NTEU and RACGP strike historic enterprise agreement

2 December 2022

The National Tertiary Education Union has sealed a landmark deal for Royal Australian College of General Practitioners staff who will receive fair pay rises, improved conditions and expanded leave entitlements. The new RACGP enterprise agreement sends an emphatic message to the higher education sector about what can be achieved through constructive bargaining. "This is enterprise bargaining at its best. A strong union which had a clear set of claims to improve workers' lives and a reasonable employer that respectfully and constructively engaged with our members to strike a balanced deal," said NTEU General Secretary Damien Cahill. "Congratulations to our wonderful bargaining team and all NTEU members for delivering such strong outcomes for all staff covered by the agreement.” "While some employers in our sector have chosen the low road on wages and conditions, RACGP is to be commended for using enterprise bargaining to invest in its staff. This will pay dividends through a happier, healthier and more productive workplace.” The agreement includes the following improvements: * Pay rises, including increments, for most staff of between 16.7% and 18.9% over four years.

* Major restrictions on the use of fixed-term contracts and conversion rights to ongoing after three years.

* Paid parental leave available to both parents on an equivalent basis when they assume primary carer responsibilities.

* Four weeks’ paid and 48 weeks’ unpaid gender transition leave.

* Clear rights for most staff to work from home and the option to compress the working week to four days with the same hours.

* Right to disconnect - staff not required to respond to telephone, email or other like contact outside of normal working hours.

* Overtime extended to staff at all levels.

* Incremental progression - which was lost in 2007 - restored. In anticipation of the fixed-term contract changes, RACGP has already converted 44% of its fixed-term contracts to ongoing employment. The coverage of the Agreement is expected to double in size to about 700 people when RACGP makes an application to the Fair Work Commission for the inclusion of hundreds of staff from regional GP training providers insourced to the RACGP early next year.

"This really is a remarkable turnaround. The new RACGP leadership has transformed the College from a hostile employer to a respectful negotiator which listens to staff during bargaining," NTEU Industrial Officer Serena O’Meley said.

"The overwhelming support among staff for the agreement speaks volumes about one of the best deals I've seen."

Media contacts:

Matt Coughlan 0400 561 480 / [email protected]

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