NTEU Annual Report 2020-21

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Annual Report 2020-2021

NTEU Annual Report 2020–21, Report to the 2021 National Council Meeting ISSN 2652-3426 (Online)

Published by National Tertiary Education Union Publisher: Matthew McGowan

ABN 38 579 396 344

Editor: Alison Barnes

Production: Paul Clifton

All text and images ©NTEU unless otherwise stated. NTEU acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as traditional owners of Naarm (Melbourne), the land on which the NTEU National Office is situated, and pays respect to their Elders, past & present.

NTEU National Office, PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205 phone: (03) 9254 1910

email: national@nteu.org.au

Available online at www.nteu.org.au/annual_report

Contents Purpose & Structure.......................................................................................................3 National Officers Alison Barnes, National President.............................................................................6 Matthew McGowan, General Secretary...................................................................8 Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary.......................................................10 National Units Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus.......................................................... 12 Women’s Action Committee.....................................................................................14 Industrial & Legal..........................................................................................................16 Policy & Research.........................................................................................................18 Organising, Campaigns & Communications...................................................... 21 Union Education.......................................................................................................... 24 Recruitment & Retention.......................................................................................... 26 Budget & Finance..........................................................................................................27 Divisions ACT Division................................................................................................................. 28 NSW Division................................................................................................................ 30 NT Division.....................................................................................................................32 Queensland Division.................................................................................................. 34 SA Division..................................................................................................................... 36 Tasmanian Division.................................................................................................... 38 Victorian Division........................................................................................................ 40 WA Division................................................................................................................... 42

Above: NTEU members at the March4Justice, Brisbane, March 2021.

Purpose & Structure The 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.

• 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.

Structure of the Union

Qld Michael McNally

NTEU now proudly represents over 30,000 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.


Purpose of the Union

National Executive National President Alison Barnes General Secretary Matthew McGowan National Asst Secretary Gabe Gooding Vice-Presidents Andrew Bonnell (Academic), Cathy Rojas (General)

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander member Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Division Secretaries ACT Cathy Day (to Aug 2021), Lachlan Clohesy (from Aug 2021) NSW Michael Thomson (to April 2021), Damien Cahill (from April 2021) NT Rajeev Sharma Ron Slee (to Aug 2021), Andrew Miller (from Aug 2021)

Tas Pep Turner (to May 2021), Patrick McConville (from June 21) Vic Mel Slee WA Jonathan Hallett (to Oct 2021), Catherine Moore (from Oct 2021)

Ordinary Members* Steve Adams Melbourne Nikola Balnave Macquarie Damien Cahill NSW Div Asst Secretary Vince Caughley UTS Andrea Lamont-Mills USQ Virginia Mansel Lees La Trobe Catherine Moore ECU Nick Warner Adelaide *Oct 2018-Sept 2021. New National Executive members were declared elected on 6 Sept and will serve until 2022.

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. The primary objects of NTEU are to: • Improve and protect the living standards of its members as well as their working environment and professional interests. • Promote the work of tertiary education institutions in Australia and to preserve their independence and integrity. • Foster the process of intellectual debate within the Australian community. • Defend and promote the rights of members to teach, research and disseminate knowledge and information without fear of reprisal.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Purpose & Structure

• Create and maintain an informed public opinion concerning tertiary education institutions and their staff.

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 (Vic), TAFE (Vic), Research Institutes, Navitas, RACGP and College of Law. Our permanently staffed workplace-based local Branches in universities is 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. NTEU is a highly democratic member-driv­ en 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. At each Branch, the highest decision-mak­ ing body is a general meeting of members. A Branch Committee comprising elected representatives of members governs the affairs of each Branch in between gen­eral continued overpage... 3

meetings of members. Each Branch also elects National Councillors, who also constitute the Division Council. This mechanism ensures that each Branch is represented on the relevant State or Terri­ tory-based Division Council.

Committee and ten ordinary members elected from the floor of the National Council (elected for a two-year term).

National Council

A ballot is held at National Council to elect ten ordinary members of the National Executive. From these, National Council elects a Vice-President (Academic) and Vice-President (General Staff). An election was due to be held in 2020 to elect the ten ordinary members of the National Executive,

National Council consists of members directly elected from Branches (in propor­tion to the number of members at each Branch), three full time National Officers, the eight State and Territory-based Divi­sion Secretaries plus three Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander National Councillors and members of the Executive. National Council has a total membership of about 130 Delegates.

National Executive meets six times per year and is responsible for running the Union between meetings of National Council.

and subsequently the two Vice-Presidents. COVID-related delays meant that the election for these positions was not held. These elections have recently taken place and the results declared for the ten ordinary members of the National Executive and the two national Vice-Presidents. Newly elected members will serve until October 2022 when new elections will be conducted for the ten ordinary members of the National Executive and subsequently the two Vice-Presidents, for a fresh two year term. ◆

National Council is the supreme decision making body of the NTEU and has the critical task of setting the Union’s budget for the forthcoming year.

National Office Staff

In 2021, the National Council is to be conducted ‘virtually’ via Zoom due to the travel and other restrictions made necessary by the global pandemic. It will be split into two distinct sessions, with the first short session to be held in early October and the second to be held over two days in early December.

National Industrial Officer: Campbell Smith

National Executive The National Executive is composed of the three full time National Officers, eight Division Secretaries, the Chair of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Policy

Director (Industrial & Legal): Wayne Cupido Senior Legal Officer: Kelly Thomas National Industrial Officer (Research & Projects): Ken McAlpine Industrial Support Officer: Renee Veal Director (Policy & Research): Paul Kniest (to Mar 21), Terri MacDonald (from Mar 21) Policy & Research Officers: Terri MacDonald (to Mar 21), Kieran McCarron National A&TSI Director: Adam Frogley National A&TSI Organiser: Celeste Liddle Director (Campaigning & Organising): Dom Rowe National Organiser (Member Engagement): Michael Evans National Organiser (Publications): Paul Clifton Education & Training Organiser: Helena Spyrou Communications Organiser (Digital): Jake Wishart Executive Manager: Peter Summers National Membership Officer: Melinda Valsorda ICT Network Engineer: Tam Vuong Database Programmer/Data Analyst: Uffan Saeed Payroll Administrator/HR Assistant: Jo Riley Manager, Office of General Secretary & President: Anastasia Kotaidis Executive Officer (Meeting & Events): Tracey Coster Administrative Officer (Membership & Campaigns): Julie Ann Veal Receptionist & Administrative Support: Leanne Foote

Above: Members of the USQ Branch Committee, Toowoomba; ACT Delegate Kalie. Opposite: Secure Work donuts at Curtin University; Rob Rule, NTEU QLD Industrial Officer at a rally protecting WorkChoices 2.0, Feb 2021.


Finance Manager: Glenn Osmand (on leave), Justin Hester (Acting) Senior Finance Officer: Gracia Ho Finance Officers: Alex Ghvaladze, Tamara Labadze, Jay Premkumar, Daphne Zhang NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2020 ◆ PURPOSE & STRUCTURE

NTEU Structure


KEY Direct election by all members (includes certain designated Academic & General positions)

Branch Committee

Direct election by A&TSI members only Direct election by casual members only


Branch President Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (General) Branch Secretary + Ordinary Members


Designated A&TSI position


Designated Casual position1

Elected from within relevant Council or Committee





Division Executive2


Division Secretary 3


Division Assistant Secretary 4, 5


Division President Vice-President (Academic)5 Vice-President (General)5 + Ordinary Members

Division Council

1. Not all Branches have designated casual positions. 2. Division Executives only in NSW, Qld, Vic & WA. 3. No Division Secretary election in NT & Tas. 4. Division Assistant Secretary positions only in NSW, Vic & WA. 5. WA has two Division Assistant Secretaries (Academic & General) but only one Division Vice-President.

