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MEETING FOUR: (24 September 2012)
The fourth meeting was held on Monday 24 September 2012 video-conferenced between Townsville, Cairns and the NTEU representative in Brisbane. Apologies were received from Together representative.
Items discussed included Classification Descriptors, Leave and Processes and Professional Staff Mobility.
Position Classification Descriptors
Your JCU bargaining representatives have recommended that the current classification descriptors for Professional and Technical staff need to be updated to reflect the current positions and levels of positions. The current descriptors have not been changed since 1991, and work at the University has changed significantly since 1991. A detailed framework will support the process and provide clarity to the range of dimensions that are reviewed and the expectations at each level.
The aim of updating the classification descriptors is to provide more transparency to the position classification process.
As a result of the research, focus groups and staff requests, your JCU bargaining representatives have proposed a number of enhancements to the leave entitlements for staff.
Compassionate leave – JCU has proposed that 3 days paid leave and 2 days unpaid leave be granted for each occasion that qualifies for compassionate leave. This is an improvement on the current provision of 5 days per year.
Parental, Maternity, Supporting partners leave – JCU has proposed that payment of 26 weeks’ paid leave, that may be taken as 20 weeks paid leave and one day paid leave per week on return to work for a period of 30 weeks or 26 continuous weeks paid leave. Your bargaining representatives have recommended that 6 weeks leave will be paid in the unfortunate event that there is an unplanned cessation of pregnancy after 20 weeks.
Annual leave - Many staff have requested the ability to cash out annual leave. Under the National Employment Standards annual leave can be cashed out providing the provision is written to the applicable Enterprise Agreement. JCU are very supportive of making this option available to the staff that wish to access it, noting that there are protections to ensure that staff will take a majority of annual leave as time off and they will not be forced to cash out leave that is under the maximum allowable accrual. The union representatives reported that their members (less than one quarter of JCU staff) have rejected this option. HRM are arranging to poll all university staff, so if you think you might like to have this option available to you should you wish to access it, then vote YES when the poll comes out.
Annual Leave Loading - Many staff have requested that leave loading be added to salary and not paid separately. Your bargaining representatives are supportive of making this option available to staff. This will have the advantage of increasing your superannuable base salary on which overtime, penalty rates and other loadings are paid. HRM are arranging to poll all university staff, so if you think you might like to increase your salary, then vote YES when the poll comes out.
Maximum Annual leave accrual – This is currently 62.5 days or 12.5 weeks. Your JCU bargaining representatives proposed that this be reduced to 50 days (60 days for shift workers) or 10 weeks.
Professional Staff Mobility
All parties have expressed an interest in improving the provisions. Your JCU representatives will continue to explore and consider options to be discussed at future meetings.
- James Cook University
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