Enterprise Bargaining

Fr equently Asked Questions

James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2013

Has the contracting and outsourcing clause changed from the 2010 Enterprise Agreement?

During the course of the negotiations a variety of changes have been made to the Enterprise Agreement.

The contracting and outsourcing clause has been amended and there have been changes to the clauses that relate to change management, redundancy, redeployment and outsourcing. These changes provide a clearer and more streamlined process for managing change, including consultation requirements.

This means that if JCU decides to engage contractors or labour hire firms, JCU will consult with affected staff and where they choose, their representative/s before any contracts are entered into. Where a staff member’s employment is directly affected, the University is required to look to redeploy them to an alternative acceptable position under the Enterprise Agreement. If the staff member cannot be redeployed to an alternative acceptable position they are entitled to a redundancy or severance payment.

Has the Competency Pay rate for Tradespersons been removed from the Enterprise Agreement?

The Enterprise Agreement continues to provide tradespersons with competency pay.

Staff who hold a recognised trade based qualification, use that trade qualification in their position and are employed in a tradesperson position are covered by the JCU Competency Pay Policy for Tradespersons which includes the actual figures of the allowances to be paid. The pay rates in the Policy are the same as those paid under the 2010 EA.

JCU has no intention to change either the allowance rates or qualifications in this policy. No changes can be made without prior consultation with the Joint Consultative Committee which comprises representatives of Staff, the unions that are a party to the Agreement, and management.

Why weren’t safeguards put in place in the Managing underperformance process like they were with the misconduct process?

It has been suggested that there are no safeguards in the clause for managing performance. This is not the case.

It was agreed between the unions (including the NTEU) and JCU that there would be a managing underperformance framework developed. This framework will be developed with input from the unions and will identify the role of the HRM and the Head of Work Unit in the process. HRM will continue to play an important role in the managing the underperformance process.

The clause provides a transparent means by which JCU will manage performance. The clause does not sit in isolation from the policies and procedures of the University or from how we expect all our staff, employees and managers to conduct themselves.

The Enterprise Agreement under clauses 53 - 56 focus on the rights of staff to refer their grievance, dispute or a decision to terminate to the Fair Work Commission for resolution including their rights which exist under the Fair Work Act itself for such matters. This will mean these matters will be dealt with quicker.

Further, any matters currently before the review committee will be preserved through clause 16 (Transitional Arrangements) of the Enterprise Agreement.

We believe the removal of review committees is a reflection of the transparency of process that exists under the Fair Work Act, and the multiple avenues within the Enterprise Agreement itself which allow the Fair Work Commission to assist the resolution of grievances and disputes, where necessary.

Why weren’t the locality allowances indexed?

Under the 2010 EA, the locality allowance was incorporated into base salary for all Professional and Technical staff and Academics except for the designated remote areas of Mt Isa, Thursday/Horn Island, and remote Research Stations: Fletcherview, Daintree Rainforest Observatory and Orpheus Island.

Under the Enterprise Agreement those staff employed in the designated remote areas will continue to receive the locality allowance.

How do I apply for volunteering leave?

Volunteering leave is one of the extra benefits included in the Enterprise Agreement and the details of its implementation such as the required forms, leave codes etc are being developed. Everyone will be advised on how to apply and how it will work once this has happened.

Staff will need to wait until a valid majority of staff approve the Enterprise Agreement and for the Enterprise Agreement to be approved by the Fair Work Commission prior to applying for volunteering leave.

What sports will be covered by special sporting leave?

James Cook University is developing a policy regarding the operation of the new extra leave category of special sporting leave for staff who are selected as a competitor, coach, official or umpire/referee for state, national or international sporting events or competitions. While the event must be a recognised sport of national significance, the policy will provide a list of the types of sporting events that will be covered. However, staff members who represent Queensland or Australia in sports not on this list are still encouraged to apply for the leave and JCU will consider whether to approve the leave.

When does the excess Annual Leave accrual come into effect?

A staff member whose accrued annual leave equals or exceed 50 days may be directed in writing to reduce their leave balance to less than 50 days. Where this occurs, the staff member will be given one month to apply to take the required leave. This does not mean that the leave has to be taken within this period, it just means an application for leave needs to be made. The staff member and line manager should discuss a time that is suitable to both parties for the leave to be taken.

How will the Natural Disaster Leave work?

Natural Disaster Leave is one of the extra benefits included in the Enterprise Agreement and means that paid leave will be granted to staff that are unable to attend their rostered or normal work as a result of floods, cyclonic disturbances, bushfires or earthquakes.

Paid leave will also be granted to staff that are required to leave work in order to ensure their own safety, protection of their family and/or property, or to access transport facilities which may later be disrupted or discontinued because of weather conditions for the remainder of the day. Staff may be asked to provide appropriate evidence to support their application.

The details of its implementation such as the policy, leave codes etc. are being developed. Everyone will be advised on how to apply and how it will work once this has happened. Staff will need to wait until a valid majority of staff approve the Enterprise Agreement and for the Enterprise Agreement to be approved by the Fair Work Commission prior to applying for volunteering leave.

How will Volunteering Leave work?

Volunteering leave is one of the extra benefits included in the Enterprise Agreement and means staff may apply for up to two days per calendar year to be deducted from their Personal/Carers Leave balance to undertake voluntary work for a not-for-profit community organisation. It can be taken as two days or two separate occasions of one day.

