Annual Report 2018â€“19 1
Contents National units
Purpose & Structure 3 Industrial 18
Alison Barnes, National President 6
Policy & Research 20
Matthew McGowan, General Secretary 8
Union Education 22
Queensland Division 34
Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary 10
Organising & Campaigns 24
Media & Publications 26
Tasmanian Division 38
Recruitment & Retention 28
Victorian Division 40
Budget & Finance 29
National groups Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus 12
Women’s Action Committee (WAC) 14
Defence Fund Allocation 3%
Discretionary 9% Operating 10%
Branch & Division Salaries 56%
National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC) 16
National Office Salaries 22%
Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE) 17
NTEU Annual Report 2018–19 Report to the 2019 National Council Meeting Published by National Tertiary Education Union Publisher: Matthew McGowan
Editor: Alison Barnes
Production: Paul Clifton
Editorial Assistance: Anastasia Kotaidis
ISSN 2652-3426 (Online)
ABN 38 579 396 344
Photos: Richard Bailey, Kate Berniz, N Clarke, Paul Clifton, Lachlan Clohesy, Toby Cotton, Lachlan Hurse, Kiraz Janicke, Paul Kniest, Kieran McCarron, Serena O’Meley, Helena Spyrou, James Supple. All text and images ©NTEU unless otherwise stated. NTEU National Office, PO Box 1323, Sth Melbourne VIC 3205 phone: (03) 9254 1910
fax: (03) 9254 1915
Available online at www.nteu.org.au/annual_report
Purpose & Structure National Executive 2018–19 National Officers Alison Barnes National President Matthew McGowan General Secretary Gabe Gooding National Asst Secretary Vice-Presidents Andrew Bonnell (Academic), Cathy Rojas (General)
National Executive Shane Motlap A&TSI member Rachael Bahl ACT Division Secretary
Michael Thomson NSW Div Secretary Louisa Manning-Watson NT Div Sec2 Michael McNally Qld Division Secretary Ron Slee SA Division Secretary Kelvin Michael Tas Division Secretary Mel Slee Victorian Division Secretary
NTEU was formed in 1993 from an amalgamation of five separate unions that represented academic and general staff in higher education, TAFE and adult education in Australia. NTEU now proudly represents some 28,000 workers across these sectors. As an ‘industry union’ NTEU represents all employees in academic and general/ professional classifications ranging from professors to accountants to gardeners. No other organisation in Australia is able to speak with a unified voice in support of tertiary education and allied institutions and the unique and vital public interests they serve.
Jonathan Hallett WA Division Secretary
Purpose of the Union
Nikola Balnave Macquarie Vince Caughley UTS
The broad purpose of the Union is to Advocate for, and represent the rights, interests and welfare of members in the industrial, legal, political and social spheres.
Andrea Lamont-Mills USQ
The primary objects of NTEU are to:
Damien Cahill NSW Div Asst Secretary
Virginia Mansel Lees La Trobe Catherine Moore ECU Kerrie Saville Deakin Nick Warner Adelaide 1. Cathy Day Acting ACT Division Secretary from Aug 2019. 2. Rajeev Sharma Acting NT Division Secretary from Sept 2019. Image: NTEU staff members Frank Gafa, Celeste Liddle and Janet Bourke at a Change the Rules rally, Mar 2019.
• Improve and protect the living standards of its members as well as their working environment and professional interests.
disseminate knowledge and information without fear of reprisal. • Promote the concept of equal opportunity in employment and to eliminate all forms of discrimination in tertiary education and in all spheres of the Union’s activity. • Create and maintain an informed public opinion concerning tertiary education institutions and their staff.
Structure of the Union The Union is organised across three levels: the National Office (located in South Melbourne), State and Territory-based Divisions and workplace-based Branches in each of the nation’s 38 universities, as well as Branches covering members in ACE and Companies (Vic), TAFE (Vic), Research Institutes, Navitas, RACGP and College of Law. Our workplace-based local Branches in universities, which are permanently staffed, are a feature unique to NTEU in the Australian trade union movement. These structures permit NTEU to build and maintain a visible and organised presence at each university and to be able to rapidly respond to industrial and organisational issues.
• Foster the process of intellectual debate within the Australian community.
NTEU is a highly democratic memberdriven union with elected Branch Committees, Division Councils, and a National Council comprising representatives elected by members on a two year cycle. Council meets annually in October.
• Defend and promote the rights of members to teach, research and
At each Branch, the highest decisionmaking body is a general meeting of
• Promote the work of tertiary education institutions in Australia and to preserve their independence and integrity.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Purpose & Structure
Division Secretaries 2018–19
Rachael Bahl1 ACT
Jonathan Hallett WA
members. A Branch Committee comprising elected representatives of members governs the affairs of each Branch in between general meetings of members. Each Branch committee, elected for two year terms, includes a Branch President, two Vice-Presidents (one designated for Academic staff and one for General/ Professional staff) and a Branch Secretary. There are designated positions on each Branch Committee for one Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander member and, at most Branches, one Casual member.
Division Council and Executive Michael Thomson NSW
Kelvin Michael Tasmania
Michael McNally Queensland
Mel Slee Victoria
Ron Slee SA
Louisa ManningWatson2 NT 1. Cathy Day Acting ACT Division Secretary from Aug 2019. 2. Rajeev Sharma Acting NT Division Secretary from Sept 2019.
Members elect National Councillors for two year terms to represent their Branch at National Council. These Councillors also constitute the Division Council, ensuring that each Branch is represented nationally and at the State or Territory level. Division Executive is elected from within Division Council. It comprises a Division President, two Vice-Presidents (one Academic staff and one General). There is one designated position for a Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander member, voted from amongst the A&TSI membership. WA Division has only one Vice-President and two Division Assistant Secretaries (Academic and General). The Division Secretaries, in all Divisions except NT and Tasmania, are directly elected for four years, as are Division Assistant Secretaries in NSW and Victoria.
Assistant Secretary, elected for 4 year terms), the eight Division Secretaries, three Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander National Councillors and the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee (A&TSIPC). National Council is the supreme decision making body of the NTEU while the National Executive (which meets six times per year) is responsible for running the Union between meetings of the National Council. National Council also has the critical task of endorsing the Union’s budget for the forthcoming year.
National Executive The National Executive is composed of the three full-time National Officers, the eight Division Secretaries, the A&TSIPC Chair, and ten ordinary members. The ten ordinary members are elected from the floor of the National Council for two year terms. From these, National Council elects a Vice-President (Academic) and Vice-President (General Staff). The last such election was held at the 2018 National Council and the ten ordinary members of the National Executive and the two Vice-Presidents elected at that time will continue to hold office until new elections are conducted for these positions at the 2020 National Council.
Note: No report was received from the NT Division in time for publication.
National Council National Council has a total membership of about 130 delegates. The number of National Councillors for each Branch is determined by the number of members at each Branch. In addition there are the three full-time National Officers (National President, General Secretary, and National
Image (this page): Mel Slee, Alison Barnes and Matthew McGowan on Wear It Purple Day, Aug 2019. Image (opposite page): Alison Barnes, Jonathan Hallett & Michael McNally at Elected Leaders’ Conference, May 2019.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Purpose & Structure
Direct election by all members (include certain designated Academic & General positions)
2 YR 2 YR 2 YR
Direct election by A&TSI members only
Branch President Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (General) Branch Secretary + Ordinary Members Designated Casual position
Direct election by casual members only Elected from within relevant Council or Committee Not all Branches
Designated A&TSI position
ALL NTEU MEMBERS
4 YR 4 YR 2 YR
All except Tas & NT NSW & Vic only
Division Secretary Division Assistant Secretary
NSW, Qld, Vic & WA only
Division President Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (General) + Ordinary Members
WA has two Division Assistant Secretaries (Academic & General) but only one Division Vice-President.
Designated A&TSI position
National National Executive
4 YR 4 YR 4 YR
National President General Secretary National Assistant Secretary Division Secretaries (8)
Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (General) + Ordinary Members (8)
A&TSI National Councillors (3)
Appointed via expressions of interest in each Division:
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Purpose & Structure
Alison Barnes, National President
Alison Barnes National President
This has been a huge year for the Union and for me personally. Moving from my job at Macquarie University to being given the opportunity by my higher education colleagues around the country to lead this wonderful union is an honour with a weight of expectation, especially in light of the two strong, determined and fiercely intelligent women I succeeded in the role. Two things are clear – the scale of the challenges facing staff in our sector and the work involved in putting us in a position to confront them. Improving our density amongst all staff, establishing ourselves as the voice of the sector, sharpening our industrial strategy, forging our relationships and connections with organisations and building our political influence are each key aspects of this work. Having gone from Branch President to National President, however, I’ve never been more convinced that none of this can amount to anything unless we start by building our local power through growing and supporting our delegate structures in local workplaces.
Image (this page): Alison Barnes at the School Strike for Climate, Sydney, Sept 2019. Images (opposite page): Alison Barnes at a Change the Rules rally, Sydney, Oct 2018; Alison Barnes, ACTU President Michele O’Neil & Gabe Gooding at NTEU Women’s Conference, July 2019; University of Sydney Refugee Action group, Oct 2018.
What the return of the Coalition means for higher education The unexpected re-election of the federal Liberal National Coalition in May this year ensures that the freeze on university
funds will largely continue. The exception to this freeze is the $80 million of funding to be allocated on the basis of universities’ performance against criteria such as graduate employment outcomes. The funding freeze provides a ready excuse for universities to employ ever increasing numbers of staff on insecure employment contracts and also to form alliances with corporate benefactors that potentially undermine institutional independence, such as the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. Likewise, performance based funding may have adverse consequences for our sector. The year has been characterised by ongoing debates about supposed restrictions to academic freedom on our campuses. The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, in response to this alleged crisis of academic freedom established a review into academic freedom led by Justice Robert French. NTEU largely agreed with the findings of the French Review but maintains the best protections for academic freedom remain the Enterprise Agreements negotiated by our members and that the real threat to academic freedom stems from insecure employment. In response to the French Review, NTEU called on Universities Australia to negotiate a best practice clause protecting academic freedom. Universities Australia declined this offer. Education International (EI), to which the NTEU is affiliated, is the global federation of 401 member unions covering over 30 million education workers globally. Its 8th Congress held this year identified privatisation and commercialisation of education and their impact on academic
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Alison Barnes, National President
freedom as major threats to the expansion of quality education across the globe. The Federal Government’s unwanted intervention continues to be felt not only by the funding freeze but by their ideological opposition to unions. The Ensuring Integrity Bill currently before the Senate undermines grass roots democracy in unions by deterring people from taking up positions, such as delegates or Branch Presidents, for fear of action being taken against them. Additionally, there are concerns the Bill might lead to unions seeking to reduce the number of elected officers in order to reduce the risk of non-compliance, or dramatically increase the amount of members’ money spent on ensuring compliance. An outcome of this nature could potentially lead to a decline in union democracy and/ or a diminution in the resources we have available to us to defend and protect our conditions of work.
New leadership, new vision A change in the NTEU national leadership has also marked a change of direction for the Union. The focus is on building our density and strength at the grass roots. We are redoubling our efforts to build a union that is powerful enough to effectively confront our challenges and win. For the National Office, this means focusing our energies on how we grow and maintain our membership. The
establishment of the Working Party on Growth set up after last year’s National Council has been central to efforts to understand what is working or not at the Branch level. For members this change to building our capacity means building relationships in our workplaces around our common interests, helping build our delegates and women’s and activists’ networks. This shift towards effective organising is reflected in the NTEU priorities for 2020. The reshaping of our union cannot be achieved simply by priorities statements or the work of the National Office, but requires all of our efforts.
Conferences In addition to National Council, the NTEU held three significant conferences this year: the Elected Leaders’ Conference, Women’s Conference and our annual National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Forum. The Elected Leaders’ Conference, held in July at Victoria University, bought together Branch Presidents from across the country to discuss how we build our power.
Casuals in the Union Like the Working Party on Growth, 2019 saw the establishment of the National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC). The committee ensures that casuals’ voices are heard and reflected in all our campaigns and communication. Lobbying work undertaken by the NTEU Victorian Division led to the release of accurate figures as to the numbers of staff employed casually in that State. These figures confirm what we already know: that precarity of employment is endemic at our universities. Casualisation and precarity of employment lead to financial and emotional strain for many university staff. Insecurity undermines academic freedom and the nexus between teaching and research, which are the cornerstone of our universities. It is only through building our grassroots power that we can ensure our sector reflects the interests of staff and students.
Our biggest ever biennial National Women’s Conference echoed the Elected Leaders’ Conference in its themes and focus and has directly contributed to the establishment of active women’s networks. This shift in the Union’s direction has been discussed and endorsed by NTEU members attending these conferences.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Alison Barnes, National President
Matthew McGowan, General Secretary
Matthew McGowan General Secretary
The 2018 National Council was a momentous occasion. For the first time in the Union’s history, two National Officers stepped down at the same time, and all three National Officer positions had new incumbents. Such a dramatic shift was significant enough, but this change included Grahame McCulloch stepping down after 25 years as NTEU General Secretary, and 37 years of leadership responsibilities in tertiary education unions. NTEU owes a great debt to his efforts. With the weight of responsibility moving to a new leadership team, 2019 has been a busy, productive and energising year. Alison Barnes and Gabe Gooding have brought fresh eyes and energy to the Union and I am very pleased to be working with them at this moment of renewal for NTEU.
Image (this page): Voting on a motion at National Council 2018. Images (opposite page): ALP NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy (centre) with Alison Barnes, Adam Frogley, Matthew McGowan and Shane Motlap, Canberra, March 2019; Matthew McGowan at A&TSI Forum 2019.
The outcome of the 2019 Federal Election was a significant setback for the Union’s objectives to be able to improve funding and employment conditions through legislated change. The Labor Party had promised to remove the proposed FEEHELP tax on universities, to provide improved rights for casual and fixed term employees, improve union workplace rights, as well as moving to take meaningful action on climate change, improve social welfare payments and the list goes on.
The returned Morrison Government has wasted no time in returning to form. The Ensuring Integrity Bill flags the continued anti-union theme that has characterised Coalition Governments since the late 1990s and we cannot assume there will not be more to come. But our course will be to continue to build our capacity to represent our members effectively with the tools we have available. We must work to improve our position so that we are stronger and more effective on the ground.
