Education union backs down on AWAs to get agreement

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Education union backs down on AWAs to get agreement

The NTEU has negotiated an agreement with Southern Cross University (SCU) in northern NSW that allows for staff being offered ‘a genuine choice between an AWA and the certified agreement’.

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The NTEU has negotiated an agreement with Southern Cross University (SCU) in northern NSW that allows for staff being offered ‘a genuine choice between an AWA and the certified agreement’. 

Chris Game, NTEU NSW Division Secretary, said the agreement would now comply with Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRR). 

‘The SCU Agreement features a number of HEWRR compliant requirements, including lifting limits on fixed and casual term employment, and the removal of NTEU’s direct representative role in favour of elected staff representatives who will work in conjunction with the Union,’ Game said.  

‘The Agreement also specifies that Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA) will be offered to all staff and will prevail over the Certified Agreement, but staff will be offered a genuine choice between the AWA and the Certified Agreement.’ 

Entitlements

Game said the agreement contains the retention of a number of entitlements, including:

  • 22% pay rise by March 2008

  • Retention of job security and redundancy provisions

  • Classification standards for general staff

  • Committees of review for unsatisfactory performance and serious misconduct

  • Retention of leave entitlements and provisions

  • An increased maternity leave entitlement of 22 weeks.

Game said the university will now qualify for Commonwealth funding under the HEWRRs worth approximately $8.2 million over the 2006 to 2008 period. 

He said that since the release of the HEWRRs in April, the employer body representing much of the sector, the Australian Higher Education Industry Association (AHEIA), has maintained that negotiating with the Union would prevent institutions from reaching compliant agreements.

‘The successful conclusion today of an agreement between staff and management at SCU, and a previous agreement at Deakin University, proves this is incorrect,’ Game said.

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