Designated A&TSI position



National Executive National President


General Secretary


National Assistant Secretary Division Secretaries (8)


National Council


A&TSI National Councillors (3)


Vice-President (Academic) Vice-President (General) + Ordinary Members (8) A&TSIPC Chair


National committees where membership is appointed via expressions of interest in each Division: NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2020 ◆ PURPOSE & STRUCTURE


Alison Barnes, National President

Alison Barnes National President

This year’s President’s Report is being written as our national Week of Action for secure jobs and safe workloads comes to a close. Throughout the week, thousands of people across the country had taken part in diverse and creative actions which included traditional union activities such as rallies, online and in person, but also trivia nights, meme making, selfies, more morning teas, petition stalls and sausage sizzles. I’ve been lucky to talk to NTEU members at many universities in the lead up to this week. It’s clear that the depth of feeling about the need for change is stronger than ever. Abandoned by the Government and in a crisis often exacerbated by management, it’s with good reason that university staff across the country are angry. At the beginning of the week of action we launched a report, An Avoidable Catastrophe, prepared by the Centre for Future Work and commissioned by the NTEU. The report sought to quantify the job losses that have occurred across the tertiary education sector during the last 12 months. It found: • 40,000 jobs were lost in tertiary education. • 35,000 of those were from universities. • 61% of jobs lost were jobs performed by women.

Above NTEU members at the SchoolStrike4Climate, Canberra, May 2021.


Another report from the University of Melbourne also shows what we already

knew – that the federal Government’s Job-Ready Graduates package is in reality a further funding cut for the sector. To achieve the package’s promised outcome, the Government would have to provide an extra $1.4 billion, which it is not prepared to do. Moreover, at the end of the previous week – on RUOK day no less – the University of Sydney emailed more than 4,000 casuals to say it would not offer them secure jobs. In fact, the University would convert only 68, or 1.6% of the 4,000 casual positions to secure jobs. In a reply sent to Human Resources and shared with me, a member wrote: On RUOK Day I received your email: Casual Conversion - notification of assessment outcome, an assessment that to the best of my knowledge I had not requested. So I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself and to say I Am Not OK, not at all, not after receiving this unsolicited email. ...I just want to say that your letter made me feel so small, so unimportant, so alone, so not a part of the University, so not OK. Instead I felt a creeping numbness spread through my spine as I read the hollow words on how much the University values the contribution of casual staff. I feel totally unvalued. University staff are right to be angry – about a government that’s abandoned the sector and about university management that has used COVID as an excuse for further cuts and failed to advocate for staff and students. Although we are right to be angry, NTEU members also know we are stronger

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Alison Barnes, National President

together. We know that standing together and growing our union is the most effective way to achieve our vision for tertiary education. This vision is one where our work is secure and our workloads do not cripple us, where world class research and teaching does not come at the expense of our wellbeing. Where higher education is valued and accessible to all, and where a student’s opportunity and access is not determined by their socioeconomic status. As much as this anger at the abandonment of our sector unites us, our actions over the year show that there is much ground for hope. For many of the members who participated in symbolic actions during the week of action, it was their first collective action as part of a union campaign. This is a credit to our Branches Delegates and creative ways they devised to involve members during lockdown. Pressure from NTEU members has forced universities to own up to systemic wage theft across many years. The University of Melbourne alone admitted to ripping off more than $9 million from their casuals, and the University of Sydney withheld a similar amount, almost all of it owed to professional staff. Our Branches are embracing organising their workplaces and building their strength like never before.

Unlike North America, we don’t have stark wages differentials across our campuses, and over the last 20 years we have won salary increases that exceed those in comparable industries. We have parental leave that is the best of any industry in the country and was achieved through our members’ efforts. We have fought for and won protections against arbitrary dismissal, and the list goes on. No single, talented, amazing negotiator or bargaining team could have achieved this on their own. We win these things because professional, academic, fixed-term and casual staff stand together. We are always stronger together and we will need all of that strength during what may prove to be a difficult round of bargaining with employers emboldened and incentivised by the Federal Government to ensure staff and students bear the cost of the COVID crisis. We have raised awareness of the problems our sector faces by lobbying politicians and members telling their stories at Senate inquiries. The public is increasingly aware of the plight universities face: media reports on the findings of the An Avoidable Catastrophe report reached 4.5 million Australians, raising public awareness about government neglect and the failure of Vice-Chancellors to advocate for staff and students.

What this year’s annual report shows is how strategically coordinating the work of our organising, communications, industrial and policy units has, helped to build the power of the Union and propelled work towards realising our vision for higher education. As we push forward with the national campaign to achieve that vision, we acknowledge the inspiring work undertaken by our NTEU Branches working directly with members on issues that are important to us all – ensuring we have safe and secure jobs, and respect in our workplaces. In union. ◆

Above: NTEU support for vaccination leave; Zoom meeting for National Week of Action, Sept 2021. Below: Secure Jobs selfie from Bridget Brooklyn (UTS), Sept 2021.

In preparing for the round of enterprise bargaining we’ve emphasised not only the industrial discipline that has served us so well in the past, but also to apply that same discipline to the opportunities enterprise bargaining gives us to engage with and grow our grassroots strength and membership. When University of Queensland management tried to introduce a non-union variation to the agreement to extend it by a year, NTEU members pushed back, organised a strong ‘no’ vote, and forced management back to the bargaining table. We are a strong bargaining union. Even within a broken industrial relations system and laws, there is much we have achieved. NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Alison Barnes, National President


Matthew McGowan, General Secretary NTEU in strong position to face challenges for our sector and members The 2020/21 financial year has challenged the higher education sector like no other in its history.

Matthew McGowan General Secretary

The COVID pandemic has hit parts of our nation and various industries in different ways. But the higher education sector has been hit hard across the board, in every State and Territory, in regions and in our major cities. We have seen no respite from the challenge of this virus. NTEU members have been at the forefront of the challenges – looking after students and their welfare, moving learning online, participating in actions and campaigns to protect jobs, and advocating for the future of higher education in Australia. While our members campaigned and stood up in support of their student and higher education, future generations will judge harshly the Federal Government’s abandonment of Australia’s third most important export industry. The Morrison Government’s COVID legacy will be the 40,000 jobs lost in higher education, the nearly $5 billion lost in revenue.

Above: May Daly rally, Canberra, May 2021. Opposite: Micaela Pattison and Simon Copland (ANU) supporting climate justice, Canberra, May 2021; NTEU Queensland Secretary, Michael McNally, at the Queensland Council of Unions protest against the LNP Omnibus Bill.


The numbers tell one story, but the deep moral failure by the Government to support the critical educational infrastructure needed to rebuild post this pandemic will be the real story. In the year that science and research saved the world, the Morrison Government failed us.