Financial prudence and a focus on membership With the election result, the 2017 National Council motion to review the Defence Fund contributions, and the subsequent decision to increase contributions from 3% of fee income to 6% was prescient. It returns the Defence Fund to the funding level original established at its inception and will allow the Union to build its reserves for urgent and important priorities as they arise. Given the likelihood of more litigious employers, and further attacks from government, we may well be drawing on this resource more often. But this also reduces the operating funds available for day to day operations. With the clear need to review the budget, Executive reviewed staffing levels across the Union establishing clear criteria to increase transparency around staffing allocations linked to membership levels. This resulted in a staffing reduction in SA, WA, the ACT, Queensland and the National Office, while NSW saw a 0.5 increase. This resulted in an overall reduction of 3.1 positions.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Matthew McGowan, General Secretary
This was not an easy decision but to the Union’s credit this was achieved fairly and without redundancies. While such processes are never easy, the affected Divisions are to be congratulated for the maturity of the discussion and broad acceptance of the need to rebalance our resources. It demonstrates the strength of commitment we all hold to a National Union and a collective responsibility that overrides our regional self-interest. The clear need for this course of action will be evident when we consider the 2019/20 budget.
Budget and finance We ended the 2019 financial year with a strongly improved position against budget. The budget predicted a $57,000 deficit while the outcome was a healthy $470,000 surplus. This was achieved in part by vacancies that were left unfilled in anticipation of a need to reduce staffing as outlined above, and with spending restraint, primarily in the National Office. There was also planned expenditure that was deferred, such as the Elected Officers’ Conference and the QUTE Conference which were shifted into the 2019/20 financial year. The result has permitted the Union to establish the first stage of a genuine Leave Fund to cover our staff leave liabilities with a total of $1 million being shifted to this purpose. This represents close to a third of our liabilities. In time, we will be able to pay for replacement staff when our staff go on extended leave from the fund rather than from recurrent expenditure, and it provides our staff with certainty that their leave entitlements are being protected and fully funded. The budget projection for the next financial year is for a deficit of $220,000. This is a manageable figure in the current climate. However, membership growth, or lack thereof, presents the largest concern to NTEU finances given the challenges we face.
Membership The Union suffered a 498 member decline over the 12 months to 30 June 2019. This was off a previous high point but remains
a serious concern. Such a membership loss if averaged over the full year represents close to $450,000. Fortunately, with the ups and downs of membership over the year, the actual deficit against budget was only $150,000. However, this is a concern for the whole Union. Since the end of the financial year, membership growth has been good without being spectacular (an additional 400 members since the end of the financial year), but the cycles of membership mean that this is not as impressive as it might appear. The budget presumes a modest membership increase of 250 (0.9%) averaged over the full year.
The way forward The new leadership team has established its clear intention to focus more of the Union’s attention on organising and campaigning in the workplace. This includes building Union infrastructure (delegates and activists), and increasing NTEU’s visibility in the workplace. Campaign materials will be prepared to focus specifically on insecure work. This will assist with membership growth, with building outcomes for members, and with succession planning.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander matters. A separate report on these allocations is listed in this document. In brief, we have given greater emphasis to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander matters in our lobbying efforts and we have improved the effectiveness of National A&TSI Forum with more time for debate and less focus on reporting. This year’s National A&TSI Forum has been widely acknowledged as one of the better Forums over recent years with the highest levels of representation from Branches ever. There remains much to do, but the Union continues to punch above its weight in our work in this area. Finally, I would like to not only thank the other Officers, but the staff of the Union. Change is not always easy, and the Officers are looking for more effective ways to do our business. In general, there has been broad recognition of the need for a new direction and this support is welcome. The Union depends on the efforts of our hard working and dedicated staff. They deserve and have earned our thanks.
Membership growth and retention must be a priority. While the National Office has been required to reduce staffing, the staffing profile has been adjusted to give greater focus to these priorities. Education and training will shift focus from membership training to staff and activist training while organising staff will be asked to give greater priority to delegate and membership training and development. A new position of Director, Campaigns and Organising has been created, as well as a new National Organiser, Digital. This demonstrates that the National Office is shifting its focus to these priorities.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander matters As part of the allocation of portfolios between the National Officers, the General Secretary now has responsibility for the
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Matthew McGowan, General Secretary
Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary It was an honour and a privilege to be elected to the position of National Assistant Secretary last year and as part of the new leadership team I am committed to making the changes that we need to build union power and influence. Gabe Gooding National Assistant Secretary
The nature of the National Assistant Secretary role is that it tends to have more of a project base than the other two leadership positions and it also picks up issues that fall between the major portfolios. On assuming office I took responsibility for education and training, and publications, as well as being the National Officer assisting the QUTE Caucus. I am also assisting the General Secretary on Finances, Industrial and Compliance and assisting the National President on Communications. The principal projects that I have undertaken this year are: • The development of a major strategy on Work Health and Safety.
We continue to work in a system which is increasingly constraining both the rights and powers of unions, through legislation or through ‘interpretive drift’ from a FWC that is becoming dominated by conservative appointments. With the potential for further draconian legislation being passed this year or early next year, we need to urgently seek alternative avenues to access workplaces and to demonstrate relevance to members and potential members.
Work Health and Safety In May the National Executive approved a strategy to develop capacity in workplace health & safety (WHS) to build union power and member engagement. WHS is
A recent review of the harmonised WHS laws recommended that regulations on identification and assessment of psychosocial hazards be included.
• Overseeing a plan to deal with wage theft and sham-contracting in the private provider sector.
Images (opposite page): Wage theft counter; Greens NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (centre) with Alison Barnes and Gabe Gooding at NTEU Women’s Conference, July 2019; ACT DIvision members rallying for action on climate change.
Despite having a national policy to do so, NTEU has not traditionally invested in building expertise and applying it to WHS. While individual cases have been mounted in a few Divisions and Branches, we have not taken a systematic approach to prosecuting issues through the WHS jurisdiction. Several factors have prompted a review of that position and a new commitment to WHS including the following issues.
There is growing community and legal recognition of the importance of mental health and the impact of work conditions on the mental health of workers. Community attitudes to mental health are changing and there is greater willingness of workers to identify as suffering from stress and related conditions.
• Beginning the process of modernizing the NTEU Rules.
Image (this page): WA Division members, May Day rally 2019.
a powerful jurisdiction that offers unions the opportunity to engage with members and potential members about issues central to their welfare, as well as a tool to resolve some otherwise intractable workplace issues.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary
In January, Safework Australia released a National Guidance for Employers on Psychological injury which includes an extensive list of psychosocial hazards in the workplace many of which are impacting on our members now: • Insecure work. • Long working hours, work intensification. • Workers not involved in decision making about their work. • Bullying, harassment and aggression in the workplace. • Lack of fairness and equity. • Poorly managed organisational change. • Imbalance between effort and reward. • Poor management of performance. In addition, the WHO has recognised burn-out as an occupational phenomenon and included it in the International Classification of Diseases, and importantly for this Union, included job insecurity as a known psychosocial hazard. The release of the guidance materials and international developments allows us to argue that employers should be both aware of these hazards and have plans in place to mitigate against the risk of psychological injury. The strategy has been endorsed by the National Executive and the plan is being implemented. It involves an audit phase in which we collect good data on our influence on WHS at each Branch and identify opportunities to build networks of health and safety representatives.
After that follows a process of providing education and training to staff, delegates, interested officers and HSRs. When we have capacity in place, we will develop WHS campaigns to tackle some of the big thorny issues in the list above that we have not been able to successfully deal with through traditional industrial mechanisms. For this to work, we need not just the capacity to use the WHS legislation, we need to change the conversation about workloads, abuse, job insecurity and constant change to a discussion about the impact that the management decisions have on our health, our welfare and our relationships. One important point to note is that we have formed a coalition of three Unions to work on this or a similar project in each Union, which is allowing us to share resources and learn from each other. By the National Council meeting next year we should be able report on progress.
Rules modernisation We have commenced a process of reviewing the NTEU Rules to ensure that they reflect current practices and that they put us in the best position to be compliant with the existing legislative regime as administered by the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC), and with whatever is the outcome of the Ensuring Integrity Bill. NTEU is generally well-placed due to our early decisions to centralise finances, staffing, and record-keeping, but we do need to make some adjustments. It is
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary
also important that our Rules reflect the decisions made by the National Council to adopt those best practices, and that they reflect modern tertiary education structures. This is a big body of work which will need to be completed well before the 2020 National Council meeting to ensure that there is early and wide consultation.
Wage theft and sham-contracting in private providers NTEU, largely through the Victoria Division, has been successful in reclaiming hundreds of thousands of dollars underpaid to workers in private tertiary education and it is clear that there is a pattern of behaviour occurring that amounts to using wage theft and sham-contracting as a business model to reduce costs. In August we commenced the process of developing a systematic approach to pursuing these issues, which we expect to run through into 2020. Finally, the best part of being an elected officer, at any level, is the opportunity it gives us to meet interesting people and talk to members about the issues that are concerning them. I’d like to thank everyone who has given so generously of their time to talk to me, and of course thank those NTEU staff who support the work that I am lucky enough to be doing.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus www.nteu.org.au/atsi National A&TSI Coordinator: Adam Frogley National A&TSI Organiser: Celeste Liddle QLD/NT Division Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Officer: Phil Mairu Branch Organiser (Monash): Frank Gafa
A&TSIPC 2018–2020 Chair Shane Motlap CDU Deputy Chair – vacant
Division Representatives ACT Aileen Marwung Walsh ANU Qld John Graham Griffith NSW Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Newcastle NT Shane Motlap CDU SA vacant Tas Jacob Prehn UTas Vic Terry Mason Deakin WA Brendon DeGois UWA
The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee (A&TSIPC) and the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Unit work in conjunction with all National Office Units, Divisions and Branches to provide advice and support on A&TSI culture, education, employment and social justice issues. National Council motions (2018) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander motions from National Council 2018 have formed part of the annual work plan for the A&TSI Unit. The following motions were passed at National Council 2018. • NTEU continued support for Treaties & ACTU Resolution Voice Treaty and Truth Telling.
Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Newcastle
• Indigenous Student Success Funding (ISSP) support for A&TSI students & vicechancellors salaries.
Terry Mason Deakin
• Campus visits.
Rena Stanton Batchelor
• NTEU Elders membership (amended from 2017).
Image (this page): NTEU National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Forum, Sydney, August 2019. Images (opposite page): NSW Division A&TSI Forum, June 2019; Qld Division A&TSI Forum, May 2019.
NTEU A&TSI Employment Strategy NTEU has drafted the second Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy for implementation across the Union. It has particular focus on provision of training opportunities, upskilling, career path development and attracting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to apply for mainstream employment opportunities. Currently, NTEU employs four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, with the new A&TSI Employment Strategy seeking to achieve 5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment across the NTEU by 2025. The Strategy will be released officially at the 2019 National Council meeting.
A&TSI employment across the sector Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment has increased by 9.4% fulltime equivalent (FTE) and 9.3% headcount from 2017 staffing data. This translates to a total headcount of 1,461 staff and 1,316 FTE, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff comprising 1.2% of all fixed-term and ongoing staff, both FTE and number. The chart below details the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment trend from 2000 to 2018:
• Lateral violence in Australian universities.
• Continued removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander motions for National Council 2019 seek to advance the work commenced from 2018 National Council motions.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus
Federal Budget 2019–20 The 2019-20 Federal Budget has seen further reductions to the supplementary funding allocation and forward estimates via the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants (ISAG) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Support administered through the Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP). When compared to the previous year’s Federal Budget and forward estimates, an overall funding decrease of $3.32 million has been applied to the ISSP in the 2019-20 financial year with a further $7.66 million removed from the comparable forward estimates. As the key funding allocation supporting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Support Centres and their staff, the Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) provides funding allocations to all Table A and B higher education providers to provide Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students with culturally appropriate support and places of cultural safety on campus. As we have seen previously, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff will simply be forced to do more with less or risk being culturally isolated into areas of the university outside of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Support Unit or Centre where they may have been employed in the first instance.
Round 7 Bargaining & Member Survey As Round 7 bargaining draws to conclusion the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Unit will be seeking feedback from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members on their experiences of bargaining and the outcomes achieved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment clauses. The member survey will be sent electronically via Survey Monkey in September.
National A&TSI Forum 2019 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum 2019 was held in Sydney at the Maritime Union of Australia Conference Centre, with over fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates registered. The theme of National Forum 2019 was ‘fighting the good fight’, with delegate and activist development being a high priority to ensure we are in the best position to campaign and bargain for greater employment and job security outcomes in the coming years. A total of eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander motions will be tabbed for debate at the National Council meeting in October.
Membership – Data & engagement Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership sits at 471 as of the 13/8/19. It has hovered between 470 and 490 for all of 2019. Academic membership rate sits at about 50% whereas A&TSI General staff membership is at 30%.
promote them. eYarn will additionally be used to provide general news around the country as well as promote jobs available at the NTEU as per the NTEU A&TSI Employment Strategy. Added pushes to source member contributions for the NTEU’s existing publications also form part of our push to centralise their voices on campus and this has led to a couple of important Advocate articles this year. Given the NTEU’s existing policies on sovereignty and treaty, Adani, the Community Development Program, and many more, there is a strong need to be better engaged in the broader union campaigns on these and other issues. The National A&TSI Organiser will therefore be attending the ACTU Indigenous Committee as a proxy for the Chair of the A&TSIPC to ensure continuity and better feedback between the NTEU and the movement as a whole. Finally, following much discussion at Division Forums and National A&TSI Forum (including a renewed policy proposal for consideration at National Council), along with the 2018 NTEU’s I’m Still Not A Racist, But… report, the development of a module or information package on lateral violence is in the pipeline and it is hoped that it will be available later this year. This can serve as an accompaniment to the Cultural Competency Training or as a stand-alone program and will initially be taken to the NT Division following membership feedback up there.
Strategies for membership growth are being developed as per the proposed new vision for the NTEU and attendees at the NTEU National A&TSI Forum were educated on some such tactics. In addition to this, planning for membership growth and engagement events as per the 2018 motion on campus visits were discussed at the Division Forums and some will take place in the later part of 2019.
