references to Creative Arts. We also had a worthwhile discussion about what JCU means when it asks for “demonstrated performance which exceeds the requirements of the current level”. The amendments to the policies also refer to “sustained” performance. This was defined by management reps in the meeting as “not short bursts of improved performance designed to secure promotion” (or words to that effect).
At our request management also clarified that two consecutive applications which failed prevented an application in the following round (not the following two rounds). We also clarified the circumstances under which an academic could seek to have someone other than the head of school interviewed by the committee.
Strategic Workforce Planning
Management presented their considerations of the issue of workforce planning in an environment where the workforce, particularly the academic workforce is aging. No grand plan or direct strategy to redress the probable future impacts were outlined, but university management are clearly taking the issue seriously and the JCC provides an avenue for feedback.
Any suggestions by members to management on creative ways of dealing with the loss of significant parts of the workforce over the coming decade should be sent to the JCU branch of the union at email@example.com.
Members in every part of JCU tell the union that workloads are the biggest single issue confronting university staff. Academics and Professional or Technical staff alike have tales of workload intensification which are stretching them to breaking point and substantially reducing the quality of working life.
A workloads sub-committee of the JCC has been established and intends to go out to Schools and units to assess how the workloads requirements of the new Enterprise Agreement are being implemented on the ground.
The JCC is looking to see whether the workloads clauses in the Agreement are being implemented properly, and whether that makes any difference in the workplace. A workloads sub-committee, including NTEU representatives, will look at a selection of workloads models, for academic and professional and technical staff, across the University and ask three questions:
- Does the model conform with the requirements of the Agreement
- Were staff consulted in the process of developing the model and was their feedback incorporated in the final version
- Does the application of the workload model make any real difference to staff workloads
After the initial survey gives an indication of the levels of satisfaction with the workloads model we will be seeking to broaden this inquiry to reflect the circumstances of every workgroup in the university.
If you have specific concerns with the way the workload model has been developed or is being (not) applied in your work area, please contact the union at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee will be in early August. If you have any concerns which need to be discussed as a university-wide issue, please contact your union reps on the JCC and talk about your concerns.