I am pleased to announce that today, JCU and the Unions reached an in principle agreement on all terms of the Enterprise Agreement.
As you are aware, negotiations for the Enterprise Agreement have been ongoing for the past 12 months. On 16 September 2013, the parties reached an in-principle agreement on all terms and conditions of the Enterprise Agreement except for salaries and duration.
Since this time, the parties have worked together to find a mutually suitable outcome. It was not JCU's preference to have a 4 year agreement, due to budgetary constraints and the impacts on JCU of the current financial uncertainty. However, we received feedback from you that a longer agreement was wanted to provide greater certainty about the terms and conditions that will govern employment going forward given the current economic environment. As a sign of good faith, we offered a longer agreement.
As a result, the proposed Enterprise Agreement will expire on 30 June 2016 and will provide pay increases for JCU staff as follows:
3% from 1 June 2013*;
3% from 1 June 2014;
3% from 1 June 2015; and
3% from 1 June 2016.
*JCU staff received a 2.6% increase by way of an administrative decision in June this year. Staff will now receive the extra 0.4% backdated to June 1 in the first pay period after November 1.
Some of the key aspects of the new Enterprise Agreement include:
the academic workload allocation framework includes a cap on directed activities of 1638 hours a year;
the inclusion of teaching specialists within the work profile;
no changes to the redundancy provisions;
no changes to TOIL recompense or span of hours;
all HEWL 2-5 positions will be initially advertised internally;
changes have been made to the change management process, emphasising consultation and focusing on redeployment;
staff now have the ability to “cash out” up to 4 weeks annual leave;
additional Cultural Leave of up to five paid days for participation in obligatory cultural events;
additional leave of up to five paid days for participation in state, national or international sporting events or competitions; and
introduction of two paid days Volunteering leave.
JCU has also agreed to the inclusion of the following loadings/allowances.
payment of an indigenous language allowance;
allowances for Health and Safety representatives;
professional loading for Professional and Technical Staff who undertake Academic duties; and
extending the payment of the Clinical Loading to Dentists and Veterinarians who are qualified medical professionals and who undertake clinical duties.
The Enterprise Agreement now needs to be put to you all to vote upon. If you endorse the Enterprise Agreement, it will then be sent to the Fair Work Commission for approval and if approved, will come into effect 7 days after approval.
I thank all members of both bargaining teams for their efforts and cooperation during the negotiations, but I also thank all of you for your support and patience during this process.
I will be in touch soon to discuss the vote and the consultation process which needs to occur.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or the Unions.
Professor Robyn McGuiggan
Pro Vice Chancellor