It the year we learnt the hard way the importance of face-to-face teaching – the Morrison Government deserted us. It the year that we learnt how important the academic community is, locally and globally, the Morrison Government left us on our own. Their real failure will continue to be felt as our nation builds back after this pandemic. The generation who missed their education is the generation our society and economy will need to lead our rebuild. Let’s hope it is not too late for this Government to understand the investment needed in higher education, to the benefit of students and the nation. For the NTEU, the 2020/21 year reflected the broader challenges facing the sector. We can all be proud that our financial end of year results prove that when times are tough, people turned to the Union for leadership and support. • Our $1.74 million surplus is proof of that support. • Our membership income was $271,000 above budget. • Our history of strong financial management puts the Union is a good position for the future. • Our Industrial Defence fund is now $10.5 million. Despite this result, the end of the 2021 financial year started to show the impact on our finances of the job losses across the sector. Membership decline linked to the continuing job losses across the sector is a serious concern for the next few years.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Matthew McGowan, General Secretary

At this stage, our 2021/22 year looks like delivering a structural deficit that our Union will have to respond to. This will be a challenge, but we are developing a 3 year strategy to respond. We are investing in modernising our capacity, and pivoting to growth. Changes in the way we communicate, campaign, advocate and organise are the key to growing the Union. Upgrading our skills, our data platform, our digital presence and our marketing to potential members is critical to our success. As we have always done, involving our members, our delegates and our elected officials is part of this change. Bringing all our systems and processes into the current decade is a big job, but there has never been a more pressing need to look at how we go about our work.

Key industrial matters 2020 saw the Union finalise and promote our bargaining priorities for the next two years. In line with the broader strategic objective, a key shift in our bargaining approach has been to focus on engaging with our members and developing claims that matter to them. Branches must ensure members are behind our claims before initiating the bargaining process. Many Branches have focused on this priority rather than immediately rush to the bargaining table. Nonetheless, negotiations have opened seven institution as of 30 June. It is expected that bargaining will open up at many more universities in the new year. This will happen against a backdrop of significant shifts in community and political attitudes to insecure work. Changes in legislation introduced by the Morrison Government supporting the business lobbies have sought to limit the growing dissatisfaction with wage theft and the impact of ongoing insecurity in the community. Members have recovered over $8 million as a result of union efforts to raise these issues and the work continues.

And, importantly, the protection of academic and intellectual freedom on our campuses has been a key industrial priority over the year. Court decisions have threatened to limit these foundational sectoral attributes with codes of conduct being elevated to override the intellectual freedom provisions in our agreements. A recent decision of the Full Bench of the Federal Court in an appeal, brought by the Union, overturned one of these decisions, bringing teeth back into our agreements. Our job is now to strengthen those agreements for the future.

Financial Reporting. In 2020, the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC), a union regulator established by the Coalition, queried the Union’s issuing of credit cards to some Branch officials. As background, in 2008 the Union consolidated its finances nationally, improving reporting, governance and transparency. Rather than every Branch and Division existing as separate financial entities, requiring audit, the consolidation meant that the National Office is audited on behalf of the Union. This saved the Union more than $1 million in audit fees. However, this year thew ROC found that the issuing of credit cards to some Branch officials may have constituted those Branches to be conducting ‘financial affairs’. While the Union disagreed, we responded by having all 51 of our Branches and Divisions adopt a resolution for the Union to be a ‘single reporting unit’, and the Fair Work Commission approved this definition.

Elections The NTEU is one of the most democratic and localised unions in Australia. We do love our elections: NTEU has over 800 elected positions, higher than any other union.

However, the pandemic impacted even our election cycle. The AEC was unwilling to conduct elections in 2020 due to COVID, which meant that many of our Branch and Division officers have had to serve an additional 9 to 11 months. The ‘direct elections’ (by members) commenced in April 2021, and the final round of ‘collegiate elections’ (by National and Division Councils) will be complete in September 2021. Despite the delays, the elections were conducted smoothly. The elections saw many committed and dedicated Branch and Division union leaders step down from office this year. For many, the past 3 years have been extraordinarily difficult as we have all dealt with the impact of COVID and the consequential devastation on many of our campuses. Our collective thanks must go to all those who have borne the brunt of the year. Finally, I want to thank the National Council for its continued guidance of the Union through these unprecedented times, particularly those for whom this commitment to the Union is extra to their academic or professional work in our sector. The elected leadership and our committed staff value the strong connection we have to our membership through the wisdom and passion of our Council. Members can have a lot of faith that their elected delegates, Branches and Council members keep the Union accountable and strong, and we never lose sight of what is impacting on the workplace day to day. While 2020/21 has been very tough, our union has stayed strong and united, and the strategic direction of the Union ensures we are investing in the right infrastructure and issues to modernise, grow and remain a powerful force in our sector. ◆

These elections are regulated by law, and conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Matthew McGowan, General Secretary


Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary Setting us up to grow While a larger union with more members is not sufficient for success, it is a prerequisite. Clearly, the Union also needs to deliver on its mission, purpose and values. But growth provides power and influence which is critical to achieving all other outcomes for members. – Review of NTEU Communications Gabe Gooding National Assistant Secretary

The Annual Report is a time to reflect on what we have done in the past year and where we are planning to go in the future. As was the case in 2020, the best laid plans can be defeated by COVID-19 and the massive disruption to all of our lives. While the pandemic impacts where we are now it doesn’t necessarily impact on where we need to be. National Council has recognised that the Union must truly become an organising union that is committed to building union power through deep organising and widespread activism. In implementing that strategic direction, which is based on growth, we need to be able to supply the necessary tools to those who are on the front-line: Organisers, local elected officers and Delegates in particular.

Above ACT Division members celebrate IDAHOBIT Day, 2021.


NTEU structures, systems, and processes have developed in an ad hoc fashion since 1993 but continue, in large part, to be firmly embedded in that decade. Just as we have seen an enormous rate of change within the sector, so we have seen change in the environment in which the Union operates, necessitating investment in the new tools

we need to grow. It goes without saying that COVID-19 and the forced and rapid shift to digital work has accelerated the need for change to our traditional ways of work. The failure to have consistent filing and record systems across the Union has also hampered our capacity to undertake the data analysis that could help us make decisions around what we prioritise and why. Similarly, we need to elevate our old staid approach to communications to another level if we are to cut through the digital noise that our members and potential members experience every day. To these ends the National Officers have embarked on an ambitious program of modernising the operations of the Union in order to support growth. These include a new database, a full external review of our communications, a series of member experience projects and a strategic alliance with the Australia Institute to supplement our research capacity on issues of relevance to workers in the sector. In the past we have had relatively effective independent systems that maintained member records, electoral records, finance systems, and communications. While each of these systems interacted with our database, they were not integrated – leading to an ongoing process of manual work-arounds. After a review of the options, the National Executive made the decision to participate in the cooperative of unions working with uHub on the iMIS database system. iMIS is not just a database that records member information, it is a system that

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary

integrates all our functions in a manner that facilitates growth of membership. Every interaction of a member or potential member through any NTEU systems will feed back into the central database, ensuring we have comprehensive member records. At the same time, it links that automation to the incredibly important function of direct human contact. The implementation of these new systems has required a complete review of how we perform almost all of our functions through the lens of how we can improve the member experience, to aid retention and assist in recruitment – the two elements of growth. It also involves modification of the base iMIS system to meet our needs. We have also commenced on a number of important projects looking at member journeys and how we can maximise growth and power from those. These include the join process, digital engagement, improving member advice and support, tailored messaging and more. Members will see a new, streamlined public facing website, have their own member portal showing them who is their Delegate and Organiser, opportunities to get involved, relevant news and simpler ways to get help and advice. Casual members will be able to be listed at multiple Branches to ensure they are not isolated in any of their workplaces. During the critical periods for retention and engagement members will also receive tailored communications.

members based on what they have engaged with. They will also know which casuals are in their workplace who may not be official members of that Branch. Communications can be written and sent to segments of our membership focusing on what is interesting to them. A constant refrain is our communications are heavily loaded towards academic staff; this will allow us to make sure that we are talking to each group in a way that resonates with them, especially professional staff, research staff and casuals. Industrial case management will be professionalised with a simple single filing system allowing industrial staff to see what cases are current and to better collaborate and learn from each other. It will allow us to generate real time data on the industrial issues that are affecting our members so that we can identify trends and jump quickly on changed management practices which are harmful to members. These may all seem to be bureaucratic mechanisms aimed at process, not a significant change to the way we do our work. Nothing could be further from the truth! Each of these is aimed at developing new ways to support our capacity to grow and to increase engagement and activism.

