Bargaining Update # 6

Our Swinburne – An Agreement that Works for You

Our update on bargaining this week is brief. This is because management is yet to provide its promised amendments to clauses relating to professional staff reclassification, probation, and our requests for allowances for staff required to be on-call after hours. 

Instead, our discussions centred on management's proposed changes to performance and misconduct and consultation about change. In what is now a familiar approach by management, their proposed clauses on these issues have been simplified and stripped of protections. 

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. Management has agreed to take another look at these proposals, and we will pick up on these discussions again in the coming weeks.

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.

Next week we turn our attention to Academic Workloads, where we will discuss NTEU and management proposals. For our part, we will be pushing for strong and enforceable protections that guarantee against work intensification, more accurately account for the work that academics do, safeguard research and scholarship as fundamental components of academic work, and introduce measures that enable the creation of secure and meaningful work with a corresponding reduction in casualisation. 

Please get in touch if you have any feedback or want issues raised. We remain committed to fighting for an agreement that works for you. 

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