Union members of UTS met to vote and endorse the in-principle agreement last Thursday after 20 months of Enterprise Bargaining negotiations and a sustained member-led campaign that included two days of strike action.
UTS Management have agreed to create 110 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) continuing jobs for casual academic staff over 2.5 years, with the first 40 positions to be advertised by December 1 2023.
Academic and professional staff on insecure fixed-term contracts will be offered a continuing job in the same or similar position after two years of employment, with current eligible staff to be given the opportunity to convert to secure work within six months of the agreement.
UTS Branch President Dr Sarah Attfield describes these conversion measures for fixed-term staff as “sector-leading”.
NTEU members were determined to secure better rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and successfully won paid language allowances, an increase from five to ten days of paid cultural leave, and an employment target of 3% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
UTS staff will now receive a 4.5% pay rise in 2023 (14.75% over four years), 20 days paid gender affirmation leave per year, 10 days paid domestic violence leave for casual staff, protections against workplace restructures, and stronger workload protections for both casual and professional staff.
NSW Division Secretary, and former UTS Branch President, Vince Caughley says, “This fantastic agreement that delivers new entitlements and significantly reduces insecure work has been years in the making. It shows what we can achieve when NTEU members envision change at an institution they love and commit to making it happen.”
The in-principle agreement will now go to an all-staff vote and, if supported, proceed to the Fair Work Commission for approval.