We fully understand that, to quote uHub: No digital tools replace the need to have a considered, strategic and well thought through plan to win. We have a greater chance of organising workers if we run on contemporary, action worthy issues supported by workplace leaders, who are always more effective than any army of paid staff. The issue is not enough, workers need to see a credible and comprehensive plan that focuses at the right level and targets the right decision makers with a credible, multifaceted game plan. That is why these developments are a part of a whole of union growth strategy that is currently being developed. They don’t just take us from the 1990s into a new century – used correctly they will lead us to a growing, stronger, more powerful and active union. ◆

Above: ‘How Can Uni Staff Tackle the Climate Crisis?’ Friday Session, May 2021; Members protesting cuts at UQ, Nov 2020. Below: Secure Jobs selfie from Lauren Gawne (La Trobe), Sept 2021.

Delegates will be able to see who is in their patch and contact them directly through the built-in communications systems. The database will also allow Delegates to organise meetings, petitions, events etc. – all the tools needed to genuinely organise their area. Because iMIS is a closed system it will resolve the security issues that currently plague us. Organisers will be able to map the workplace on any criteria we have (and there will be many), will be able to see which members are engaging with the Union and who could be supported to increase their activism, and receive information on likely potential NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Gabe Gooding, National Assistant Secretary


Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus www.nteu.org.au/atsi

Federal Budget 2021/22

A&TSI Director: Adam Frogley

For the first time since the 2018-19 Budget, this year’s funding allocation for the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants (ISAG)/ Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) has been greater than $72 million.

A&TSI Organiser: Celeste Liddle Branch Organiser (Vic): Frank Gafa

A&TSIPC 2019–20 Chair Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Deputy Chair Robert Anders

Division Representatives Tas Robert Anders Vic Sadie Heckenberg WA Brendon DeGois QLD Debbie Woodbridge SA

Anna Strzelecki

National Councillors Sharlene Leroy-Dyer UQ, Leah LuiChivizhe USyd, Robert Anders UTas

The ISSP is the key funding allocation supporting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Support Centres and their staff, and the 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. Comparing the previous year’s Federal Budget forward estimates to the current year funding allocation, an overall funding increase of $36,000 was applied to the ISSP, with an estimated further $661,000 increase over the forward estimates to 2024-25. In total (first year and forward estimates) there has been an estimated1 funding increase of $697,000: this is a drop in the ocean when considering $1.37 million was stripped from the ISSP in the previous financial years and forward estimates. This slight increase over a period of four years, will do nothing to ensuring increased support is available for current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Round 8 Bargaining Above: Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers, Welcome to Country at the Griffith Save Jobs Rally; Celeste Liddle talking about racism on campus and The Final Quarter documentary, Canberra, Feb 2021.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee (A&TSIPC) have incorporated new recommended A&TSI claims for Round 8. The suggested claims

seek to address the additional cultural load placed upon many A&TSI staff across the sector through a specific cultural load entitlement and/or incorporation of cultural duties into workplan/workload models and recognise Aboriginality as a genuine occupational qualification. The new recommended A&TSI claims are in addition to the mandatory claim for A&TSI employment in this round.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander employment 2020 In the 2020 University Staffing data there has been a strong increase in the number of A&TSI academic and general staff nationally and in some States and Territories. Nationally there was an additional 165 A&TSI staff (headcount) appointed to fixed term and ongoing roles, representing an 11.3% increase in the period 2019 to 2020. For FTE there was an additional 151 A&TSI positions created, representing an 11.5% increase in the same period.

National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Forum 2021 Due to COVID-19, National A&TSI Forum 2021 was again conducted entirely online with over forty Delegates registered to participate via the Zoom platform. Some Queensland Delegates were fortunate enough to meet in person at their Division offices. Forum was conducted over two days. Sessions incorporated introductions, reports, yarn session and time for motion development and debate. A total of four

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus

A&TSI motions were developed and endorsed by the majority of Delegates: • Employment background checks. • A&TSIPC Award (rule change). • Elder-in-residence membership (rule change). • A&TSIPC Award 2021 (recommendation). Forum was successful, although the preference for many Delegates is to meet inperson. Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 lockdowns, the A&TSI Team will continue to explore further online meeting opportunities to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members to engage and supplement inperson meetings and campus visits across the country.

Membership 2021 National A&TSI membership stands at 476 on 18 August 2021, a decrease of 7% from 2020. Akin to the overall NTEU membership, A&TSI membership experienced a decline over the past twelve months. The 7% growth experienced after the initial stages of pandemic lockdown were implemented in the first half of 2020 has been lost. While this is very disappointing, we hope to see some member growth in 2022.

Campaigns, Education & Communications The National A&TSI Organiser has developed an education module that works to build understanding and engagement for Branches and bargaining teams regarding the new recommended claims on cultural load/ workload models and Aboriginality as a genuine occupational qualification. The module has been delivered in several forms, such as in NSW where it was delivered to three Branches simultaneously (UTS, SCU and USyd). The module was delivered at the 2021 National A&TSI Forum, and in a condensed form for a few Branch member meetings, and has been incorporated into new staff induction and as a tool for Branch activists to hold local member meetings. It has been incredibly well received, and the National A&TSI Team encourages Branches and bargaining teams to contact the National A&TSI Organiser for further information.

has been used this year to promote NTEU elections and send information to members regarding National Forum and online member meetings. The NTEU A&TSI social media accounts have been inactive, as they are currently thought to be surplus to the main NTEU social media accounts and the flow of information whist in COVID restrictions. The specific social media accounts and their usage will continue to be assessed and will be revisited as part of the National media and communications strategy. Whist we are pleased to hear the Federal Government’s announcement regarding the Community Development Program (CDP) it is feared the program will simply be replaced by another equally ineffective and discriminatory program. Along with concerns regarding the CDP and its replacement program, the continued community pushes for treaties and the protection of cultural sites from exploration and mining remain as priorities in NTEU policy.

ACTU Indigenous Committee & Unions NSW First Nations Committee The A&TSIPC and the National A&TSI Team representatives have been attending scheduled meetings of the ACTU Indigenous Committee and Unions NSW First Nations Committee. NTEU is represented on the ACTU Indigenous Committee by the A&TSIPC Acting Chair and the National A&TSI Organiser. Our continued involvement in the ACTU Indigenous committee ensures issues such as the Community Development Program campaign and its goals are maintained, as well as our concerns about the Indigenous voice to government/parliament and the ACTU Voice, Treaty, Truth training program remain on the agenda. At the most recent ACTU collegiate election, Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer was elected as Proxy for the ACTU Indigenous Committee Chair to the ACTU executive. With respect to the Unions NSW First Nations Committee, NTEU is represented by the National A&TSI Director, and in recent months the Unions NSW Indigenous Committee have explored options to employ

an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer at Unions NSW, NAIDOC Week activities and planning for 2022.

