Bargaining Timeline


22 March 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 8: Discussion continued on management's proposals on Academic Workloads (Clause 15) as well as the NTEU's Academic Workload Clause. See Bargaining Meeting #8 on the right hand side for details.

15 March 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 7: Discussion on management's proposals on Academic Workloads (Clause 15). See Bargaining Meeting #7 on the right hand side for details.

8 March 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 6: Discussion on management's proposals to change the wording around disciplinary procedures (Clauses 18 to 20) and Consultation About Change (Clause 53). See Bargaining Meeting #6 on the right hand side for details.

1 March 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 5: We presented our proposed changes to professional staff workload and revisited management's proposed changes to clauses 14 (Probation) and 16 (Performance & Development). See Bargaining Meeting #5 on the right hand side for details.

22 February 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 4: Discussion centred on management's proposed changes to 16 (Performance & Development), 18, 19, 20 (Disciplinary Procedures), 24 (Payment of Salaries), 25, 26 (Progression through Increments). See Bargaining Meeting #4 on the right hand side for details.

14 February 2023

Bargaining Meeting # 3: Discussion centred on management's proposed changes to clauses 3, 4, 5, 6, 17, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34 (These focus on Agreement coverage, length, and working conditions of Professional Staff). It is already apparent that the desire to simplify the agreement is code for the removal of a significant number of employee rights. See Bargaining Meeting #3 on the right hand side for details.

8 February 2023
Bargaining Meeting # 2: The first substantive bargaining meeting. The meeting was conducted in an open atmosphere, with management listing their log of claims. See Bargaining Meeting # 2 on the right hand side of this page for details.

20 December 2022
Management issues Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR)

19 December 2022
Bargaining Meeting # 1: Discussion centred on bargaining arrangements. It was agreed that we would meet weekly from 8 February 2023.

October – January 2023
The branch committee continued to work with our industrial officer (Clare Danaher) and industrial organiser (Linda Cargill) on developing specific clauses for a new HE Agreement.

September – October 2022
Management ran a series of forums with staff about their priorities for a new HE Agreement.

3 October 2022
An in principle Agreement was reached with management for a new and much improved TAFE Agreement.

16 September 2022
Management lifted its partial workbans notice, negotiations continued and teachers went back to work.

11 August 2022
TAFE teachers were effectively stood down (management refused to pay them, and refused to accept their work) for upholding legal partial work bans. 

June – October 2022

Management stalled the start of negotiations citing its need to settle Vocational Education (VE or TAFE) negotiations for a new Agreement. 

26 May 2022

LOC served on management. 

20 May 2022
Mass meeting of all HE members endorsed the finalised LOC.

June 2021 – May 2022
The Swinburne branch of the NTEU worked with members across the university to develop our log of claims (LOC) for a new Higher Education (HE) Agreement.


What's coming up?

Wednesday 29 March

Bargaining Meeting # 8

Agenda: Professional employee reclassificationConsultation about change, Professional employee workload, Types of employment.

Thursday 30 March

Member Meetings: TBC


Read our claims here

An open feedback forum has been created and will be available until negotiations are completed. Please send any comments and requests to us via email, provide feedback in the forum, or fill in the form on the right.

During bargaining, the branch has been working closely with several reference groups (each will represent Professional staff, Academic staff, Research Centre and Research-only staff, and Casual staff). Please let us know here or on the form on this page if you want to join one of our reference groups or participate in single-issue discussions with management. 

We'll also be keeping everyone up to date via our Twitter page.

NTEU Bargaining Team

Linda Cargill (NTEU Industrial Organiser)
Clare Danaher (NTEU Industrial Officer)
Brad Elphinstone (Swinburne NTEU Branch Executive Committee, Academic)
Leilani Fatupaito (Swinburne NTEU Branch Executive Committee, Professional)
Julie Kimber (Swinburne NTEU Branch President, Academic)
Daniel Kruk (Swinburne NTEU Branch Secretary, Professional)
Michael Leach (Swinburne NTEU Branch Vice President, Academic)

Contact the branch via email: [email protected] and Social Media 

Bargaining Meeting #8

Another tense meeting with management as we continued discussions on proposed changes to Academic Workloads. We discussed NTEU proposed changes, while management maintained its focus on Education Only roles. NTEU claims include increases to associated time for teaching and convening, maintenance of unallocated time, an increased minimum for research and/or scholarship, and more. We also started our discussions on caps to the number of casual positions and will pick up on this again after the Easter break. See management's proposals here, and our member bulletin here.