Campaigns & visibility eYarn, the specific A&TSI member email circular has mainly been used for election and forum reminders in 2019 and will be rebooted in the lead-up to the campus visits planned for the end of 2019 to NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus
Women’s Action Committee (WAC) www.nteu.org.au/women
WAC 2018–19 Chair Alison Barnes A&TSIPC Rep Anna Strzelecki UniSA
Division Representatives ACT Gen: Jo Washington-King UC Aca: Bel Townsend ANU NSW Gen: Julia McConnochie UTS Aca: Karen Lamb ACU NT
Gen: Sylvia Klonaris CDU Aca: Donelle Cross BIITE
Qld Gen: Gwen Amankwah-Toa QUT Aca: Leonie Barnett CQU SA
Gen: Cécile Dutreix UniSA Aca: Darlene McNaughton Fli
Tas Gen: Jenny Smith UTAS Aca: Nataliya Nikolova UTAS Vic
Gen: Sara Brocklesby Melbourne Aca: Virginia Mansel Lees LTU
WA Gen: Corinna Worth Curtin Aca: Suzanne Jenkins NDU
Staff Support National Terri MacDonald ACT
Image (this page): NTEU Women’s Conference, Melbourne, July 2019. Images (opposite page): SA Bluestocking Week Quiz Night; Bluestocking Week stall at Curtin, WA.
WAC met in March and July 2019. Activities include the National Women’s Conference, Bluestocking Week, a national survey on sexual harassment and gender bias in universities, breastfeeding accreditation and the promotion of local women’s action networks. National Women’s Conference The biennial Women’s Conference in July had over 80 speakers and participants – the largest NTEU Women’s Conference ever. The conference theme was to ‘Challenge for Change - Building power, defining purpose and making progress for women’. Structured as an organising, capacity building conference, participants focused on ways to increase their capabilities as union activists, delegates and representatives, as well as how to better position the work of the WAC and local NTEU women’s networks at the centre of Division and Branch activities. The Conference plenaries and workshops also ensured that women and gender equity continue to explicitly feature in the Union’s political and industrial priorities. Topics included: • The post-election political landscape for women. • W omen in the union movement and building capacity at the local level. • D ealing with neoliberal managerialism and the corporate culture of universities.
• International campaigning around insecure work, union advocacy and women’s issues. Speakers included: Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens; Michelle O’Neil, ACTU President; Sharon Burrows, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; Annie Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation; Caterina Cinanni, National President, National Union of Workers; Kara Keys, National Campaign Coordinator, ACTU; and Samantha Bond, Senior Organiser, Union Aid Abroad. A full list of the conference speakers, program and presentations is at www.nteu.org.au/ women/conference/2019. Feedback from the Conference was positive with participants reporting that they have used some of the skills and knowledge they developed in local union activities and recruitment. The Conference is also being used to boost local NTEU women’s networks at both Branch and Division level and assist in building the Union’s organising capacity.
National Survey on Sexual Harassment and Gender Bias To assist with our submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, NTEU launched a survey of members nationally, asking about sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace. The survey was open for 3 weeks, from 12 October to 2 November, and received around 2,500 responses from NTEU members. The survey found that just under one-in-five
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Women’s Action Committee (WAC)
respondents had personally experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, almost twice as many women as men reporting personal incidents and alarmingly, just under 40% of all respondents said that they were aware of others who had been sexually harassed in their workplace
Activities were held in every State and Territory around the country, with seminars, fund raising events, lunch and learns, library displays, campus walks and even a wiki-a-thon – for a run down of events see www.nteu.org.au/women/ bluestockingweek/events.
The survey also found there to be extremely low levels of reporting, despite more than 90% of respondents stating they were aware or familiar with their university’s policy and complaints processes. It was clear that while respondents had little faith in universities dealing with sexual harassment and gender bias, they were also concerned about repercussions for reporting, with almost 40% stating they were fearful of negative impacts on their careers if they voiced concerns and almost 20% of respondents worried about losing their jobs if they made a complaint over sexual harassment.
While Bluestocking Week events are great opportunities to engage with the university community and spread the Union’s message on issues important to women, they are also useful organising events which see us build our activist base and develop our women’s networks. We have now built significant momentum around Bluestocking Week events, and it is seen as a positive way for the Union to engage on issues important to our members and the community.
The Union’s submission to AHRC National Inquiry called for legislative change so that sexual harassment and assault, sexism and gender-based bias as treated as industrial issues. We also called for the Government to sign onto the new ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work later this year, which specifically lists psycho-social hazards as workplace risks that must be addressed industrially. NTEU will also seek to lobby around sexual harassment, sexism and gender bias as part of our organising around Work, Health and Safety in the workplace.
Bluestocking Week This year was the 7th year that the NTEU, together with NUS and CAPA, celebrated Bluestocking Week. The theme for Bluestocking week this year was ‘Secure Jobs and Safe Workplaces’, and was selected by the WAC as a way of reinforcing the NTEU’s focus on the impact of insecure employment and unsafe workplaces, how these two issues affect women disproportionally, and how they are linked.
NTEU Women’s Action Networks The WAC has been prioritising the development of local Women’s Action Networks (WAN), with groups active in NSW, QLD and the ACT. Other WANs are planned at Branch and Division levels.
Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) University Staffing Profiles has further information on gender in the workforce.
Participation of women in the Union Over the last 18 years there has been a slow increase in the number of women NTEU members (48% in 2000 – 58% in 2019), slightly higher than women in the sector. The largest group of members are women academics at 8,793 (55% of women members, and almost 32% of all members). In relation to casual members, women are also the majority at 58% - which is consistent with the overall proportions. Below are the current numbers of elected officials. It is worth noting that women are on par, or in the majority (in keeping with membership levels) in most areas of the Union. However, under-representation of women as Branch Presidents remains as a challenge for the Union. Position
Participation of women in the university workforce
The latest Department of Education data (2018) shows that there are 70, 457 women university staff, making up 57.9% of all university staff. Of these, some 45,837 (65%) are in non-academic staff classifications, and 24,600 (34.9%) academic. Data shows that numbers of men continue to pool at the higher academic levels, with 8,995 men (19% of the male cohort) at Above Senior Lecturer level, compared to 4,660 (7% of the total female cohort).
Looking at full-time equivalent (FTE) figures, 17.3% of males were categorised as ‘limited term’, compared to 21.9% women. Overall, for both genders, casual numbers continue to rise – even with the FTE numbers (which is not representative of actual head count) there was a 10.5% increase in estimated casuals in 2018 from the previous year (going from 22,699 FTE to 25,091 FTE) representing 18.7% of the total (FTE) workforce. NTEU’s publication The Prevalence of Insecure Employment at Australia’s Universities: An Examination of Workplace
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Women’s Action Committee (WAC)
Breastfeeding accreditation Given that increasing numbers of staff are required to combine work with caregiving of young children (particularly casual and short term contact staff, who do not have access to employer paid parental leave), the WAC will be supporting the accreditation of institutions by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), and will seek to implement through industrial means requirements for employers to provide a safe, secure and private space to breastfeed or express milk, allowances for women who are breastfeeding to be able to feed or express during the working day, and communicating to staff that these arrangements are available. The WAC will also be lobbying for facilities for working parents who may not be breastfeeding but need suitable space for the feeding and care of infants on campus.
National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC) www.unicasual.org.au/ntcc
NTCC 2018–19 Division Representatives Elizabeth Adamczyk Newcastle Dr Andrew Broertjes UWA Dr Tricia Daly Macquarie Ellyse Fenton UQ James Harding Sydney Annette Herrera Melbourne Lina Koleilat ANU Nathaniel Lau UTas Zoei Sutton Flinders Dr Audrey Statham Deakin Staff Support Michael Evans National Office Lachlan Clohesy ACT Division
In 2018, National Council sought to address the crisis of casual employment in our universities with the establishment of the NTCC. This move further built on an important decision by National Council in 2016 when it established specific casual representative roles on Branch Committees, as a mechanism to ensure that the voices of casual staff are heard and consulted throughout the Union. Establishing the NTCC is another important step to give a platform to ensure the lived experience of casualisation is heard by our institutions, and to be a part of setting the agenda to inform campaigns at National, Division and Branch levels. The role of the NTCC is to establish a national campaign against casualisation and to ensure the issues around the casualisation of work in higher education are being addressed as a standing item on each Division Meeting agenda and at National Council. The Terms of Reference of the NTCC adopted in 2019 are:
Image: Casual staff at the University of Melbourne demonstrating on 8 May 2019.
• To develop and lead a national-level campaign against casualisation in Australian higher education. • To build power for casually employed staff in Australian higher education. • To provide a national collective voice to casuals (both within NTEU and in the sector), including recommendations to Divisions, National Executive and National Council.
• To support, develop, fund and provide training for activities, resources and campaigns at Branch, Divisional and National level that address issues identified by casual NTEU members in Australian higher education. • To facilitate recruitment (and retention) of casual university staff to NTEU through targeted local, divisional and national campaigns, resources and activities. The NTCC has met to pool crossinstitutional ideas, resources, and stories, to devise strategies and campaigns to fight against casualisation and address the systemic issues associated with casualisation that are eroding the higher education sector. It is working to devise common strategies to shine a light on the economic, social, and cultural problems associated with casualisation and cohere around campaigns to re-shape working conditions in the sector. The NTCC is comprised of casuallyemployed staff at institutions across Australia, from diverse disciplinary and practical backgrounds, bound by a belief in the importance of seeking and achieving fairness, equity, and rights for staff employed in higher education. NTCC meets every 6 weeks, along with National President Alison Barnes and NTEU officers Michael Evans and Lachlan Clohesy. As this important initiative develops, we encourage you to help build union power in your workplace by getting in touch with the Casual Representative at your NTEU Branch or with the Committee members in your State or Territory.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC)
Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE)
Qld David Allen UQ
The QUTE National Steering Committee met by teleconference to plan and discuss the 2020 National QUTE conference, union QUTE calendar events, union resources and to propose an audit of NTEU policies.
Gender Transition Guide
An NTEU Gender Transition Guide was developed in consultation with QUTE caucus, NTEU staff and NTEU leadership.
QUTE 2018–19 Division Representatives ACT Thomas Morrill UNSW ADFA NSW Kobie Howe NSW Div NT Louisa Manning-Watson CDU
Tas Brendon Condon UTas Vic Virginia Mansel Lees La Trobe WA David Rhodes ECU Staff Support David Willis Vic Division
Divisions and many Branches held IDAHOBIT Day events May 17, wearing rainbow to Speak Up! Celebrate! Support! LGBTIQ+ workers. The day reminded all workers that LGBTIQ+ rights remain a workplace issue. A recent survey showed that 53% of lesbian and gay men, for example, experience workplace harassment and discrimination. Unemployment for transgender people is about four times that of the general population. An IDAHOBIT quiz night, forum, community gathering with drag shows and morning/afternoon teas were all organised, and more.
Wear it Purple Day
Image: NTEU National Office & Victorian Division officers & staff on IDAHOBIT Day, May 2019.
Wear it Purple Day events in NTEU Branches and Divisions on 30 August were an expression of support and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ youth. The day has its origins in the suicide of a university student who was ‘outed’ by his roommate. Schools, universities and community groups wear purple in an annual recognition that LGBTIQ+ youth are valued and loved. Many
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE)
NTEU members also contribute in campus Pride and allied events on this day.
Resources QUTE brochure QUTE distributed an updated brochure to Divisions with QUTE contacts and caucus outlining NTEU’s commitment to addressing LGBTIQ+ issues, a QUTE postcard and a ‘Federal Election Scorecard’.
Resource for Workers Caucus members contributed to the Victorian Trades Hall resource, End the Divide Through Pride: A Resource for Workers, Unions and Employers.
Website and social media The QUTE website www.nteu.org.au/qute was updated with campaign news and resources and the QUTE Facebook page followed by over 800 people.
Religious Freedoms campaign NTEU provided a submission to the Federal Government’s Religious Freedoms Review (the Ruddock Review) and QUTE wrote a summary of the findings in Advocate. Issues raised and strategies to address them will be workshopped by QUTE National Conference participants, January 2020.
Industrial www.nteu.org.au/rights National Industrial Coordinator: Wayne Cupido Senior National Industrial Officer: Kelly Thomas National Industrial Officers: Campbell Smith, Susan Kenna (to Oct 2018), Emma Barnes (to Apr 2019) Industrial Support Officer: Renee Veal The Unit is under the direction of the General Secretary
Despite some optimism that the Federal election would deliver an improved political and legislative environment, the Union movement yet again faces the challenge of a conservative government with very little prospect of positive change to workers’ rights. In this context, it is important that our resources and focus need to continue to be on building activism and density in our Branches. Over the past year, we have faced (and defeated) non-union ballots for enterprise agreements, challenges to our rights to take industrial action and attacks on academic freedom. We have also seen some members on University Boards and Councils gagged and threatened with legal action. As a consequence of this aggressive approach by management, a significant part of the Industrial Unit’s work this year has been to support Branches and Divisions to defend the rights of our members to engage in public debate, protest, political and industrial activity.
Image (this page): University of Canberra strike, Mar 2019. Images (opposite page): ACT Division members at a UCC Vote No BBQ, July 2019; Research Institute Branch members celebrating the first Agreement at Lowitja Institute, Oct 2018.
As Round 7 of Enterprise Bargaining concludes the National Industrial Unit will shift its focus from support for bargaining, to reviewing our outcomes and preparing for Round 8. One of our major achievements this Round has been the alignment of expiry dates to strengthen
our national bargaining strategy. Given this abbreviated timeframe and the concentration of expiry dates, a high level of focus and discipline will need to be exercised by all levels of the Union. The National Industrial Unit will be central to resourcing and supporting this effort. In this round of bargaining, Branch delegates, bargaining team members and industrial and organizing staff should be commended for delivering significant improvements in our members’ terms and conditions of employment whilst at the same time protecting existing rights and entitlements. Key outcomes for Round 7 include 17% superannuation for fixed term staff, maintenance and improvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment targets, improved job security provisions and the alignment of Agreement expiry dates. These achievements have been delivered for members despite an aggressive approach to bargaining by many universities, including a number of non-union ballots. As the Round nears conclusion, the focus of the National Industrial Unit will be to review the Round and prepare for Round 8, which will commence at most Branches in 18 months’ time. The National Industrial Unit’s work over the next 18 months will be to collaborate with the Campaigning, Training, Policy and Communications Units to assist Branches and Divisions implement and enforce our Agreements and build activism in preparation for Round 8.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Industrial
Bargaining in Other Sectors Bargaining outside the higher education sector has been ‘brisk’ with strong outcomes on pay in TAFE agreements, Research Institutes and English Language providers. The challenge (or opportunity) for the Union remains increasing our density and activism in these areas so that we can achieve consistent entitlements for all our members.