A&TSIPC Award The NTEU A&TSIPC have established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee Award to recognise the efforts of NTEU members who have significantly impacted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business across NTEU, the Union movement and the Australian higher education sector. The A&TSIPC Award is open to all NTEU members who have been nominated for life membership or merit award, with the A&TSIPC making a final recommendation to National Council on who the recipients of the Award will be for that year. NTEU Branches and Divisions are encouraged to consider nominating members for the A&TSIPC award as part of a life membership or merit award nomination. Further detail on the process for nomination will be provided to all levels of the NTEU shortly.

NTEU Elections We are pleased to report that at the recent NTEU elections, 72% of the designated A&TSI positions were filled with several new representatives joining Branch Committees. This result is all the more pleasing due to the fact that many of these positions were taken up by younger members. Aside from the NSW & NT representative positions, all positions on the A&TSIPC were filled, and for the first time in well over a decade the majority of office bearers on the A&TSIPC are women. Finally, it must be acknowledged that whilst a few A&TSI members took up mainstream positions, the University of Sydney Branch committee not only filled the designate A&TSI position but also, an additional two A&TSI members were successfully elected to mainstream positions. Congratulations to University of Sydney Branch on an incredible effort. ◆ 1. Estimate base upon projected forward estimate from 2020-21 Federal Budget. This estimated increase (1.7%) was applied based on year-to-year allocation percentage increases from the 2021-22 Federal Budget and forward estimates.

Unfortunately, due to continued COVID-19 lockdowns, all in-person meetings and travel plans remain on hold until later in 2021. The A&TSI Team remains hopeful that some on-the-ground activities, including Division/ Branch member meetings and recruitment can be undertaken. Online meetings remain in place; however, they are not as effective as in-person gatherings. The National A&TSI Team is considering a proactive approach to on-the-ground activities whereby travel to Divisions/Branches will occur immediately once boarder restrictions are lifted in a particular State and/or Territory. The eYarn circular has been published sporadically on an as required basis and NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Caucus


Women’s Action Committee www.nteu.org.au/women

WAC 2020–21 National Elected Officers: Alison Barnes (Chair), Gabe Gooding A&TSIPC Rep: Anna Strzelecki UniSA

Division Representatives ACT Jo Washington-King UC Blair Williams ANU NSW Karen Lamb ACU NT Sylvia Klonaris CDU Qld Kati Ohmeyer CQU Anne Ferguson CQU SA

Cécile Dutreix UniSA Katie Barclay Adelaide

Tas Jenny Smith UTAS Natalia Nikolova UTAS Vic Virginia Mansel Lees LTU WA vacant

Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the WAC met online in March and July in 2021. Activities undertaken include preparing for Bluestocking Week, monitoring the impact of COVID on women and the promoting local and Division-based women’s organising networks. Given the uncertainty around sudden lockdowns, the 2021 NTEU Women’s Conference and Bluestocking Week have been delayed until November 2021.

2020 COVID SOTUS Summary of findings for women in higher education In October 2020 the NTEU surveyed higher education staff on the impact of COVID on their working lives, receiving a total of 17,700 usable responses, of which 63% of participants identified as female (higher than the proportion of women in the sector, at 58%). Women survey respondents reported a number of important concerns due to COVID-19, with workload increases, fears over job security and career impacts at the forefront. Workload impacts for women

Above SA members celebrating Bluestocking Week 2020; Brisbane Labour Day Rally 2021. Opposite: Secure Jobs selfie from Amanda Muller (Flinders), Sept 2021.; 2021 Unions Tasmania Women’s Conference


While both women and men respondents who were teaching only and teaching and research were by far the most likely to report workload increases, it was slightly higher for women, with 86.6% of women and 83% of men in this group affected.

The majority of professional staff were affected by increased workloads, comprising 55.3% of professional staff women and 51% of men. Research only staff reported workload increases at a rate of 40% of female and 42% of male, although this is most likely due to the delayed impact of COVID-19 on many research only staff. Key concerns While all respondents were overwhelmingly concerned about the welfare of their colleagues, women were generally more concerned about the impacts of COVID-19 on their working lives. Academic women staff were very concerned about the loss of work opportunities coming from increased workloads and other COVID-19 impacts. However, professional/ general and research only women respondents were more concerned about job security. Confidence in future of employment In 2020, around 46% of all staff were not confident in maintaining their employment over the next 12 months, compared to 42% of research staff. Of these: • Women were slightly less confident that they would be employed than men across most groups and measures. • Women in research were particularly pessimistic, with just over 60% saying they felt that it was unlikely they would be able to maintain their employment in the sector over the next three years (compared to around 51% of men).

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Women’s Action Committee

• While 19 % of all respondents said they were not planning to stay in the sector over the next three years, women were slightly less likely than men to be thinking about leaving. Unpaid Overtime – Professional Staff • Up to 41.5% of women and 40.4% of men respondents reported working extra hours with no compensation. Women respondents were also slightly more likely to work additional hours. • While men respondents more likely to receive paid overtime at overtime rates or time in lieu at overtime rates, women were more likely to receive flexitime at a rate of 1 to 1. Sessional/Casual Academic Staff More than half (55%) of casual academic respondents reported receiving fewer work hours in 2020 than in 2019. On average, casual academic staff reported a 17% reduction in hours contracted in the first half of the year and a 22% decrease in the second half of the year. Table 1: Women casual staff, working hours



















Paid hours lost Unpaid % Unpaid

Source: NTEU SOTUS 2020 – unpublished data Table 2: Men casual staff working hours

Hours Expected

















Paid hours lost Unpaid % unpaid

Source: NTEU SOTUS 2020 – unpublished data

The average sessional academic performed an additional 9.4 hours of unpaid work per week, implying that employment contracts only cover around 60% of the work performed. Of these: • Women reported performing more unpaid work hours per week, with a higher proportion of their total work hours unpaid – a staggering 40.5%.

Fig 1: Job losses by gender





• Men reported larger reductions in paid work hours versus their expectations, and lower work hours overall.

Source: Centre for Future Work from unpublished ABS data; first-half 2021 compared to year-earlier levels; public tertiary education.

The survey found that for both women and men, paid hours lost increased in the second half of 2020, a trend that may continue into 2021 and beyond.

proportion of total employment in the prepandemic period. Therefore, in both absolute and relative terms, women have borne a disproportionate share of total job losses.

Professional/General Casual Staff Noting that professional/general casual staffing is feminised: • Just over half (52%) of casual professional/ general respondents reported receiving fewer work hours in 2020 than in 2019. • Casual professional respondents who were still engaged in October 2020 reported having lost around 15% of their paid work hours in 2020. Importantly, the COVID SOTUS survey was undertaken prior to the bulk of redundancies that we have seen in 2021, which research has found to have affected more women. The Australia Institute report which looks at the impact on women in 2021.

