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JCU-NTEU reach 'in principle' agreement

JCU and the NTEU have agreed in principle on a new Enterprise Agreement lasting until June 30, 2016.

Sept 27, 2013: - James Cook University and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) have agreed in principle on a new Enterprise Agreement lasting until June 30, 2016.

The agreement includes salary increase of 3% in 2013*, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

This will allow the agreement to be put to all staff at James Cook University with the support of the NTEU. If staff endorse the EA, it will then be sent to Fair Work Australia for approval.

Following representation from the NTEU, the University agreed to extend the agreement until 2016 and withdrew the productivity increases it had sought including changes to the span of hours and recompense for overtime and TOIL.

JCU also committed to a decrease in casual academic teaching over the life of the new Enterprise Agreement of 15%.

Professor Robyn McGuiggan, the lead negotiator for the University, said that while the negotiations had been conducted for almost 12 months they had been fruitful.

“Agreement was reached on all aspects of the EA some time ago apart from the question of the salary increase and the duration of the agreement,” she said.

“I think it can be said that all parties believed that they had reached a very good EA with the exception of the two outstanding items that have now been resolved.

“We had received feedback from our staff that they wanted a longer agreement to provide greater certainty about the terms and conditions that will govern their employment going forward given the current economic environment,” Professor McGuiggan said.

“This was not JCU's preference, due to budgetary constraints and the impacts on JCU of the current financial uncertainty, however, as a sign of good faith, we have agreed to the four year agreement.”

Some of the key aspects of the new EA 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;

  • targets for Indigenous employment;

  • clearer classification process for all staff;

  • clearer access to annual leave entitlements for academic staff;

  • no changes to the redundancy provisions;

  • all HEWL 2-5 positions to be initially advertised internally;

  • changes to the change management process, emphasising consultation and focusing on redeployment;

  • 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 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.

*JCU staff received a 2.6% increase by way of an administrative decision in June this year. Under the new agreement they will receive the extra 0.4% backdated to June 1 in the pay period ending November 1.

Contact: Professor Robyn McGuiggan 07 4781 6809

JCU Media: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822 or 0418 892449

Issued: September 27, 2013