Protected Action Ballots (PABOs) and protected industrial action While we continue to receive employer objections to a range of matters in our PABO applications in both the university and other higher education sectors, we are increasingly seeing them back down without the need for a hearing when we respond forcefully and with some detail in the first instance. We have also seen an increase in managements testing the waters with ‘concerns’ that our industrial action may not be protected, inviting us to lift it, and warning us that an application to the Commission may follow if we do not do so. We have been responding letting them know that we believe they are incorrect and why, and putting them on notice that we would be asking for costs if they follow through with their threat to go to the Commission. We have found that the threatened applications to the Commission are usually not forthcoming (although we have made tactical retreats on occasion where necessary). We have also seen managements try to get us to artificially constrain our actions beyond the restrictions in the legislation, or give more detail than necessary in our notices. We have had two results bans enacted this year. Both provoked different management responses but neither were the expected s424 application to the Commission. At Victoria University management locked out employees who were participating in the ban. At the University of the Sunshine Coast management participated actively in the exemption process, sending spreadsheets NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Industrial
daily to people they believed were eligible for having their results released. The ban was in place for 6 weeks before it was lifted in exchange for concessions from management. The Unit continues to recommend that Branches include the question regarding results bans in their PABO applications for the reason that they provide a useful ‘nuclear option’ if management decides to terminate an expired enterprise agreement. However, they remain an administratively burdensome action, and Branches that wish to undertake such an action as an offensive move should be aware that weeks of preparatory work is required. The Unit should be involved in the discussions far in advance of such an action being endorsed by members, and only on the understanding that the action would be lifted if management brought a s 424 application.
Centre (the first and currently only University to do so), the University used its fast-track approval processes to approve the Ramsay degree. The UOW Academic Senate had not been consulted about the degree, as is the usual course. The Union brought an action in the Supreme Court of NSW to challenge the use of the fast-track process. The case was successfully on course until UOW again avoided usual process and the University Council subsequently approved the Ramsay degree, rendering the Union’s legal challenge irrelevant. Legal advice indicated our chance of success in challenging the Council decision was too slim to take on the risk. Congratulations to Georgine Clarsen, Branch President, for her activism and courage in being a named plaintiff in the proceedings.
Tim Anderson v University of Sydney
Litigation in the sector remains ongoing.
In April 2019, the Union initiated legal proceedings against the University of Sydney in relation to the dismissal of Dr Anderson. The claim alleges that the dismissal was adverse action, taken because Dr Anderson exercised his workplace rights to make complaints, and importantly, that he exercised intellectual freedom. We say the University’s actions were unlawful.
Murdoch University – award for most aggressively litigious university International students have been the cause of serious industrial disputation and public comment at Murdoch University. In late 2018, following the publication of an article in the Union’s Advocate journal relating to a review of the instance of international students, Murdoch took the extraordinary move of suing the Union and Gabe Gooding for the little-known tort of injurious falsehood. The Union successfully defended that claim and was able to recover some legal costs from Murdoch. International students were also the topic of a Four Corners episode in which three NTEU members from Murdoch, among others, blew the whistle on practices relating to international students. One of those members has now commenced legal proceedings against Murdoch University. The Union also recently resolved the Michelle Narustrang case, following 18 months of aggressive litigation tactics adopted by Murdoch and its legal team.
UOW & the Ramsay Centre Following UOW’s shock announcement that it had partnered with the Ramsay
Academic freedom continues to be a heated topic, with Peter Ridd successfully claiming against James Cook University in relation to his exercise of academic freedom. The Union was not involved in that case. It is likely that JCU will appeal that decision.
Other A Head of School at the University of Melbourne commenced litigation for breach of an enterprise agreement relating to allegations of serious misconduct. The Union is not involved in the proceedings, but it is worthy to note she was successful in obtaining an injunction to stop the allegations. The Union also remains frequently involved in disputes relating to restructures in a number of universities (e.g. CDU, Flinders, Uni of Adelaide and so on). We note this as it remains a continuing theme across the sector.
Policy & Research www.nteu.org.au/policy National Policy & Research Coordinator: Paul Kniest Policy & Research Officer: Dr Terri MacDonald The unit is under the direction of the National President
Key issues for the national Policy & Research Unit for 2018–19 covered the use of Ministerial veto powers over research grants, the so called ‘crisis’ of free speech on university campuses, questions over institutional autonomy, the recruitment and support for international students, a series of policy reviews, higher education policies of major parties in the Federal Election as well the release of reports on the demand driven system and TEQSA’s risk assessment framework.
As was revealed in Senate Estimates, Birmingham also exercised his power of veto to deny $4.2 million of funding to eleven research grants that had been recommended for approval by the Australian Research Council (ARC) following its highly rigorous competitive peer review selection process. Of more concern, the Minister had neither intended nor was required to notify the applicants of the reasons for his ministerial veto. The government’s response to the strong condemnation of the veto by the NTEU and the sector more broadly was to impose new national interest criteria for ARC grants and promise to announce if, and when, a Minister exercises their power of veto in the future.
Crisis of free speech
Use of Ministerial powers The party room election of Scott Morrison as Australia’s 30th Prime Minister, following Peter Dutton’s failed leadership coup during the last week of August 2018, saw Dan Tehan replace Senator Simon Birmingham as the Minister for Education.
Image (this page): NTEU Members at the University of Queensland concerned about academic freedom and university autonomy reject the proposed Ramsay Centre. Images (opposite page):ABC Four Corners ‘Cash Cows’ program; Brendon DeGois (WA Division A&TSI Representative) at UWA Orientation Day., Feb 2019; Flinders Branch President Andrew Miller and SA WAC rep Darlene McNaughton demonstrating against a restructure, March 2019.
Minister Birmingham will perhaps be best remembered for his willingness to exercise ministerial authority. He used his authority to freeze the value of Commonwealth funding each university received for government supported students, securing a $2 billion cut to the level of public investment in universities that delivered significant budgetary savings.
The first intervention of the newly elected Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, and before the details of Birmingham’s veto had been revealed, was to respond directly to allegations of a crisis of free speech on Australian university campuses lobbied for by some conservative commentators and think tanks such the Centre for Independent Studies and the Institute of Public Affairs. The Minister appointed the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French, to review free speech and academic freedom at our universities. French’s report found no evidence of a crisis but recommend the adoption of a voluntary code to clarify the importance of academic freedom and free speech.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Policy & Research
Concerns over institutional autonomy
Federal Election and an uncertain policy environment
Increasing commercialisation of the sector, coupled with concerns over the nature of university partnerships with the Confucius Institutes and the Ramsay centres, has led to debate both within the sector and more broadly over issues such as institutional autonomy and academic freedom.
The Morrison Coalition Government was re-elected at the Federal Election held on 18 May 2019, which saw the continuation of the funding freeze and the only increases in total funding to be tied to 18-64 year population growth (about 1.2 to 1.4% per annum) from 2020 onwards.
NTEU’s strong view is that any agreements with external bodies that impact on research, teaching and community engagement must be transparent and preserve academic integrity and autonomy.
Four Corners report An investigation by ABC’s Four Corners, titled ‘Cash Cows’, highlighted the dependence of universities on international student funding and revealed allegations of unethical strategies employed by universities to boost international student numbers. The investigation relied significantly on a number of academic whistleblowers reporting on institutional practices and revealing the pressures applied by their university managements to reduce entry requirements and lack of appropriate investment in student support services. The report highlights the importance of intellectual freedom and protections needed for whistleblowers in higher education.
This level of funding, to be distributed on the basis of performance and not only student load, will be insufficient to cover increasing costs, let alone maintaining or increasing student participation rates. As a result, higher education policy faces a highly uncertain future. The current funding freeze makes it challenging for our universities to offer the same quality of education and level of support.
Demand Driven System reviewed A Productivity Commission report released on 17 June 2019 found that while the introduction of demand driven funding had lifted the participation rate of students from low SES backgrounds this was not the case for regional and rural students. It also found that the drop-out rate for the ‘additional’ students aged up to 23 was considerably higher (21%) compared to other students (12%). The report concludes
that additional students either need better preparation and/or better academic support.
TEQSA Risk Assessment Review According to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Key Risk Findings report published on 15 July 2019, high student to staff ratios, casual academic staffing levels, and lack of senior academic leaders present the greatest risk to students.
Affiliations We continue to be affiliated and collaborate with Science and Technology Australia (STA) and the Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) as well support and participate on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Future Work. The Union also represents the ACTU on the Education Visa Consultative Committee (EVCC). We continue our strong working relationship with the National Union of Students (NUS) and Council of Postgraduate Associations (CAPA), and also with Universities Australia (UA).
Policy reviews In the lead up to the election there was little new policy, instead, the Government focused on a number of reviews. This included issues such as performance based funding, provider classifications standards, regional education, and the Australian qualifications framework. The exception to this general approach was the French Review, which examined the issue of academic freedom and free speech.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Policy & Research
Union Education www.nteu.org.au/myunion/education_ training Education & Training Officers: Ken McAlpine, Helena Spyrou The program is overseen by the National Assistant Secretary
Union Education provides education and training to NTEU officers, members and staff which supports the Union’s objectives. Education Program Union Education engages NTEU members and staff as active learners engaging with complex issues. It builds on existing knowledge and asks participants to reflect upon their practice to develop new knowledge and practices. Most work aims to be consistent with the Union’s 2007 Education and Training Framework, which has three subject areas – The Union, The Higher Education System, and Work and Employment, and three components – Knowledge, Activities and Practices. The program is a mix of content identified and requested by members and staff, and content identified by senior officers and the National Executive as supporting urgent or important priorities. Union Education staff develop education materials and training manuals to implement the program, including ‘train the trainer’ education.
Image (this page): Casual staff at the Victorian Casuals Professional Development Day, Oct 2018. Images (opposite page): NSW Delegates training, June 2019; Tasmanian Division Council training and planning session, Feb 2019.
Union Education staff provide expert content design, coordination, and delivery to NTEU conferences and workshops, such as the: Biennial Elected Leaders Conference, Biennial Women’s Conference, Annual Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Forum, Biennial Governance Workshop, All-Staff Conference.
Union Education staff ensure that knowledge and good practice that already exists within the Union is recorded, accessible and shared. Union Education resources are made accessible via the NTEU SharePoint site and the NTEU Wiki and the Friday Sessions are two examples ways of sharing knowledge.
Shift in focus for Union Education The new National Officers took office in October 2018 and have decided to realign the focus of Union Education so that it has a greater emphasis on organising and delegate and activist leadership development. This means a greater focus on the education and professional development of existing (and new) staff, newly elected NTEU leaders and delegates. It also anticipates that Union Education will have a reduced role in hands-on delivery of courses in Branches and Divisions and will have a greater role in developing courses and programs that will assist the Union to achieve its goals.
Organiser education and professional development An outline is being developed. The aim of the program is to build the strength of the NTEU through: identifying and training workplace leaders; developing delegates as active and engaged leaders who are part of strong delegate networks within their work area/workplace; membership growth. This will include a mentorship program. A train-the-trainer session will be conducted with staff who will be delivering that training.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Union Education
Delegate and activist leadership development
Using WHS/OHS in organising and enforcement
An outline is being developed for a program for delegates and activists who aspire to a greater future role in the Union. This will provide more advanced knowledge about the sector, and policy and industrial issues – for example, union history and politics, being an effective workplace leader, along with learning specific workplace intervention skills (e.g. WHS, how to find out what members think) and will include the existing general courses.
Union Education is developing a comprehensive program to support the use of WHS/OHS legislation and structures in its organising and industrial work.
Branch Committee induction
Union Education provided the mandated financial governance training to new officers.
Education curriculum & materials development
University general/professional staff and TAFE PACCT staff classification training
How to guides – planning and running events and activities
Union Education ran courses for general/ professional staff in Universities and PACCT staff in Victorian TAFEs.
A set of guides to assist NTEU staff and Officers to run events and activities for NTEU members is being developed. Examples are: How to plan and run – a successful quiz night, a fundraising BBQ, a morning tea and information session.
Union Education ran Branch Committee induction for a number of newly elected Branch Committees and has supported Divisions with resources to run their own programs. To support this, Union Education has developed a Branch Officers Guide 2018 (and other relevant Guides including a Branch Officers and Committee Induction Pack).
Delegate training The Delegates Handbook and Website and training materials are currently being revised in conjunction with staff from Divisions and will include, amongst other things, Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) education especially in regard to psychosocial issues.
Induction arrangements for new staff Union Education maintains an online induction kit and runs a two-day national induction course for new staff to learn about their role and the sector.
Financial governance training
Interactive online education sessions The Friday Sessions, fortnightly webinars, continued until December 2018 and will recommence in August 2019.
Computer training courses Over 25 staff undertook courses in various software programs, including from the Microsoft office suite, and InDesign.
Conferences & Workshops
Union Education ran a strategic briefing session for the National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC) on the Regulation of Casual Academic Employment with the aim of repeating this session for casual members.
Union Education staff provide expert content design, coordination, and delivery to NTEU conferences and workshops. They also provided support to the Future of the Sector Conference, Elected Leaders’ Conference, Women’s Conference, A&TSI Forum and workshops provided at National Council.
Union Education has also supported sessions for casual academic professional development, started by a casual member at Deakin.
Enterprise bargaining and campaigning for bargaining training Courses were delivered to three Branches. This concludes this training for Round 7.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Union Education
NTEU Scholarship Program
In 2019, NTEU received 30 applications for the Carolyn Allport Scholarship and seven applications for Joan Hardy Scholarship. The scholarships were awarded in August 2019, and announced in Agenda magazine.
NTEU Women in Leadership Mentorship Pilot Program This program concluded in 2018 and materials for Branches on how to run a mentorship program can be downloaded from www.nteu.org.au/women/initiatives/ clare_mccarty_leadership_program.
NTEU wiki NTEU wiki is a collection of “articles” providing information and analysis of issues relevant to the sector and the union movement. This wiki continues to expand.
NTEU Learning Centre Union Education has developed resources that include how to guides, presentation slides, strategies, scenarios and activities for addressing both content and skill areas.
Union Education resources on the NTEU Portal We are in the process of uploading all our union education materials onto the NTEU portal on Sharepoint. The materials will sit in the Resource Library in the folder called ‘Union Education’.
Union Education administers two NTEU scholarships: Joan Hardy Scholarship for postgraduate nursing research ($5000) and Carolyn Allport Scholarship for postgraduate feminist research ($15,000 over three years).
Organising & Campaigns National Organiser: Michael Evans National Publications Coordinator: Paul Clifton Admin Officer – Membership & Campaigns: Julie Ann Veal
2019 Federal Election/Change the Rules Campaign The 2019 Federal Election was held on 18 May. The following is a summary of NTEU’s involvement in the main election campaign elements.
Targeted Seats campaign Divisions, Branches and activists worked in 16 targeted marginal seats, as part of the campaigns organised by the ACTU and trades and labour councils. This included door-knocking, leafleting, and phone banks, as well as participating in specific activities such as forums and meetings.