Bargaining Meeting #7

Difficult and sometimes terse discussions on proposed changes to Academic Workloads. We talked through both management and the NTEU proposed changes. Management's changes would see an annual 105 hour increase to the number of allocated hours; the introduction of trimesters; the removal of the clause that caps teaching hours from the agreement; and the introduction of new education-focussed roles, with an 80% teaching load over 42-44 weeks, and no provision to enable disciplinary currency. See management's proposals here, and our member bulletin here

Bargaining Meeting #6

Discussions centred on management's proposed changes to performance and misconduct and consultation about change. The language around performance and misconduct removes rights to representation and shifts the performance improvement process to one with a heavy disciplinary focus. The current collegiate joint committee that examines misconduct allegations would be abolished and replaced by a management-appointed investigator. Management's proposals would also allow them to decide whether a staff member is stood down without pay. Since investigations can take several weeks to resolve, this would be unfair and unjust. The most concerning aspect of management’s proposed changes to the consultation about change clause is that consultation would only occur after a decision has been made, not before a decision is made, as is now the case. Essentially this removes the ability of staff to play a meaningful role in any change process. See management's proposals hereand our member bulletin here

Bargaining Meeting #5

We shared our professional staff workload clause. Our primary aim is to ensure that management takes its occupational health and safety responsibilities seriously and stops turning a blind eye to work intensification. Over the past several years, our surveys of members demonstrate significant overwork and stress (see here). We have an opportunity to fix this. We also discussed probation and revisited performance and development clauses. Subsequent to the meeting management shared with us their amended wording on shiftwork, overtime, and travel. While these provisions have softened, the hugely problematic proposed change to increase the span of hours to 8.30 pm is yet to be worked through. See management's proposals here, and our member bulletin here.

Bargaining Meeting #4

Discussions this week centred on clauses relating to Probation, Performance and Development, Disciplinary procedures, Payment of salaries, and Progression through incremental structure. Management's proposals would see the removal of employee protections, including evidentiary requirements for allegations of poor performance, tying pay scale increments to performance, removing the joint union-management Misconduct Investigations Committee and more. The upshot would be an unprecedented increase in managerial prerogative. During the meeting, our objections to the stepping back of conditions was made clear. After considerable discussion, management have agreed to revisit these clauses with a view to reintroducing employee protections. We will wait until the next meeting to report on whether this has in fact happened. See management's proposals here, and our member bulletin here.

Bargaining Meeting # 3

A robust discussion on management's proposals for a new Section 3: Working Arrangements – Professional Employees. It is already apparent that management's desire to simplify the agreement is code for increased managerial prerogative and reduced employment protections. See management's proposals here, and our member bulletin here.

Bargaining Meeting # 2

The NTEU industrial officer, Clare Denaher, presented our log (which you can read in the link below). Management's proposals were for the most part relatively abstract, so we will need to wait to see the detail. For a handful of others, however, their objectives are clear. These include: 

  • Professional staff: a change to the span of standard working hours to 7.00 am to 8.30 pm Monday to Friday. This proposal was couched in terms of increased flexibility; however, if management is successful this would mean the avoidance of penalty rates for work done between 7-8 am and 6.00-8.30 pm. It would also be highly disruptive to the home life of staff with caring responsibilities and to staff who ordinarily engage in activities outside of work.
  • Academic staff: the introduction of teaching only 'educational specialist' positions. Again, the detail here needs to be included but will be discussed when we start to discuss academic workloads.
  • Professional staff: management indicated they would like to remove the reclassification committee and shift its responsibilities to P & C. The reclassification committee is a hugely important mechanism for professional staff to apply for recognition of increased responsibility in their role and to increase their HEW level.
  • Academic staff: the introduction of a new employment provision enabling the employment of 'professional practice' professors on an annualised basis. The detail in this provision is still being determined.
  • Professional & Academic staff: Simplifying the managing change clause. This currently requires management to consult with employees and the union on major changes including to work processes and redundancies. A simplified clause will likely water down this requirement.
  • Professional & Academic staff: streamlining the process relating to probation and misconduct. As with much of the material presented, we will know more about what is intended in future weeks.
  • Professional & Academic staff: paid leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees for cultural and ceremonial purposes.
  • Professional & Academic Staff: Extension of purchased leave arrangements (48/52) for all employees.
  • Professional & Academic staff: a more streamlined process when redundancies are announced and a reduction in redundancy pay.
  • The heavy emphasis on simplifying the next Agreement is welcome and unwelcome news. As Michael Leach, one of the NTEU bargaining representatives, noted, where management sees complexity, we see employee protections. We will be fighting hard to ensure no loss in the job protections provided to staff.


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