Fed’s Workplace Relations Plan Stymied at the ANU
Heads of Agreement for the Australian National University Signed
Unions at the Australian National University have completed formal negotiations for a new closed and comprehensive Enterprise Agreement pre-empting any attempts by the Federal Government to impose the compulsory introduction of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) into the Higher Education workforce. While union activity over the past weeks, including industrial action at campuses such as Sydney University, has significantly weakened the government’s chances of imposng the draconian workplace changes linked to further university funding, the ANU agreement has effectively stymied there application to that worksite.
The parties recognise that the Enterprise Agreement will:
While accepting the need for accountability, the parties are committed to the independence and autonomy of the University.
The unions and the university expect to have the Enterprise Agreement approved by University staff and submitted for certification by no later than 28 November 2003.
The parties are committed to maximising the University’s chances of securing additional Government funding.
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT
The parties agree that the Enterprise Agreement will incorporate the following matters:
The Enterprise Agreement will provide salary increases of 5% with effect from 20 November 2003, 5.5% from 18 November 2004, and 6% from 17 November 2005.
Australian Workplace Agreements
The Enterprise Agreement will be silent on the offering of Australian Workplace Agreements and will maintain the current right of the University to offer common law individual contracts that supplement and/or provide conditions superior to those laid out in the Enterprise Agreement.
The Enterprise Agreement will recognise the economic and moral rights of all staff and students through reference to the University’s policy on Intellectual Property.
The Enterprise Agreement will provide for the extension of full pro rata superannuation to all standard part-time staff and those part-time staff who are employed on fixed term appointments of 12 months or more.
General Staff Classification
The Enterprise Agreement will incorporate broadbanding of ANU officer grades 1, 2 and 3 in most streams.
The Enterprise Agreement will provide for up to 20 weeks of parental leave paid at 100% of salary (or 40 weeks at 50% salary) and 20 weeks of adoption leave. The University will also work to implement a graduated return to work for mothers involving (non cumulating) time release of one day per week during the first year of the child’s life (equating to an additional employer salary contribution of 6.4 weeks).
The Enterprise Agreement will include a statement of principles which supports intellectual freedom when it is exercised in a manner consistent with responsible search for knowledge and its dissemination.
Senior Management Positions
Those senior management positions currently excluded from particular clauses of the current Enterprise Agreement will continue to be excluded from agreed clauses of the new Enterprise Agreement.
The Enterprise Agreement will provide measures to limit workloads, and resolve disputes in relation to workloads through reference to the University’s policy. Except in those circumstances where there is an established target for growth, the University will use its best endeavours to ensure that the current student/staff ratios will not increase and to reduce ratios wherever possible.
The Enterprise Agreement states that it is not the University’s intention to reduce the size of the overall workforce. The University will also remove barriers to redeployment across campus (through the use of pooling and other measures) to facilitate the retention of skilled and experienced staff and will use redundancies as a last resort.
Casual and Fixed Term Employment The Enterprise Agreement will provide for an increased loading for casual staff from 20% to 23%, and will include measures to:
. The Enterprise Agreement will maintain the current fixed term arrangements and will also provide for additional categories for some fixed term appointments for students and research only general staff.
The Enterprise Agreement will recognise workplace bullying as a form of misconduct.
The Enterprise Agreement will provide common procedures for dealing with allegations of misconduct by academic and general staff with a clear focus on procedural fairness that will allow for faster resolution of issues, including facilitating reviews of decisions.
Career and Performance
The Enterprise Agreement will support the development of performance objectives by all staff and provides for staff development to achieve these objectives. As well, the Agreement:
The Enterprise Agreement will bring the general staff span of hours for some streams into line with the 8am to 6pm flex time standard.
The Enterprise Agreement will incorporate an indigenous employment target of 2.2% of the workforce by 2012 (which would equate to 68 FTE based on the current FTE number of total staff) and a representative advisory committee to provide support and assistance in the development of initiatives relating to the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
Technical Staff Pool
The Enterprise Agreement will provide for a mechanism for the retention of skilled technical staff.
Grievance Resolution and Reviews of Decisions
The Enterprise Agreement will provide for grievance resolution in relation to any matter of employment conditions as well as for the review of decisions in relation to termination of employment, demotion, disciplinary action, annulment of probation, and refusal to convert a casual employee and other matters. Such reviews are to follow the principles of procedural fairness.
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