Impact of COVID on women in 2021 – Australia Institute Report The NTEU also commissioned a report from the Australia Institute to track the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the workforce in 2021. Noting that the university workforce is feminised, in 5 years before the pandemic, women held 58% of all jobs in the sector. The report found that, of the 41,000 jobs lost from public tertiary education in the first half of 2021 (compared to year-earlier levels), some 25,000 were incurred by women employees. That represents 61% of job losses in the year – slightly higher than women’s

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Women’s Action Committee

The report notes that there is more to this, however, as during 2020, when the sector was still growing (relative to year-earlier levels) but impacted by COVID, job growth was weaker for women (10%) than for men (12%). This was due to the concentration of women in casual positions, which began to decline sooner in the pandemic than permanent roles. It also reflects the fact that women were more likely to combine paid work with family and caring responsibilities. Both the NTEU COVID SOTUS survey and the Australia Institute report confirm that women have not only experienced a larger share of the impacts of university job cuts, but in a number of ways have been affected in the workplace differently to their male counterparts. The WAC is concerned about the ongoing impact of COVID job losses on women in higher education and the potential for precarious employment to become even more biased towards women. The WAC is also concerned that, given tertiary education has better than average gender pay equity (primarily due to the gender equity provisions won by unions over the years) which helps to offset overall gender inequality in Australia’s labour market, the loss of employment in universities may have a broader impact on women’s economic situation: both because women make up most of the higher education workforce, and because those jobs are especially important to women’s overall economic well-being. ◆ 15

Industrial & Legal www.nteu.org.au/rights Director (Industrial & Legal): Wayne Cupido Senior Legal Officer: Kelly Thomas National Industrial Officer: Campbell Smith National Industrial Officer (Research and Projects): Ken McAlpine Industrial Support Officer: Renee Veal

For the National Industrial & Legal Team (NILT), 2021 has been another incredibly busy and varied year. Apart from the work outlined below the Team has been focused on preparatory work for Round 8 bargaining which is already well underway at several sites. The continued neglect of the sector by the Morrison Government will make Round 8 one of the toughest rounds of bargaining yet. Overview As well as addressing specific issues and priorities, a theme running through the Team’s work over the past year has been to suggest and implement improvements in the quality, consistency, and efficiency of the provision of industrial advice and support to members, and ways of improving the articulation of industrial priorities with the Union’s strategies of growth and power-building. This work is a continuing priority.


Above: UQ Log of Claims endorsement meeting, June 2021; Union Win graphic, Sept 2021.


In preparation for Round 8, the NILT with the support of senior industrial officers conducted a review of the previous round and key provisions in all of our current Agreements. Our major focus for the year has been the production of the Bargaining Kit and associated resources to support and guide the efforts of all of our negotiating teams.

Round 8 commenced earlier this year with active bargaining occurring at Charles Darwin University, Western Sydney University, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, Australian Catholic University and Central Queensland University. There has been a good level of member engagement at all of these sites and we expect the campaigns to intensify over the coming months. The University of Queensland and University of Western Australia sought our agreement for extensions to the Enterprise Agreements, essentially to delay bargaining for a year. These were wholly rejected by members with both universities forced back to the bargaining table by union members. A number of Branches have had logs of claims endorsed by the members, but, at the time of writing, have not yet started bargaining. These include University of Adelaide and University of Tasmania. The remaining Branches are focused on their organising plans and building support for our claims.

Key disputes/legal developments in the sector Intellectual freedom NTEU had a major win for intellectual freedom against University of Sydney in August 2021. In the Tim Anderson case, the Full Court of the Federal Court found that the clause was legally enforceable and the Code of Conduct was subordinate to the clause in the Enterprise Agreement. The case now goes

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Industrial & Legal

back to the primary judge for determining whether Anderson’s conduct was intellectual freedom. In addition, the Peter Ridd case was heard before the High Court, and judgment is yet to be handed down. Workload disputes The Team has been involved in advising and assisting in various workload disputes around the country. The University of Sunshine Coast dispute is awaiting judgment in the Fair Work Commission, which was a great example of NTEU sharing knowledge and skills with industrial officers from Victoria, South Australia as well as National Office assisting. Other Branches have explored or been working through workload disputes, as the issue remains central around the country. Casual legislative developments

Wage theft

Fixed-term staff

Wage theft enforcement is occurring ad hoc around the country. The media reported widely on the University of Melbourne casual underpayment claim, which had a ripple effect. The Fair Work Ombudsman is investigating various institutions in Victoria and New South Wales.

NTEU brought a test case in the unfair dismissal jurisdiction on behalf of a fixed-term employee who had been terminated. Fixed-term staff members are jurisdictionally barred from accessing the unfair dismissal regime, unless able to show the employment relationship continued beyond the employment contract. NTEU was unsuccessful in this case, and the Team remains keen to pursue this issue further.

NTEU is investigating and disputing wage theft, particularly for casuals, at various Branches including Flinders University, University of Queensland and RMIT University. NTEU also has an active case in the Federal Court against JMC Academy, a private provider who we allege has been sham contracting and underpaying award terms and conditions. Impact of COVID-19

In early 2021, the Government changed the Fair Work Act to include a definition of casual employee, as well as a right to conversion in certain circumstances. The conversion right is unlikely to have any application to our sector, so any strong conversion rights will again have to be won through bargaining.

COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the sector. Various institutions have introduced large scale redundancies and/or significant restructures (such as University of Newcastle, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, Deakin University, La Trobe University and University of Tasmania, to name a few).

The legislative change also prompted changes to our awards, to ensure that the awards are consistent with the Fair Work Act definition of casual employee. We successfully provided a submission to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to ensure that the HECE provisions of the awards remain unaffected by the definitional change. There remains some further technical amendments being suggested by the Go8, which we will work through in the FWC processes.

NTEU won a significant dispute against University of Newcastle, which unilaterally directed staff to be on annual leave over the Easter break in 2020. NTEU won at first instance, and despite the University technically succeeding on appeal, it was on a limited basis, and came with an admission by the University that it did not take into account individual circumstances when making the blanket direction. All staff had the annual leave recredited.

In addition, the High Court handed down its decision in Workpac v Rossato which completed decimated the Skene-type class action for casual workers. The CFMMEU has since discontinued its class action, which was brought on the back of Skene/Rossato decisions.

Other institutions also seem to have trouble calculating redundancy pay, particularly for those on reduced/increased fractions (for example, Deakin University which is currently before the FWC).

These changes are entirely unwelcome for casuals in the higher education sector.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Industrial & Legal

Governance issues University governance concerns continue to abide. The Team assisted the University of Wollongong Academic Board, as well as providing advice in relation to governance issues at RMIT and Swinburne. The Team congratulates the University of Newcastle and RMIT for the role in the removal of Chancellors incompatible with the sector. Privacy The Team has also been providing advice to various Branches regarding institutions’ attempts at diminishing our ability to communicate with potential members. This included successfully defending a complaint made to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Training The Team has been involved in delivering training, in conjunction with the Union Education team. This has mainly focused on bargaining. In particular, the Team ran an inaugural two-day session for Industrial Officers as part of the preparation for Round 8 bargaining. The Team has also been involved in assisting training to Branches and Divisions, again, mainly focused on bargaining. ◆

Above: ‘NTEU Bargaining & How We Organise Around It’ Friday Session, July 2021. Leafletting for local area meetings in ANU’s RSSS Building, March 2021.