Persuasion calls Divisions organised regular sessions to work through the 1,400 calls to NTEU members in the targeted seats who have been identified as non-committed voters. The purpose of the calls was to engage in a discussion with each member about the issues and seek to persuade them to vote against the Coalition.
Images (opposite page): Professor Lyndall Ryan delivers The NTEU Lecture at University of Adelaide, Nov 2018; Chloe Gaul at Monash Uni Open Day.; State of the Uni survey 2019 banner.
Similar to the 2016 Federal Election, a ‘Defender of Tertiary Education’ pledge was developed. The pledge’s purpose was to highlight the key policy and industrial issues affecting tertiary education staff and students. It was mainly used as a campaign tool to engage with and seek MP and candidate endorsement of the Pledge. NTEU publicised those candidates who signed the Pledge on the website, and candidates were able to use it in their own campaign materials. The pledge was as follows:
• E nsure university autonomy and academic freedom are protected. • I ncrease public funding for research as an investment in our future. • R everse the freeze on university funding, and return the billions of dollars taken out of TAFE since the Coalition took office in 2013. • E nsure the rights of tertiary education staff are protected by: • Reducing insecure employment. • Removing the ability of employers to weaken pay and conditions by terminating enterprise agreements. • Strengthening the right of workers to take industrial action. • Reduce the debt burden on students. Sixty election candidates from most states and territories signed the Pledge. They can be viewed at www.nteu.org.au/ changetherules/defenders.
Change the Rules rallies
Defenders of Tertiary Education
Images (this page): Defenders of Tertiary Education: Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Clark; Dr Penny Kyburz, Greens ACT candidate & NTEU member; Tanya Plibersek, ALP MP for Sydney.
If elected in the 2019 Federal Election, I will support policies that:
NTEU had a visible presence at the rallies held nationally on 10 April, the Sydney rally on 1 May and the traditional May Day rallies in Perth on 5 May and Brisbane on 6 May. This was extensively covered on the NTEU web site and social media feeds.
Enrol to Vote The National President appeared in two videos about enrolling to vote, one with the NUS and CAPA Presidents, and the other with ACTU Secretary Sally McManus. Both videos were aimed at students to ensure they were enrolled to vote.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Organising & Campaigns
State of the Uni Survey
Nearly 200 people filled the theatre to hear Professor Lyndall Ryan, from the University of Newcastle’s Centre for the 21st Century Humanities, present the 2018 NTEU Lecture at the University of Adelaide on 22 November. Her lecture was entitled ‘From Myall Creek to Coniston: Telling the Truth about Australia’s brutal past’.
University staff throughout Australia were invited to complete our 2019 State of the Uni Survey from July 2019. On being approached, several universities asked that the survey invitation be sent at a later date, so it will close in mid-October. It’s hoped that survey respondents will number close to 20,000, making it easily the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken in higher education.
In 2017 Professor Ryan and her team at the University of Newcastle released a partially completed on-line map showing more than 150 massacre sites in Eastern Australia. Within 6 months the site had received more than sixty thousand visitors and has received wide coverage in Australia and also internationally. The online tool records details and approximate locations of massacres and provides sources of corroborating evidence. The map is an important step in acknowledging the extensive violence used against Indigenous people in Australia’s history. Professor Ryan demonstrated the scale and extent of frontier massacres and how they were responsible for the deaths of many thousands of Aboriginal people. She finished by considering the map as an example of truth telling and how it is a critical part of the process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. A video of the Lecture is available online.
This is the third biennial survey. It is part of an ambitious project to build longitudinal information about university staff attitudes to: • The higher education sector. • Their university. • Their conditions at work. • Unions in the university workplace. Survey responses will be analysed and a series of reports will be produced on the outcomes in early 2020.
NTCC members are drawn from those members occupying the position of Branch Committee Member (Casual Staff) on Branches within each Division. The NTCC met several times since the last National Council via video conference. The main issues considered by the Committee include: • Conducting briefings for casual members on the history of union activities around casual employment issues. • Reviewing existing networks of casual members and activities at Branch and Division levels. • Developing a Charter for Secure Employment along the lines of the recent initiatives at the University of Queensland Branch and ANU, with a view to engaging with casual members in each Branch around a local version.
National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC) The 2018 National Council established a National Tertiary Casuals Committee (NTCC) which consists of one casual member representative per 500 casual members (or part thereof) from each Division.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Organising & Campaigns
Media & Publications www.nteu.org.au/media
National Publications Coordinator: Paul Clifton
NTEU has continued to feature extensively in local, state and national media as part of efforts to broaden discussions about the vital importance of higher education and the crucial role that university staff play in the sector.
National Organiser: Michael Evans Media Officer: Agnes Cusack (to Apr 2019)
The key issues around which NTEU has been involved in print and electronic media include: • The levels of insecure employment at Australian universities, highlighting both the structural issues as well as the personal stories of casually employed staff, in particular. • A s part of the broader trade union movement, NTEU was involved in the Change the Rules/Federal Election campaign in the lead up to the election on 18 May. The main emphasis of campaigning were around insecure employment and seeking candidates’ endorsement of NTEU’s ‘Defender of Higher Education’ pledge. • A cademic freedom, institutional autonomy, and external interference are important issues that have been highlighted by the disputes around the Ramsay Centre at ANU, University of Sydney, University of Queensland and the University of Wollongong. These issues have also been at the forefront in individual cases around academic Peter Ridd from JCU and Tim Anderson at the University of Sydney. Image (this page): ACT members demonstrating outside Parliament House, Canberra, Aug 2019. Images (opposite page): Detail of cover of Advocate (vol. 25, no. 1); Australian Universities’ Review (vol. 61, no. 2); Connect (vol. 12, no. 2); Advocate (vol. 26, no. 2); Agenda (vol. 27); Detail of cover of Connect (vol. 12, no. 1).
• A ustralian universities’ reliance on international student income was highlighted when the ABC’s Four Corners program examined whether
some universities are lowering English language standards. • A cademic freedom and research integrity and autonomy were at the forefront when it came to light that the then Minister for Education had rejected recommendations for Australian Research Council (ARC) grants. The resulting controversy culminated in the government adopting a ‘public interest’ test for future research grants. • T he latest enterprise bargaining round has moved slowly to finality with many Branches involved in industrial action as part of bargaining campaigns, during which NTEU has had a strong media presence, especially on social media. As part of a more strategic and proactive approach to NTEU media activities, The Australian’s Higher Education Supplement agreed to print a series of Union written opinion pieces on the topical issues at the time within the higher education sector.
Social media NTEU social media activities have continued to reach a growing audience. The national Facebook page has grown to over 15,200 likes, while our national Twitter account has grown to over 4,050 followers. This has enabled the NTEU to reach more people with our message, complemented by strong Division social media presences. This growing follower base has proved important in reaching new audiences, and potential members, through a range of social media activities and initiatives.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Media & Publications
Magazines and journals Advocate Advocate (editor Alison Barnes) was published in November 2018 (vol. 25, no. 3), April 2019 (vol. 26, no. 1, delayed for the Federal Election) and July 2019 (vol. 26, no. 2). The hard copy print run decreased from 25,900 in Nov 2018 to 24,800 in July 2019, whilst soft delivery subscriptions rose from 4375 (Nov 2018) to 5760 (July 2019), resulting in a total subscriber rise of 1,661. Significantly, open rates for Advocate soft delivery increased by almost double over the last year, since the replacement of MailChimp with the in-house Mailing List program, which was first used with vol. 25, no. 3, Nov 2018. Previous open rates averaged 34%; they now average 70%. Click-throughs have also doubled from just under 7% to above 15%. For the Federal Election issue (vol. 26, no. 1, April 2019) click-throughs peaked at 20.3%. PDF downloads and issuu reads remained consistent for the two pre-election issues, but dropped in the one issue since.
www.nteu.org.au/advocate AUR Australian Universities’ Review (AUR), edited by Ian Dobson and overseen by the AUR Editorial Board was published in February 2019 (vol. 61, no. 1) and September 2019 (vol. 61, no. 2).
Each print run is approximately 3,700 (down 14% on last year), whilst soft delivery subscriptions now number over 10,000. The introduction of the new Mailing List server has doubled email opens, and more than tripled click-throughs. PDF downloads remain consistent; however, issuu reads are down by over 50%.
Other publications NTEU Tax Guide 2019 Produced in conjunction with Teacher Tax, the NTEU Tax Guide was published in July (A4, 10pp, digital only). Whilst last year’s Tax Guide totalled 147 PDF downloads and 299 issuu reads in 12 months, the 2019 Tax Guide has totalled 157 PDF downloads and 594 issuu reads in the two months from publication.
Connect (editor Alison Barnes) was published in March 2019 (vol. 12, no. 1) and July 2019 (vol. 12, no. 2).
Each print run is steady at approximately 3,500, with a soft delivery at 1,541 (an increase of 50%). Open rates have increased to 66% (up over 50%), and click-throughs to 17.3% (from just 3%). PDF downloads and issuu reads have remained steady.
A 6th edition of Smart Casuals, the Handbook for Casual and Sessional Academic Staff, has been customised so far for Newcastle and Adelaide.
www.unicasual.org.au/connect Agenda Agenda (editor Alison Barnes, produced in conjunction with WAC), NTEU’s annual women’s journal was produced in September 2019 (vol. 27). The annual print run is 14,000, with soft delivery of 3880. Open rates have increased to 60.9%, and click-throughs to 10.4%. PDF and issuu statistics were not available at time of printing.
Smart Casuals 6th edition
Events Materials (logos, websites, programs, banners, forms etc.) were created for: • Elected Leaders’ Conference (July 2019) • Women’s Conference (July 2019) • Bluestocking Week (August 2019) • National Council (October 2019).
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Media & Publications
Recruitment & Retention National Organiser: Michael Evans National Membership Officer: Melinda Valsorda
The 2018 National Council called for the establishment of a membership working party to undertake a detailed investigation of those Branches that have achieved consistent growth in recent years, in order to identify the practices and principles that have enabled those Branches to grow. The working party will then make recommendations about which of these principles and practices can be systematised and embedded within recruitment activities at all levels of the Union. The working party will provide an interim report to the 2019 National Council.
Our recruitment activities this year have continued to focus on working with Branch Organisers, delegates and activists to implement a model of best practice around recruitment activities. These efforts have focused on the active participation of Branch staff, activists and delegates in growth work to enable them to learn effective recruitment techniques as part of training sessions. The main level of activities and training has been through the Divisions. The objectives of this approach are to develop and promote a recruitment culture within the existing membership; to develop recruitment skills among Union staff, delegates and activists; to provide a bestpractice recruitment model for ongoing use in Branches; to maintain a sustainable Union growth and to contribute towards each Branch’s target of 5% growth.
27,000 26,675 26,111 26,000
Image: Branch Organiser Ryan Costello, WA Division Secretary Jonathan Hallett, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, and members at a Change the Rules rally, Curtin University, Oct 2018.
23,000 July 2011
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Recruitment & Retention
Budget & Finance Finance Manager: Glenn Osmand Senior Finance Officer: Gracia Ho Finance Officers: Alex Ghvaladze, Tamara Labadze, Lee Powell, Daphne Zhang
2018-2019 Union Expenditure
Defence Fund Allocation 3%
Discretionary 9% Operating 10%
Branch & Division Salaries 56%
National Office Salaries 22%
The National Finance Unit oversees all financial processes through the centralised collection and distribution of members’ fee income, budget setting and the preparation of income and expenditure statements for all levels of the Union. The Unit also completes all disclosure requirements needed by the Registered Organisations Commission. Financial probity and the responsible management of members’ funds is central to the Unit’s work, with each level of the Union being required to account directly for all expenditure transactions with three separate levels of authorisation and review. Key features for the 2018/19 financial year are set out in the chart and table below, and include: • An operating surplus of $461,000 (against a budget deficit of $58,000). • Membership income was lower than expected by $152,000 driven largely by
a decrease of 498 members during the financial year, and • Expenditure under budget by about $665,000. The key highlights for the 2019/20 Budget are as follows: • Membership income increase by about $460k or 2.0%. • Total salaries (including on costs) to decrease by about $166,000 due to there being an additional pay period in the previous financial year. • Operating and discretionary spending to remain largely in line with inflation, and • A budgeted deficit of about $220,000. At the 2018 National Council Meeting, a motion was passed to increase the Defence Fund contribution from 3% to 6% in the 2019/20 financial year. The total contribution into the Defence Fund will now be $1.4m. NTEU will publish Audited Financial Statements later in calendar year 2019 in line with regulations within the RO Act and International Accounting Standards.
INCOME Membership Fees Other Income
Actual June 19
EXPENSES: National Office Salaries, On-costs and Leave Operating Discretionary
Branches and Divisions Salaries, On-costs and Leave Operating Discretionary
Defence Fund - 3%* OPERATING SURPLUS/(DEFICIT)
Summary of 2018-2019 Income and Expenditure – Actual vs Budget
*has increased to 6% on 1/7/2019 NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Budget & Finance
ACT Division www.nteu.org.au/act Division Officers ACT Division Secretary: Rachael Bahl Division Asst Secretary (& Acting Division Secretary from Aug 2019): Cathy Day Division President: Marie Fisher Division Vice-Presidents: Bel Townsend (Academic), Matthew King (General)
Division Staff Division Industrial Officer: David Vincent-Pietsch Division Organisers: Lachlan Clohesy, Sarah Ambrose (Dec 2018-July 2019), Jane Maze (to June 2019), Simon Dougherty (from Sept 2019)
The ACT Division represents over 1,000 members at four ACT public universities: Australian National University (ANU) including ANU College (ANUC); University of Canberra (UC), including UC College (UCC); Australian Catholic University (Canberra Campus, ACU); and UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). Recruitment & Membership Training and Development NTEU membership in the ACT grew slightly in 2018-2019 by around 2.5%. Membership was flat at ANU. Membership at UC grew by around 8% over the same period with strong recruitment arising from Enterprise Bargaining campaigning. Growth statistics are not provided for subBranches. National Education and Training Officer, Ken McAlpine, conducted ANU Branch Induction Training in January 2019. The day included a discussion of the role of delegates and steps for developing a Branch plan.
Image (this page): ACT Division Women’s Action Network members demonstrating for paid parental leave for all staff at ANU on International Women’s Day, Mar 2019. Images (opposite page): Members at the UC gates, Nov 2018; Judy Hemming (UC) with ACTU President, Michele O’Neil, Nov 2018.