The details of its implementation such as the required forms, leave codes etc. are being developed. Everyone will be advised on how to apply and how it will work once this has happened.

Staff will need to wait until a valid majority of staff approve the Enterprise Agreement and for the Enterprise Agreement to be approved by the Fair Work Commission prior to applying for volunteering leave.

What hours can academic staff be directed to work?

In any calendar year an academic staff member can be directed to work 1638 hours. Academic staff member’s workloads are to be managed through their work allocation and workload profile consistent with the Enterprise Agreement.

Workload models will be developed and will have effect from 1 January 2014. The model will be developed in consultation with the staff whose workload will be allocated by the model.

Contact hours will vary depending on the staff member’s work profile and vary from 260 hours to 500 hours. Contact hours include: lectures and lectorials, tutorial classes, seminars, workshops and practical classes, supervision of field-work and professional placement and processional assessment.

How will the Internal Advertising clause work?

All continuing positions and fixed term positions greater than 12 months at HEWL 2-5 will normally be internally advertised on Jobs@JCU for a period of at least 7 days. Where it is demonstrable that a particular specialist skill set is required, external advertising may occur simultaneously with internal advertising. Where no internal application is received within 7 days, the position will be advertised externally.

How long will a staff member be considered for redeployment?

JCU will seek to redeploy a staff member whose position is no longer required into a suitable alternative position within eight (8) weeks of the position being confirmed redundant.

Who can vote?

All JCU employees excluding JCU Halls of Residence Catering staff are eligible to vote.

Are Senior staff able to vote?

Yes. Senior staff, including VCAC members, are eligible to vote?

When can I vote?

You can vote online from 9 am on Wednesday 16 October 2013 to 5 pm on Friday 18 October 2013.

Do I have to be a union member to vote?

NO. All eligible JCU employees are urged to vote.

What is the process for the ballot occurring?

Prior to the ballot occurring JCU:

  • has provided a copy of the proposed Enterprise Agreement to staff;

  • has held information sessions to explain the terms of the Enterprise Agreement and their effect to staff; and,

  • has advised staff of the time and how the ballot will occur.

Who is conducting the ballot?

JCU has engaged Elections Australia to co-ordinate and oversee the ballot process. They are an independent professional provider who will ensure that the ballot is anonymous and accurate.

How can I vote?

The vote will occur via electronic means.

Once the ballot opens you will be able to vote.

  • Log your computer on to the internet and, using your web browser (not through a search engine such as Google) go to www.myvote.com.au/jcu

  • Enter the discrete personal ID number and password you have been provided with, then click on the submit button.

  • Click on either the YES or NO box then click on the submit button.

Your personal information is only used to check that you are eligible to vote and that you have not already voted. Your vote remains secret.

Is the ballot anonymous?

Yes the ballot will be anonymous. You will be required to enter the discrete personal ID number and password you will be given before the ballot opens to enable the system to verify who you are and to check you are eligible to vote. This will also ensure that people only vote once.

JCU will neither know who has cast a vote nor how you have voted.

What question will I be asked to vote on?

You will be asked to respond to the following question only:

Do you approve the proposed the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2013 - 2016?

☐ Yes - I approve the Agreement

☐ No - I do not approve the Agreement

What if I’m working from home, on leave or overseas when voting occurs?

Voting will be online during the period 9 am on Wednesday 16 October 2013 to 5 pm Friday 18 October 2013. You can vote from any computer anywhere in the world. Simply log into your computer, go on to the internet and go to www.myvote.com.au/jcu using your web browser (not through a search engine such as Google), and you will be able to access the voting website.

How will we know if the ballot is successful?

Once the ballot has closed, the votes will be counted. To be successful 50% + 1 of the votes cast need to be in favour of the Enterprise Agreement.

Regardless of the outcome, JCU will advise staff of the outcome as soon as possible after the ballot closes.

What happens if the ballot is successful?

Within 14 days of the Enterprise Agreement being approved, JCU must lodge the Enterprise Agreement and other necessary documentation with the Fair Work Commission.

The Fair Work Commission will determine whether the Enterprise Agreement meets the requirements in the Fair Work Act. If needed, the Fair Work Commission may hold a hearing to determine any issues or request that JCU provide certain undertakings.

If satisfied, the Fair Work Commission will approve the Enterprise Agreement.

Once approved by the Fair Work Commission, staff will be able to access the new entitlements and loadings (if applicable).

What happens if we vote no?

JCU remains hopeful that the Enterprise Agreement will be successful.

However, if a majority of staff vote "NO" then it means that the Enterprise Agreement has not been approved by staff and JCU will need to consider whether it holds further discussions with the Unions or whether it seeks the assistance of the Fair Work Commission. It also means that staff will not be able to access the terms, salary increases and conditions on offer.

When will the Enterprise Agreement come into force?

The Enterprise Agreement will come into force 7 days after it is approved by the Fair Work Commission.

When will we receive the back payment of 0.4%?

JCU has determined that if the Enterprise Agreement is approved by staff, the 0.4% which is the difference between the 2.6% administrative increase and the 3% payable under the Enterprise Agreement will be paid in the first pay run after 1 November 2013, backdated to June 1, 2013.

Where can I find out more information?

Further information can be accessed on the JCU Bargaining website.

If you would like further information, please email the JCU bargaining team on Enterprise-Bargaining@jcu.edu.au

For general information go to www.fwc.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Commission Help Line on 1300 799 675.