Policy & Research www.nteu.org.au/policy

Key Issues

Director (Policy & Research): Paul Kniest (to March 2021), Dr Terri MacDonald (from March 2021)

The Policy and Research Unit (PRU) has continued to trace the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on universities and university staff. The Unit has also revealed how the Federal Government has targeted public higher education for further funding reductions, increased the debt burden for students, and continued the ideologically driven erosion of institutional independence and academic freedom.

Policy & Research Officers: Dr Terri MacDonald (to March 2021), Kieran McCarron

Without a clear roadmap by Government to recovery, the sector has seen the collapse of international student education, with tens of thousands of international students either deferring plans to study in Australia or choosing other countries with more open borders.

In contrast, the Unit’s work has enabled the Union to lobby for a sustainable and fair funding framework for the sector, supported by a new regulatory system that removes political interference. We have also commissioned a new report by the Australia Institute on the impact of COVID-19 and the Government’s policy setting on the sector, and an alternative vision for a sustainably funded, quality higher education system.

Impact of COVID-19 on higher education sector The impact of COVID-19 has continued to be felt across the higher education sector, with the financial shock of billions on dollars in lost revenue being felt by university staff and students. Above: Members from QUT with the Sessional Staff petition for management, Aug 2021; Secure Jobs selfie from Babu Iyer (RMIT), Sept 2021. Opposite: WA Division ‘Stay Safe NTEU’ graphic; Delegates from the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education present a petition to the University of Queensland VC calling for their outsourcing to be rejected.


The Australia Institute’s estimates using Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) payroll data reported around 35,000 university jobs lost, and the PRU has tracked some 510 programs lost and 2,139 courses cancelled nationally (up to August 2021), although this is highly conservative.

The fall in enrolments has had a devastating impact on the sector financially, with revenue from international students falling by 28% in just one year, declining to $26.7 billion for the year. On current trends the sector will be valued at just $20 billion by the end of 2021, exactly half what it was worth in 2019. With plummeting revenue, mass job losses and course and campus closures, the sector has called on the Government to assist what is Australia’s fourth largest export industry, providing skills development, innovation and research. Yet, the Government has chosen to instead punish universities even more.

Job-Ready Graduates changes, 2020 and 2021 Federal Budgets In 2020 the Federal Government introduced its Job-Ready Graduates (JRG) policy reform, which cut real public investment per Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) (which supports domestic students) by some 14%. At the same time, the Government’s JRG changes increased average student fees by about 8% and reduced the funding universities receive to educate each CSP student by about 5%. As a result, universities now need to enrol a significantly higher number of CSPs to maintain the value of their Commonwealth Grants Scheme (CGS) funding.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Policy & Research

While much attention was given last year to the unfair increases in HECs fees in humanities, arts and social sciences, the JRG changes overall resulted in students now contributing, on average, 51% of the total cost of the cost of their place, versus 25% in 1996. Other changes included the cost of teaching in some of the HECs ‘discounted’ courses, such as nursing, teaching and engineering, now outstripping the funding received from both the Government and student HECs payments. Overall, the JRG has put more financial pressure on universities, while at the same time, reduced government contributions, leaving students with even more debt through (on average) increase in tuition contributions. A final consequence of the JRG changes has been a reduction in research funding, with all CGS funding now to be spent on teaching only. As a result, some university managements are attempting to argue that this is recognition by the Government that the teaching-research nexus no longer exists.

Federal Budget The sector had optimistically hoped that, through this Budget, the Government would finally acknowledge the crisis in the sector and at least partly offer emergency assistance. The NTEU’s own Budget submission called for public funding of higher education to be increased to 1% of GDP (in line with the OECD average) and university research funding increased. We also put forward a proposal for regulatory reform which would see universities work to objectives that include workforce planning and resourcing guarantees. Federally, the reforms would also create an independent body to determine university funding, which would operate at arms-length from Government and thus depoliticise higher education funding. However, the Government’s 2021-22 Budget was motivated by political opportunism and failed to present a vision for the sector. Instead, universities will see a decline of 8.3% in real terms between this financial year

and next year, and a decrease of 9.3% in real terms from 2021-22 to 2024-25. Vocational Education will also take a hit, with total funding to drop 10.8% next year and another 24.2% between 2021-22 and 2024-25 (in real terms). The Budget’s forward estimates show how deep the cuts from the JRG changes, with CGS funding falling from $7.338 billion this year to $7.309 billion next year, before plummeting in 2022-23 and 2023-24 to $7.12 billion and $7.14 billion respectively. It starts to recover in 2024-25 with the Government allocating just under $7.3 billion in CGS funding –almost 4% less than what it is for the current financial year. Worst of all, the reductions in higher education funding will coincide with the current increase in university entry age population, with around 14% more Australian-born people expected by 2024-25. In a sector with already reduced funding per student, this will see universities teaching even more students for less.

Government’s agenda for structural reform for the system In addition to the impacts of COVID and the Government’s reduction in public funding of public universities and TAFEs, the PRU has also been closely monitoring the Government’s regulatory. Importantly, this included changes to the categorisation of higher education providers (HEPs), the notable of which being the introduction of the ‘University College’ as a permanent provider category.

system of higher education similar to that in the USA. In theory, should the Government decide at some point that not all public universities need to be comprehensive research and teaching institutions, and that some universities could be encouraged to look into becoming ‘teaching focused’, this could provide a mechanism for that to occur. It could also open the door to differentiation in student tuition fees (bringing in deregulation, in part or total). Given that the Government knows that the current levels of public funding for teaching and, in particular, research are unsustainable, this could be an attractive future policy option.

Changing demographic of university staffing The PRU’s monitoring of trends in staffing data found there is a definite swing towards specialisation, with a marked decrease in the proportion of permanent teaching and research staffing, while simultaneously general/professional staff numbers are increasing. Teaching only, while still at lower numbers as FTE, is also on the increase, with casual staff still the overwhelming proportion of these staff. That said, there are early indications of more permanent staff taking on teaching only roles, albeit at low numbers – either way, the trend of increasing specialisation in academic areas is clearly evident. This data has implications for the Union’s recruitment and campaign strategies.

Under this category, HEPs provide ‘university quality’ teaching, but are exempt from undertaking research. While this is an obvious opportunity for private providers to finally gain access to using the title that includes the word ‘university’ it also opens the door more fully to private, for-profit HEPs gaining further access to the diminishing public funding pool.

Federal Government’s focus on Foreign Interference, Academic Freedom (and Free Speech)

While this obviously concerning, the more fundamental issue is that this one change effectively sets us on a path for a tiered

While noting that there has not been any evidence made public of foreign interference

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Policy & Research

While reducing public funding to universities, the Federal Government has become increasingly interventionist in areas such as foreign arrangements by universities (particularly in relation to research), academic freedom and free speech on campuses.

continued overpage... 19

through university agreements or any stifling of free speech, the Government has nonetheless pursued legislative and policy changes that have been intended to either place greater scrutiny over universities’ activities and connections, and/or to further bind public universities to Government foreign policy.

than research excellence. Unfortunately, aside from the once off ‘sugar hit’ of $1 billion in research funding in 2020, there has been no increased research funding for the sector, indeed, with the changes to CGS funding, there is now less funding for research activities than previously.

The Commonwealth Government could prevent these job loses by providing $3.75 billion in additional funding to universities per year, until normal teaching and international education can resume.

In relation to academic freedom, the Government has introduced legislative amendments which it claimed would strengthen academic freedom. While these were based on recommendations by the French Review into academic freedom and free speech (and didn’t find evidence of direct threats) the legislation failed to substantially improve academic freedom. As such, it remains that the only way to protect academic freedom is through industrial agreements, negotiated by the NTEU.