ANU Delegates attended Delegates Training in July 2019. NSW Senior State Organiser Kiraz Janicke presented the training. Participants valued the opportunity to network with other delegates and the content of the training.
During September 2018, we hosted NTEU member Blair Williams as an Anna Stewart Intern. The internship was coordinated by UnionsACT as part of the Anna Stewart Memorial Project to promote and empower women in the union movement.
Round 7 Bargaining (& Implementation of Agreements and other industrial activities) The main focus of bargaining in 2019 has been the University of Canberra, and University of Canberra College.
University of Canberra (UC) The UC Agreement nominally expired on 31 March 2018. NTEU agreed to an intensive series of meetings throughout August 2018. Management offered no significant movement on matters important to members. UC members strongly engaged with bargaining. Members took a range of industrial action, including strike action for the first time in a decade. Two instances of strike action occurred; a half-day on 17 October 2018 and a full day strike on 1 November 2018. Management put their offer to a non-union ballot, which was soundly defeated. More than 74% voted against the proposal. Negotiations resumed in February 2019 with agreement being reached in May. Members won improvements to leave arrangements as well as a conditional commitment that employees already in the Assistant Professor scheme could opt out into more secure employment. Despite retaining the link to CPI in UC pay rates, NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ ACT Division
the University agreed to a salary ‘floor’ which provides some certainty to UC staff. Changes were also made to clauses relating to workloads. The Agreement was strongly endorsed by members and staff and is now in effect.
University of Canberra College (UCC) Bargaining at UCC commenced in early 2018 but stalled in late 2018. In early 2019, UCC management informed the NTEU and its staff that the College was facing a financial crisis and would be insolvent “by October” if substantial changes were not made. The College cut staff. By July, the job losses saw staff numbers fall from 15.9 to 7.5 fulltime equivalent staff. Staff took strike action on 19 June, as well as taking a range of other industrial actions. Management put an agreement to a vote of staff which included radically altered pay scales for ELICOS teachers consisting of pay cuts for this cohort of up to 16%. An overwhelming majority rejected the proposal. Bargaining has re-commenced.
ANU College (ANUC) Agreement was reached on an Enterprise Agreement at ANUC. The Agreement took effect on 20 June 2019. It included good pay rises as well as new redundancy provisions. The Agreement approval came just after management announced redundancies in the College of up to 50% of their employees on a head count basis (33 people). The new agreement meant that those made redundant were able to access the new redundancy provisions.
ACU The Australian Catholic University Staff Enterprise Agreement 2017- 2021 came into effect on 25 December 2018. In March 2019 ACT Division lodged a dispute over the staff placement process arising out of a change proposal. Despite NTEU negotiating enhanced re-deployment provisions in the Agreement, the behaviour of the University suggested an attempt NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ ACT Division
to avoid redundancies and the obligation to redeploy to ‘suitable’ employment. The dispute reached a negotiated settlement.
Public Advocacy and Campaigns ACT Division has been active in a range of areas. Our focus has been on issues relating to enterprise bargaining and insecure work.
University of Canberra Assistant Professor Scheme Following the rejection of the UC nonunion enterprise agreement, the university undertook to review their unpopular Assistant Professor scheme.
Federal Election NTEU hosted candidates for the newly redrawn seat of Canberra for a forum as part of the NTEU Seminar Series. In addition, NTEU met with a number of candidates who signed the “Defender of Higher Education” pledge.
NTEU Seminar Series The ACT Division Seminar Series continued in first semester 2019. A full list of presenters and topics can be found on the Series website, nteu.org.au/act/ seminarseries
Women’s Action Network (WAN)
The Review commenced in late May 2019. NTEU presented a well-developed submission and met with the review panel in mid-July. The Review Panel is due to report at the end of August 2019.
On International Women’s Day 2019, the ANU WAN launched a campaign to ensure all staff have access to employer paid parental leave, not just those staff who have secure work.
Casually employed staff and insecure work
A delegation of WAN members handed over the petition to the Vice-Chancellor in May.
ACT Division members protested at the Universities Australia Conference in February 2019, highlighting that 2 in 5 university staff have no access to paid leave or paid public holidays; have inferior superannuation arrangements; and no job security.
The WAN received a May Day award from UnionsACT “Recognising Contributions to Women’s Advancement in Unions” This award is awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women in the union movement.
In June, ANU casuals followed the example of comrades at the University of Queensland and launched a Charter of the Rights of Academic Casual Staff. The Charter outlines the minimum conditions to guarantee dignity and respect for casually employed academic staff at ANU, and provides a template for future campaigning.
Other advocacy and campaign activities
Change the Rules
We engage with activities through UnionsACT and the ACTU including supporting delegations and protests at Parliament House. Our members strongly support social justice campaigns, particularly those supporting refugees.
NTEU members from across the Division participated in the “Australia needs a pay rise” Rally on 20 November 2018. Casual NTEU member Dr Judy Hemming from UC spoke strongly at the rally. Judy moved a motion, seconded by ACTU President Michele O’Neil, in support of enterprise bargaining at UC. NTEU members also attended the Change the Rules rally on 10 April 2019.
NSW Division www.nteu.org.au/nsw Division Officers NSW Division Secretary: Michael Thomson Division Asst Secretary: Damien Cahill Division President: Nikola Balnave Division Vice-Presidents: Terri Mylett (Academic), Kate Mitchell (General)
Division Staff Industrial Coordinator: Joshua Gava Senior Industrial Officer: Jeane Wells Senior State Organiser: Paul Doughty (to Feb 2019), Kiraz Janicke (from Feb 2019) Division Industrial Officers: Bradley Beasley, Lance Dale, Kobie Howe, Simon Kempton Comms & Campaigns Organiser: N Clark Branch Organisers: Josh Andrews, Kaylene Ayers, Richard Bailey, Sharon Bailey, Kate Brandreth (to Apr 2019), Rhianna Keen, Amity Lynch, David Mallard, Sean O’Brien, Lisa Roberts, Trevor Smith, Roberta Stewart, Kevin Poynter, Sheryl Vine, Jenny Whittard Executive Officers: Kerrie Barathy, Sharon Muddle
Image (this page): Michael Thomson (left) and Alison Barnes (right) at the May Day march, Sydney, May 2019. Images (opposite page): USyd members demonstrating against the Sydney Operating Model, Aug 2019; Rani Sen joins the strike action at UNSW Global, Feb 2019; University of Newcastle stop work meeting, Aug 2019.
The NSW Division represents almost 7,700 members at 11 NSW public universities: Charles Sturt University (CSU), Macquarie University, Southern Cross University (SCU), University of New England (UNE), University of NSW (UNSW), University of Newcastle, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Western Sydney University (WSU), and two Australian Catholic University (ACU) campuses. Recruitment & Membership, Training and Development The Division’s membership is 7876 (1 August 2019). We have maintained the growth that campaigning around bargaining brings. A focus for the Division during the next two years is the development of workplace delegates. The purpose of developing workplace delegates is to build power by giving rank and file NTEU members the tools and support to organise around issues in their own workplaces. This year we have reframed our delegate training and now run full-day sessions at the Branches in order to make the training more accessible to rank and file workers. The training focuses on analysing power in the workplace, how to have an organising conversation and how to make a union
map of one’s workplace. All Branches will have delegate training days in 2019, and so far we have trained 49 delegates across four Branches. This builds on our successful NTEU NSW Delegates Conference in February which was attended by over 100 rank and file NTEU delegates from across NSW and was focused on building union power.
Round 7 Bargaining (& Implementation of Agreements and other industrial activities) Eight of the ten NSW Branches have finalised enterprise bargaining. At the time of writing the University of Wollongong Branch has endorsed an enterprise agreement for general staff, and is very close to finalising the academic staff Agreement. This follows a vigorous and hard-fought campaign by Wollongong Uni NTEU members. At UNE, the Branch is running an industrial campaign to finalise the General Staff and Academic Staff Agreements. One of the NTEU’s significant achievements in this round of bargaining has been common expiry dates for agreements. This means we will be able to prepare our campaign for the next round in an ordered manner. That we are not bargaining again until July 2021 means we have time to focus on implementing these Agreements.
Implementation priorities The NSW Division has set four priorities around the implementation of enterprise agreements: Secure Work, General Staff issues, Aboriginal and Torres Strait NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ NSW Division
Islander clauses and Academic Workloads. For each of these areas the Division is focused on using the implementation of agreements to demonstrate that only by working through the Union are workers able to exercise their workplace rights, and thereby drive membership growth and the development of activists. In 2019 the Division has prioritised secure work and general staff rights, and we plan to focus on the remaining two priorities in 2020.
The Federal Government also put a spotlight on this issue with its French Review into University Freedom of Speech. The NTEU welcomed the findings of the review that there is no crisis of free speech on university campuses and that enterprise agreements provide the strongest protections of academic freedom. The NTEU and will continue to defend the principles of academic and intellectual freedom and the right to protest.
Public Advocacy and Campaigns
In the area of secure work, Branches across the Division have campaigned around wage theft from casual workers and conversion to more secure forms of employment. Casual members have joined with their comrades in ongoing and fixed-term employment to stand up for the rights of casual staff. Already union members have spoken to hundreds of casual employees about joining the Union and getting involved in this campaign.
Academic freedom Another area of activity for the Division has been the issues of academic freedom and governance, prompted in particular by moves at the Universities of Sydney and Wollongong to establish formal relationships with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. At each institution, the NTEU has expressed serious concerns about the potential of the Centre or its approval process to undermine processes of scholarly approval and principles of academic freedom.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ NSW Division
In the run up to the Federal Election, the Division organised delegations of NTEU members to meet ALP and Green candidates in order to press our concerns about the effects of the erosion of the public finding of universities and to ask them to sign the NTEU ‘Defender of Higher Education’ pledge. We were well received and, importantly, the members who were involved built union confidence from the process. The Division had meetings with 13 MPs and candidates, all of whom signed the Pledge.
Change the Rules The Division also strongly supported the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign, which was aimed to changing Australia’s unbalanced and anti-worker regime of industrial relations laws. We held and participated in rallies, made persuasion calls and encouraged students on campuses across the State to enrol to vote and join their union.
While the campaign failed to unseat the Coalition Government at the Federal Election, it was nonetheless successful in highlighting the issues of wage theft, employment insecurity and economic inequality and putting these on the public agenda.
Unions for Refugees The NTEU plays a leading role in Unions for Refugees, organising speak outs at universities and attending refugee rallies.
School Climate Strikes NTEU Branch activists have run mobilising campaigns at many Branches to support the School Climate Strikers. UTS and Sydney Branch members and students marched up together to the main rally for the last strike. 1,500 activists joined this march as it left UTS. NTEU has been central to organising support for the next rally from other unions.
Local affiliations Our CSU Branch has affiliated to the North East Border Trades and Labour Council where we work with other unions on local issues and support ACTU campaigns. University of Wollongong Branch’s campaign for a new Enterprise Agreement received a lot of local community support particularly from the South Coast Labour Council.
Queensland Division www.nteu.org.au/qld Division Officers Qld Division Secretary: Michael McNally Division Asst Secretary: Brad Astbury Division President: Andrea Lamont-Mills Division Vice-Presidents: Leonie Barnett (Academic), Garry McSweeney (General)
Division Staff Division Industrial Officers: Noeline Rudland, Rohan Hilton, Rob Rule, Kyla Johnstone Senior State Organiser: Lachlan Hurse (to July 2019), Michael Oliver (from July 2019) Division Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organiser: Phil Mairu Division Training and Recruitment Organiser: David Szumer Branch Industrial Organisers: Peter Whalley-Thompson, Angela Scheers Branch Organisers: Erin Campbell, Kate Warner, Stewart de Lacy-Leacey, Narelle Maxton, Ivan Phillips (to Juty 2019), Patsy O’Brien (from July 2019), Melissa Webster (from Mar 2019).
Image (this page): Members at USC demonstrating for fairer working conditions, May 2019. Images (opposite page): Gwen Amankwah-Toa (WAC), Division Secretary Michael McNally and Alexandra Amankwah at the Brisbane Labour Day March, May 2019; Dan Mellifont, USC Branch Committee member ,taking part in action as part of the successful negotiations for a new Agreement.
The Queensland Division represents over 3,600 members at eight public universities: Central Queensland University (CQU), Griffith University (GU), James Cook University (JCU), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), University of Queensland (UQ), University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and a campus of Australian Catholic University (ACU), Bond University, and various higher education private providers across the State. Enterprise Agreement Implementation & Enforcement Current Enterprise Agreements are being implemented and enforced through:
Examples from the 2018/19 financial year include the following.
James Cook University – Consultation In May 2018, Fair Work Commissioner Booth issued a decision which meant JCU management were required to provide detailed information during consultation on their Change Proposal about what work was no longer to be done by anyone or to be done by others. On 5 September 2018, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission rejected management lawyers’ leave to appeal that decision. This means Commissioner Booth’s original decision stands. JCU Management will have to provide detailed information during consultation on Change Proposals about what work is no longer to be done by anyone or is to be done by others. We will be able to notify a dispute if they fail to do so, and we can do so without naming every single individual we are representing.
Griffith – Union representation
• T he joint management-union consultative committees which are required by our Agreements (and other specialised committees such as A&TSI Employment Committees).
On 24 March 2016 (yes, 2016) the Federal Circuit Court reserved judgment in the matter heard that day in which the NTEU had prosecuted Griffith University over members’ rights to Union representation.
• A n education and training program for educating members about their rights and entitlements, provided through workplace workshops and universityspecific factsheets.
On 19 December 2018, Judgment was handed down. It held:
• Enforcement of entitlements and conditions through the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Court.
• We were correct that the provision of Clause 56.1 entitled a staff member to be represented by a Union representative at a meeting even if it was only a performance review meeting.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Queensland Division
• We were correct in our assertion that the provision of Clause 56.1 did not discriminate against employees who are not union members and therefore is a valid provision. • Management’s technical objection was correct, that because the review meetings did not happen, and that subsequently the two employees were allowed to have a union representative with them when the meeting was finally held in August 2015, the University did not breach the Agreement. The decision was disappointing as we lost the argument about whether members were actually denied representation on a technicality. While we may have lost the battle, we won the war for members who need higher level representation at meetings with supervisors.
Enterprise Bargaining Round 7 Enterprise Bargaining has now been completed at CQU, JCU, Griffith, UQ, USQ and QUT. After members were forced to take industrial action, negotiations at USC have been finalised. The Branch is now heading to a ballot after the in-principle Agreement was accepted by NTEU.
Campaigns The Division has been involved in a number of campaigns, both in the Branches and through the Queensland Council of Unions. Some examples from the 2018/19 year include the following.
UQ Casuals Charter On the 18th of September 2018, the Charter of the Rights of Casual Academic Staff was launched at the University of Queensland. The Charter highlights the unjust and exploitative conditions faced by casual academics, and broadly calls for recognition, representation, fair remuneration, and employment security. The Charter was created by UQ’s Casuals Caucus, a group of NTEU members who are casually employed in teaching and research. The group started meeting last year, and the Charter grew out of the collective experience articulated by
Caucus members as they discussed their working conditions. It became clear over the course of these meetings that casual academics face a range of problems, including income and employment insecurity, underpayment, exclusion from systems and services, and lack of access to resources, professional development, and workplace support.
Membership Growth and Development
Uniting these issues is a pervasive sense of invisibility, the impression that their work is not valued and their expertise not recognised.
The Division has appointed a dedicated Division Training and Recruitment Organiser who has developed a new, comprehensive training program that is focused on members’ needs. The education and training program includes:
QUT – Indigenous Employment Coordinator campaign QUT appointed a new Indigenous Employment Coordinator (IEC) after an extended campaign by members, following a unilateral decision by management in August 2017 to abolish the position. Indigenous members made their position clear in lobbying for the position by pressing management in specially arranged meetings, writing to the ViceChancellor, and submitting proposals until management reversed its decision. An NTEU representative sat on the Selection Committee for the position and it was filled in February 2019.
Social justice campaigning The NTEU participates in broad social campaigns in response to member concerns, articulated in the raft of progressive policies that have been approved by our democratically-elected National Council, the Union’s peak policymaking body. In doing so, we join with the rest of the union movement, in particular the Queensland Council of Unions, to play our part in making Australia a fairer nation. In the past twelve months we have strongly supported campaigns for abortion law reform in Queensland, marched on Invasion Day, celebrated Labour Day and fought for a more humane system for treating refugees, as well as leading the Queensland labour movement on a just transition for workers in climate change industries.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Queensland Division
Membership has been steady over the 201819 Financial Year, with a high of 3744 and a low of 3651. The figure at 30 June 2019 was 3680. The Division recruited 627 members during the financial year, 401 of whom were women.
• Meeting with Managers: members’ rights and opportunities when attending meetings including Natural Justice and representation. • Academic workloads. • Professional Issues: Workloads, Reclassification, Annual Reviews. • Bullying and Harassment. • The Union Toolkit: a workshop for activists and delegates to understand and explore the essentials of building union power in the workplace.
Strengthening of NTEU Structures and Systems Branches are continuing to formalise and strengthen delegates’ and activist networks. In the most recent elections, virtually all the elected officer positions were filled, with the exception of the dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Branch Committee positions which were unfilled at three Branches. Our Branch Committees are better trained, more informed and connected to the membership than ever before and the trajectory for membership is strongly upwards as I finalise this report.
SA Division www.nteu.org.au/sa Division Officers SA Division Secretary: Ron Slee Division Asst Secretary: Nick Warner Division President: Peter Cardwell Division Vice-Presidents: Virginie Masson (Academic), Kate Berniz (General)
Division Staff Division Industrial Officers: Annie Buchecker, Kathy Harrington Division Industrial Officer (to July 2019)/ Division Industrial Organiser (from July 2019): Cheryl Baldwin Branch Organisers (to July 2019)/Division Organisers (from July 2019): Juliet Fuller, John Pezy (LWOP from Aug 2019) Division Organiser (from Sept 2019): Rebecca Galdies Branch Organiser: Kieran McCarron (to Jan 2019) Division Administration Officer: Donna Good
The South Australian (SA) Division represents almost 1,900 members at three SA public universities: University of Adelaide, University of South Australia (UniSA) and Flinders University. Recruitment & Membership Training and Development Over the last 12 months, membership increased during the second half of 2018 by over 3 per cent, but then decreased during 2019 by 6 per cent. A highlight was Flinders Branch achieving an historic high of 669 members in December 2018. Sadly, their membership loss this year included many long term activists, including Branch Committee members. Across all Branches, most members who left the Union have retired or left the sector but each resignation was checked to ensure we minimise attrition. UniSA Branch membership fell below 600 on the 2018 census date resulting in the loss of a National Councillor. Recruitment and retention plans are in place to recover that position on the back of a major restructure at UniSA and the implementation of the new EA.
Image (this page): SA members at a Change the Rules rally, Sept 2018. Images (opposite page): SA Division Bluestocking Dinner, Aug 2019; NTEU and Flinders University Students Association delegates at the 2019 May Day march; Staff and students rally at Flinders University Council to protest the Academic Restructure, Dec 2018.
The University of Adelaide (following its failed attempt last year to takeover UniSA under the guise of a merger) announced a new strategic plan which will result in significant restructures. Adelaide Branch has an active Campaign Committee, tasked with planning campaigns to recruit
new members from amongst staff who feel apprehensive about their future employment. Induction for 18 Branch Committee members was conducted by Ken McAlpine last November. 20 delegates and staff participated in an all-day Cultural Competency Education session in December conducted by Adam Frogley. Uncle Lewis O’Brien provided valuable local knowledge and inspiration
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Forum In May 2019, SA Division held its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum. With Celeste Liddle’s help, it was our second Division Forum in a row and we hope it will encourage more members to come together to canvas issues of concern. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Branch representatives also participated in SAUnions Indigenous Leadership Conference held locally in May as well as NTEU National Forum in Sydney in August.
Delegates Training workshop Fourteen members participated in a Delegates Training Workshop facilitated by Helena Spyrou and Karen Grgic on 26-27 June. The workshop was timely given the new direction the Union plans to take with a deep organising strategy to build union power and the key role delegates will play in this re-focus. On 6 August, Ken McAlpine gave a presentation to SA Division councillors and staff on how campaigning around pro-active and strategic litigation can build union density and power. NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ SA Division
Division staff changes In May, the Division Secretary issued a Managing Change proposal arising from National Executive budget guidelines. The application of those guidelines resulted in a reduction of a 0.8 FTE staff position. The proposal took into account the collective agreement resolution that redundancies should only be used as a last resort and, to enable all members to continue to have access to organising and industrial resources, it proposed that all positions would be Division based. After consideration of written and verbal feedback and discussion with General Secretary, Matt McGowan, Executive Manager, Peter Summers, Branch Presidents and Division President, the Division Secretary presented his Final Decision and Implementation paper. It confirmed that although the new staffing arrangements had arisen from national budget guidelines, they were being implemented to deal with local features, including an historic structure that had worked against our capacity to engage in Division-wide campaigns. The key changes were that a new position of Division Industrial Organiser was created, one Branch Organiser position was dis-established (following the incumbent’s resignation) and the other two were redesignated as Division Organisers.
Round 7 Enterprise Bargaining The University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement was certified in 2017.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ SA Division
Flinders Branch began negotiating formally in 2017 and 23 months later bargaining ended with National Executive approving the Agreement on 21 May 2019. It was certified in FWC in September.
members were Greens candidates in the Federal election. Four Labor and Greens candidates, including those in Boothby, personally signed the NTEU pledge.
Public Advocacy and Campaigns
Other public campaigns we supported included International Women’s Day, the annual May Day Dinner and Parade, (SA Division is affiliated to May Day Collective), Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees, NUS Uni Climate Walkout and rallies against FWC decision to cut penalty rates.
Our annual Bluestocking Dinner attracted 68 members and supporters. It celebrated the historic struggles and achievements of women in higher education, canvassed current challenges and raised $1500 for the SA Working Women’s Centre. We were pleased that National President, Alison Barnes, was able to attend and meet many of our activists for the first time.
May 17 is International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. For the second successive year, to commemorate this day in SA, a quiz night with the witty title of Qute Queeries was held under the banner of Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE), who fight to make our workplaces safer and more inclusive for LGBTQIA+ workers.
At UniSA, formal negotiations began on 22 March 2018. Bargaining lasted 14 months and on 10 July 2019, the Agreement was certified.
Change the Rules We participated in the Federal Election ‘Change the Rules’ campaign. The launch in SA was on 21 March in the marginal electorate of Boothby. A small group of volunteers helped staff make persuasion calls to our members in Boothby. We also participated in door knocks, helped staff a pre-poll booth and gave out How-To-Vote cards on election day.
It was an entertaining evening for the 45 members and supporters who participated and raised $887 for The Channel, an organisation which funds LGBTQIA+ community projects.
We attended a series of rallies in April including the National Day of ‘Change the Rules’ Action in SA as well as a number of May Day events, all focussed on the ‘Change the Rules’ Campaign. Two of our
Tasmanian Division www.nteu.org.au/tas Division Officers Tas Division Secretary: Kelvin Michael Division President: Darren Turner Division Vice-Presidents: Natalia Nikolova (Academic), Rob Anders (General)
Division Staff Division Industrial Officer: Emma Gill Division Organiser: Shannon Harwood Branch Organiser: Steve Cocker (to July 2019)
The Tasmanian Division represents almost 700 members at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).
UTAS Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black and Provost Jane Long for high-level discussions, plus met with some of the Executive Deans on an as-needed basis to talk about issues local to their Colleges.
The industrial focus of the Tasmanian Division shifted from bargaining to implementation in relation to the newly-minted UTAS Staff Agreement. The organising activities were centred around recruitment activity and delegate development, although the ACTU-led Change the Rules campaign in the build-up to the Federal Election became dominant in the first half of 2019.
Recruitment & Membership Training and Development
In July 2018, Gabe Gooding visited Tasmania and spoke about the unparalleled events in the lead-up to the termination of the Murdoch University Staff Agreement. Gabe spoke about her own experiences and delivered a timely warning about what can happen when a university management becomes bullish. In February 2019, the Division Council and staff held a two-day annual workshop to review 2018 and plan for 2019. Gabe Gooding also participated, and delivered briefings on the setting of directions of the Union from the perspective of the new leadership. Division staff also met across 2 days to draw up the 2019 work plan based on the priorities which were expressed at the Division Council workshop.
Image (this page): Change the Rules rally, Hobart, Feb 2019. Images (opposite page): Most Rosie the Riveters in one place world record, Hobart, Aug 2019; UTAS members handing out information for Wear It Purple Day, Aug 2019.
In May 2019, the Division held an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum convened by Jacob Prehn (Tas A&TSIPC member) and Celeste Liddle (National A&TSI Organiser). As various times across the year, Division leadership held regular meetings with
The membership of the Tasmanian Division showed slight growth in the third quarter of 2018, but has remained relatively stable during 2019. In August 2018, the Division welcomed Rhianna Keen for a one-week recruitment activity, working with our organisers to build their recruitment skills.
Round 7 Bargaining Following the successful staff vote at UTAS, the Agreement was lodged with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for consideration and approval – a process which spanned 5 months. In the interim, we met with UTAS HR to discuss their desire to implement some of the features of the new Agreement before formal FWC approval. Some of these were not problematic (e.g. pay increases, improvements in leave provisions) but we did not accede to the creation of teachingfocussed positions before the Agreement was formally in place. These discussions took place in a series of “implementation meetings” which were conducted while awaiting formal approval, but also during 2019 as a useful forum for general discussion of Agreement-related concerns. The FWC returned an assessment of the UTAS Staff Agreement in December
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Tasmanian Division
2018 seeking some clarifications and undertakings before approval could be granted. The Division worked with UTAS HR (and other unions) to expedite the final approval, which was granted shortly before Xmas 2018.
In the north of the state the speaker was Jill Batt, an experienced union campaigner, while in the south Jess Munday (Unions Tasmania Secretary) delivered the address. Each event was well-attended, with lively discussion among the members.
One matter which had been effectively set aside during the formal bargaining phase was the revision of a specific appendix which covered commercial hire of the FTV Bluefin. UTAS management had proposed a significant revision, which was roundly decried by the members involved. The negotiations were concluded on the basis that UTAS management would meet with the NTEU to renegotiate the Appendix in question during the second half of 2018.
A meeting was held in December 2018 on board the Bluefin itself. The members clearly indicated how and why the proposed changes were unacceptable. Subsequently, in May 2019 UTAS HR representatives met with the Union and indicated that their previous claims to revise the Appendix were withdrawn, and furthermore they were prepared to accept the NTEU position that the Appendix be rewritten to remove any prospect of deviation from the seagoing allowance and leave provisions within the body of the Agreement – a truly great outcome and a credit to the members involved. Even though the UTAS Agreement was complete, a separate set of bargaining was underway related to NTEU members working for the Tasmanian University Union. This bargaining had come to a complete standstill during 2018, principally due to intransigence on the management side of the table. In June 2019, the Division wrote to the chairperson of the TUU Board raising concerns with the bargaining process and asking for a meeting. The meeting occurred in June 2019, and hopefully will lead to a timely outcome for the members involved.
Public Advocacy and Campaigns
The Tasmanian Division participated in the ACTU-led Change the Rules – Change the Government campaign which was focussed on the Federal Election in May 2019. Division staff, Delegates and members devoted time and effort to door-knocking efforts, calling union members, wobble boarding in marginal electorates and having one on one conversations on campuses. Shortly before the election day itself, a lunchtime BBQ was run on the Newnham campus, which provided an opportunity to speak to staff and students alike about the need to change the rules.
School Strike for Climate In proud support of emerging activists and climate warriors, in March 2019, Tasmanian Division members rallied with students at Parliament House Lawns and urged on those who marched to draw attention to the need for urgent climate action.
Women’s Health Centre fundraising initiative – Big Rosie Day Out Division members and staff joined our unionist and activist sisters from across Tasmania to try to break New Zealand’s Pan-Pacific record for most ‘Rosie the Riveters’ in one place at the same time. Much to the confusion of renowned Salamanca Market’s tourist visitors, on a sweltering day in early March, we descended on Hobart’s picturesque Salamanca Lawns, all in our best Rosie gear. The solidarity and unity experienced were profound. Oh, and in spirit of friendly across the ditch rivalry, we totally trounced the Kiwi record!
Unions Tasmania International Women’s Day quiz night
NTEU female members were invited to a lunchtime function featuring a speaker on the highly relevant topic – “Why changing the rules for working women is important”.
Tasmanian Division staff, members and activists came together in March (along with comrades from other unions) to fundraise for the Unions Tasmania
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Tasmanian Division
Change the Rules campaign. The evening was hosted by the Unions Tasmania’s Women’s Committee (on which our fierce fighter for women’s rights, and Industrial Officer Emma Gill sits), and the night culminated in the largest union fundraiser in recent history. Profits from the event funded women-specific Change the Rules billboards.
International Workers’ Memorial Day The Tasmanian Division was represented at memorial services in Launceston and in Hobart.
May Day The Division staff and members and activists acquitted themselves well again at the Tasmanian May Day March. Enthusiastic slogan-chanting and waving of placards took place, to the delight of a number of youth NTEU “members”, for whom the highlight was being part of a large contingent who surged along (closed) streets in the Hobart CBD. The Division was both active on social media and also directly supported many union-related campaigns, such as: • Supporting Angela Williamson who was sacked by Cricket Australia after sharing her experience of having to travel to Melbourne to access abortion services. • Attending rallies in support of statebased public sector workers seeking fair wage outcomes. • Campaigning with sacked United Voice members who worked in security and contract cleaning at UTAS. • Protesting to retain Bureau of Meteorology scientists in Tasmania.
Media The Division made direct approaches to media and/or responded to media interest on various topics such as: our State of the Sector Forum; UTAS Annual Report; creative arts at UTAS; international student enrolments and English standards at UTAS; relocation of UTAS from Sandy Bay to Hobart CBD.
Victorian Division www.nteu.org.au/vic Division Officers Victorian Division Secretary: Mel Slee Division Asst Secretary: Sarah Roberts Division President: Nic Kimberley (to June 2019), Mark Shier (from Aug 2019) Div Vice-Presidents: Christian Haesemeyer (Academic), Cathy Rojas (to June 2019), Sara Brocklesby (General) (from Aug 2019)
Division Staff Senior Industrial Officer: Linda Gale Senior State Organiser: Chloe Gaul Division Industrial Officers: Rob Binnie, Clare Danaher, Margaret Maloney, Serena O’Meley, Corey Rabaut, Stan Rosenthal, Rhidian Thomas, Gia Underwood, Azita Arian (from Apr 2019) Division Industrial Organiser: Janet Bourke Division Organisers: Rifai Abdul, Noel Gardiner (to Sept 2019), Simon Linskill (from Aug 2019), David Willis Branch Industrial Organisers: Linda Cargill, Anna Gunn (to Feb 2019), Lisbeth Latham, Colin Muir, Jesse Page, Garry Ryan, Liz Schroeder, Amelia Sully Branch Organiser: Frank Gafa Campaigns & Comms Officer: Toby Cotton Campaigns & Comms Organiser: Philippa Wright (from July 2019) Recruitment & Campaign Organiser: Gaurav Nanda (to Apr 2019) Admin Officer/Executive Support: Adrienne Bradley Image (this page): Change the Rules rally, Oct 2018. Images (opposite page): Nic Kimberley announcing casual employment figures with Michele O’Neil, April 2018; Mel Slee; Our casuals story on the cover of The Age, May 2019.
Victorian Division represents over 9,000 members at nine public universities: Deakin University, Federation University Australia (FUA), La Trobe University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University, Victoria University (VU), two campuses of Australian Catholic University (ACU) and many TAFE sites and smaller education providers, such as William Angliss and Navitas. With a change of leadership following the election of State Secretary, Dr Melissa Slee, and Assistant Secretary, Sarah Roberts, has come a new emphasis on building our organising capacity through grassroots campaigns, identifying and training new delegates and membership growth.
Recruitment & Membership, Training and Development
Professional Development seminars which have included afternoon sessions on organising to fight back! Lead Organiser, Chloe Gaul, has also been conducting Branch-based Delegates training for new delegates.
Round 7 Bargaining The past year has focused on finalising round 7 Agreements with an ongoing battle to finalise an Enterprise Agreement at Monash and very difficult negotiations at VU.
Monash Monash management’s intransigence in bargaining has given the NTEU a lot of great opportunities to rebuild the Branch Committee and engage a layer of new activists. The NTEU Branch has had a lot of fun not reaching Agreement with a popular Ban on Open Day, a Pizza lunch speakout as part of a 73-minute stop work and strikes to attend the Change the Rules rallies. The NTEU has used social media, Facebook and memes to maintain morale and win community support. At 73%, Monash has the highest rates of insecure work of any campus in Victoria, a fact the NTEU has used every opportunity to advertise! The major sticking points in bargaining are the NTEU’s mandatory settlement point for a 2021 Expiry Date and the timely introduction of 17% Superannuation for fixed term contract staff.
The Victorian Division has resourced its strategy of building organising capacity through investing in formal training and development. Two NTEU staff, Amelia Sully and Frank Gafa, are attending the ACTU’s intensive year-long Organising Works training and the State Secretary and Assistant Secretary are attending the ACTU’s Leading Unions training.
The Victorian Division has also conducted a number of well attended day-long Casuals
NTEU staff and local leaders at VU have successfully defeated VU management in not one, but two, non-union ballots. The
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Victorian Division
NTEU’s successful Vote No campaign in the second ballot was particularly sweet given the enormous resources management put into their “Vote Yes” campaign. There were “Vote Yes” electronic billboards throughout the campus and staff were forced to log-in past a “Vote Yes” screensaver. There were “Vote Yes” posters in toilets! Negotiations continue to be fraught. The major issue is Academic Workloads with the introduction of an intensive and (for staff) gruelling Block Mode of teaching.
Justice for Casuals Melbourne University and RMIT have had some impressive wins for casuals.
Melbourne University At Melbourne University, the NTEU Sessional and Casual Staff Network ensured that all casuals would be reimbursed for the compulsory Working With Children’s Check. Approximately 4000 causals are $123 better off thanks to the activist’s feisty campaign. The Network also successfully defeated a management proposal to cut off casual email accounts in between contracts.
sessional delegate, and the affected staff who organised to insist on their entitlements in their Enterprise Agreement. In 2015, the School changed their mode of delivery to combine lectures and tutorials into five hours of studio time per week. Sessional Studio Leaders were being underpaid for the academic judgement and workload involved in developing the overall topic and learning content for classes and assessment.
Public Advocacy and Campaigns Important reform for University Annual Reports Thanks to the NTEU Victorian President, Nic Kimberley, all Universities in Victoria are now required to include headcount figures of insecure workers in their Annual Reports. This followed months of lobbying State MPs. The Annual Reports revealed that over 70% of all employees are fixed-term or casuals at Monash University, Melbourne University and La Trobe and over 60% at Deakin, RMIT, Swinburne and Victoria University.
Meanwhile, the School of Culture and Communications was paying casuals just four hours to mark a 15,000-word minor thesis. Thanks to NTEU activists, casual contracts now allocate 12 hours for this task.
RMIT At RMIT, NTEU Industrial Officer, Rhidian Thomas, secured $65,000 in back pay for one casual academic member who despite having a PhD had for many years been underpaid using the lower “other activity” rate for the “academic judgement” required to engage in research, marking and even PhD supervision! The NTEU has also had some success in securing conversions for a number of academic staff. Eleven sessional staff in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT secured around $3600 more in their yearly pay thanks to Liam Ward, their NTEU delegate (on a continuing contract), Andrea Rassell, their NTEU NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ Victorian Division
Nic was joined by ACTU President Michele O’Neil, University of Melbourne PhD student, Shan Windscript, and Shadow Assistant Minister for Tertiary Education, Louise Pratt, at a Media Conference to outline the impacts of these outrageous statistics. The front page of The Age featured a large photo of Shan Windscript with the headline “Starvation Wages”.
Change the Rules In the past year, Victorian Trades Hall Council has led two massive Change the Rules rallies through the streets of Melbourne. The NTEU had a great turn-out at both events.
Take Back Our Universities More than 80 people attended an NTEU Take Back Our Universities launch. Professor Raewyn Connell author of “The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why it’s Time for Radical Change” was joined by Desiree Cai (President of NUS), Dr Carina Garland, Assistant Secretary and Nic Kimberley, NTEU Victoria President, and hosted by Journalist and Lecturer, Dr Ben Eltham.
ACU Branch President socks it to ‘em on social justice! NTEU Branch President at the Australian Catholic University, Dr Leah Kaufmann, made headlines when she called for ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Craven to be sanctioned for writing a newspaper article questioning the conviction of Cardinal George Pell on child sex offences. Dr Kaufmann reported that staff had expressed “dismay or repugnance” at statements made by VC Professor Craven in a commentary in the Australian newspaper 27 February, entitled “George Pell: a case in which justice never had a fair chance”. Dr Kaufmann also called for the Pell Centre on the Ballarat campus to be renamed and Cardinal Pell’s portrait to be removed from Tenison Woods House on the North Sydney Campus.
WA Division The membership of the WA Division has remained relatively stable, hovering above 2300 during the previous 12 months. The general staff within the two Colleges at Murdoch underwent a significant staffing restructure in June, which resulted in 30 staff redundancies.
Division Industrial Organisers: Jake Wittey (to Dec 2018); James Higgins (Febâ€“July 2019)
The WA Division represents almost 2,300 members at the four public universities in Western Australia: Curtin University, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Murdoch University, and the University of Western Australia (UWA). The Division also represents members at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), Student Unions at all four public universities, Research Institutes (largely affiliated with UWA) and private providers such as Navitas.
Branch Organiser (to July 2019)/Member Services Officer (from July 2019): Jayne van Dalen
Recruitment & Membership, Training and Development
Round 7 Bargaining and other industrial activities
Consistent with national shifts in the Union, there has been a reorientation of the Division towards an organising model at Branches. This reorientation has been facilitated by a staffing restructure and investment in staff development.
Bargaining continues at UNDA and Curtin College. The UNDA Collective Agreement expired in December 2017 and there has been no progress in addressing outstanding claims for a new Agreement, in particular regarding pay, superannuation and workloads. Recent escalation of campaigning has assisted membership growth and progress is anticipated.
www.nteu.org.au/wa Division Officers WA Division Secretary: Jonathan Hallett Division Assistant Secretaries: Richard Hamilton (Academic) (from June 2019), Corinna Worth (General) Division President: Catherine Moore Division Vice-President: Sam Green
Division Staff Senior State Organiser: Donna Shepherdson Industrial Officers: Katherine Morison, Simona Grieco (from Jan 2019) Division Industrial Organisers/Branch Organisers (to July 2019)/Division Organisers (from July 2019): Beth Cole, Ryan Costello, Eileen Glynn, Raechel Smith
Image (this page): Murdoch Branch members. Images (opposite page): UNDA members and supporters campaigning during bargaining; Jonathan Hallett (centre) at a Change the Rules rally, Perth, May 2019; Organiser Eileen Glynn and UWA Branch President Sanna Peden.
A series of delegate training sessions is being rolled out across three campuses led by the Senior State Organiser. There has also been a focus on training for Branch Committee members, starting with an induction on governance, organising and strategic litigation in November 2018 and followed by training in creative protest and non-violent direct action in April 2019.
This number exceeded that expected by the University as most staff opted to take redundancies rather than apply for the new positions resulting from the restructure and this may impact on Murdoch density. Rolling small restructures across Curtin University over the last year are also impacting significantly on staff and may impact on growth at that campus. Significant membership growth has been seen at UWA and UNDA off the back of significant industrial wins in the former and through bargaining campaigns in the latter.
Delays in bargaining with Curtin College have occurred in part due to the takeover of Navitas by a new consortium led by BGH BidCo. The Fair Work Commission has certified new Agreements for UWA ELICOS staff and Murdoch Guild of Students.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 â—† WA Division
A dispute at the UWA over extensive underpayment of casual staff has resulted in a major win. Over several months of campaigning on the issue the NTEU had received documentation demonstrating a range of underpayment activities over a long period of time across multiple faculties at the University. The University has agreed to a full audit of casual appointments going back to 2013, to issue any necessary backpay and to correct the classification of currently employed casual staff. UWA have also acknowledged that certain general staff may be eligible for long service leave at 7 rather than 10 years due to interaction with the Long Service Leave Act 1958. The University has identified 1475 affected existing staff and approximately 2500 in total that may be affected. We are investigating opportunities at other universities for similar withheld entitlements. ECU academic and professional staff are experiencing increasing workload pressure. A university-wide survey has revealed the lack of transparency and accountability in this area. The Union has had some wins in securing back payment for sessional staff where activities had been incorrectly classified. Management has now reclassified many teaching activities which have led to reduced, or even zero, preparation time for sessional staff. In addition, pressure is being applied to redesign assessments so that they only require ‘simple’ marking rather than ‘complex’, and so that they can be marked during tutorials, rather than paying separately for marking. Workloads are also a key concern at Curtin University and the Branch has rolled out an extensive survey to collate data on staff workloads and support organising efforts. A steady stream of health and safety issues have been identified across several Branches and have been flagged as a priority for organising with a specific staff allocation.
NTEU Annual Report 2019 ◆ WA Division
Public Advocacy and Campaigns Wage theft The WA Parliament held a wage theft inquiry and we anticipate campaigning on a number of collective issues to piggyback on the inquiry recommendations. A submission from the Division to this inquiry outlined a number of areas where systematic underpayment of staff was being undertaken. Along with underpayment of casual staff at UWA, management at UNDA were found early in 2019 to be seeking to engage sessional academic staff as independent contractors (with less entitlements) for courses in which they would deliver four or less lectures.
Whistleblowers On 6 May 2019, ABC’s Four Corners broadcast “Cash Cows”, an expose of management practices at some Australian universities that appear to exploit international students in an effort to build revenue. Particular emphasis in the Four Corners program was placed on Murdoch University, with three whistleblower academics from the institution speaking on camera about their concerns. The protection of whistleblowers is a serious public issue that goes to the heart of accountability of public institutions.
NTEU has been lobbying the WA Government to conduct a public inquiry into the matters raised in the Four Corners program; the role of university senates and councils in overseeing relevant processes; and academic freedom, free speech and the protection of whistleblowers.
May Day The WA May Day event was successful with our largest turnout of NTEU members and friends in a number of years and we were the lead union for the march behind the WA Premier and ACTU President Michelle O’Neil. An NTEU Federal Election Forum was also held in May with Senator Louise Pratt (ALP), Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens) and NTEU National President Alison Barnes to discuss policy directions for higher education in Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum The WA Division Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum was held in June and attended by representatives of two universities. Campus visits were also undertaken by Celeste Liddle to the three remaining universities and has ignited some local momentum for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander WA network and engagement with national NTEU policy direction.
Bluestocking Week Bluestocking Week was once again a highlight with events on each campus and our very successful Bluestocking Week breakfast drawing a sizeable crowd to listen to discussions about ensuring safe workplaces and secure work for women.
QUTE WA QUTE representatives remain active with events held for IDAHOBIT Day and Wear it Purple. Other public campaigns we supported included International Women’s Day, Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees, and School Student Strike 4 Climate.