NTEU’s vision for a sustainable, quality higher education sector

Ironically, the Government’s continued attacks on institutional independence through the guise of national security concerns effectively undermine academic freedom. Academic staff are more likely to self-censor their research, reject collaborations or even refuse applications for supervision of international students on the basis of concerns over how Government may perceive these links. Reinforcing these fears is ARC policy, where researchers are now being asked to provide statements of their political interests and affiliations in grant applications.

• Review the current policy settings of the Federal Government, with particular regard to the Job-Ready Graduates package and the 2021-22 Federal Budget settings.

The Minister now has the power to veto international agreements, with no appeal available, even if those agreements had previously been approved by the Minister. While ostensibly these arrangements apply to any foreign country agreement, the Government has placed particular emphasis on arrangements with the Chinese Government.

Research Commercialisation The Federal Government’s focus on research is primarily on commercialisation, which funding increasingly tied to incentives and performance measurements around commercial arrangements and patents, rather 20

Job losses are getting worse, not better, and mostly affect permanent and full-time positions (unlike the initial lockdowns, when casual workers suffered the largest job losses). The pandemic is thus reinforcing the perverse trend of casualisation in universities.

The NTEU has commissioned the Australia Institute to produce a landmark research report on Australia’s public universities, which will: • Document the current situation in public universities, noting that higher education has been particularly impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 containment measures.

• Project the likely outcomes for the sector for the next 5-10 years, as a result of both the effects on the sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Federal Government’s policy settings. • Present an alternative narrative on what the sector could look like over the next 5-10+ years, with a focus on regulatory, funding and industrial reform.

The research report will provide the basis of the Union’s 2022 Federal Election strategy and be integral to our lobbying and campaign work for the next several years.

Submissions and briefing papers The PRU’s list of submissions and briefing papers are available on the NTEU’s website. The PRU wrote submissions and appeared as witnesses before parliamentary inquiries into a broad variety of legislation and general issues, including the Job-Ready Graduates legislation, job insecurity, sexual discrimination, foreign interference, international education, commercialisation of research, academic freedom, student visa rules, and higher education regulation. Inquiries may be directed to policy@nteu.org. au. ◆

As part of this major research project which is being overseen and supported by the PRU, the Australia Institute has produced analysis of the impact of COVID job losses for the sector. This analysis (which underpinned the NTEU’s National Week of Action campaign messaging) found that by comparing staff numbers in 2020 and 2021, tertiary education had lost 40,000 jobs (almost one job in five). Most of those jobs (about 35,000) were lost from public universities. Universities suffered more job loss over the last 12 months than any other non-agriculture sector in the economy and women experienced disproportionate job cuts – more than their share of total employment.

Above: Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters speaks to the crowd at the Rally to save jobs and quality education at Griffith University, Nov 2020; ‘Where’s the Vaccine for Secure Work’ event, March 2021.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Policy & Research

UniSA Enterprise Bargaining


for workplace protection The UniSA Staff Agreement expired in June. Your Union is now bargaining to renegotiate it. Now is the best time to join the NTEU and have a say in YOUR Staff Agreement.

The best protection is Union protection!




Organising, Campaigns & Communications Director (Campaigning & Organising): Dom Rowe National Organiser (Member Engagement): Michael Evans National Organiser (Digital): Jake Wishart National Organiser (Publications): Paul Clifton Education & Training Organiser: Helena Spyrou Member Experience Project Coordinator N Clark Admin Officer (Membership & Campaigns): Julie Ann Veal

Unions need to do three things to be successful: we need to grow, increase participation, and achieve impact. While the COVID-19 spectre continues to hang over the tertiary education sector, the way we work has had to change as we cope with restrictions. COVID has also seen a drastic drop in international students, which combined with funding freezes and cuts from the Federal Government, is placing the industry under strain. Nowhere is this impact felt more than by tertiary education sector staff on the ground through job insecurity and increasing workloads. Despite these challenges, the Union has been able to achieve impact and deepen activism across the Union.

Growth Based on WGEA data, our density is approximately 12.7% in public universities and much lower in other providers. This needs to change if we are to have the power to win big on issues affecting members. Due to lockdowns, there have been times when traditional sign-ups (meeting with a person face-to-face and asking them to join) are not possible. As you can see elsewhere in this report, the number of new members has not surpassed those leaving the Union. In the next year we will be focused on growing the Union and therefore its collective power.

Above: COVID-19 bargaining/recruitment posters; Secure Jobs selfie from Kath Burton (UTS), Sept 2021.

We are starting to experiment with signing up staff in group meetings often supported by Delegates. Inductions are one place where

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Organising, Campaigns & Communications

this can happen. We have also been finding information sessions about the basics is a good place to sign up new members. We are developing our ability to identify people online that are sympathetic with the Union’s mission. For some petitions, thousands of potential members give their contact details, which enables us to follow them up and ask them to join. Our new database systems will make these leads easier to follow up systematically. After some experimentation using paid advertising to encourage participation, we will be experimenting more with paid digital advertising to help recruit new members in the coming year. We have been using peer-to-peer texting to make sure we are speaking to the right people. Peer-to-peer texting is an organising conversation via text between a Delegate or Organiser and a worker. It has a higher engagement rate than phone calls or emails. The purpose of the text conversation is to either set up a meeting for a sign-up conversation or to take further action. Early experiments in this regard are promising.

Campaigns & Participation In the last six months, the Union has focused on the enterprise bargaining campaign ‘Better Workplaces, Better Universities’ at 37 public universities. This time the bargaining campaign has an explicit organising strategy. This will help realise the Union’s vision of becoming an organising union. In simplified form the strategy is: be prepared with a plan continued overpage... 21

at each Branch with SMART objectives; be ready for growth during activity peaks; build growth and activism into all our activities and finally operate at scale through the identification and development of more Delegates. The bargaining campaign has been particularly successful at building activism. In the six months to September members have participated in over 7,500 collective activity moments. Importantly, we have identified 172 new Delegates bringing our total number of Delegates to 906. In two institutions we have already seen management trying to test the Union’s ability to represent the workforce. In both cases we showed the strength of our communications. At Western Sydney University College workers defeated a non-union ballot by a vote of 79%. At the University of Queensland management tried to end negotiations offering only a 2% pay rise. Our members got active and brought management back to the negotiating table. These examples show how we can easily reach potential members when we choose to and that many are inclined to the Union’s position. National Week of Action In September 2021 ee held a National Week of Action on secure jobs and safe workloads – the two most widely felt issues in bargaining, irrespective of the university. The week lead to our highest growth in 2021 and sent a clear message to Vice-Chancellors they are responsible and must deliver secure jobs and safe workloads at the bargaining table. We launched the week with a report from the Centre for Future Work, reaching 4.5 million Australians through the media. Over 10,000 people participated in local events from trivia nights to COVID-safe rallies and meetings, sausage sizzles, meme competitions, health and safety seminars and much more. We finished the week with a mass online action of almost 500 people. Karen Douglas (RMIT Branch Secretary & Casual Academic), Mick Piotto (UniSA Bargaining 22

Team & Casual Professional Staff ) and Sally McManus (ACTU Secretary) all spoke about job security.

That means we will continue our call for:

Participants tweeted selfies to #SecureJobs and their universities at the conclusion of the event.

• Commit that by no later than 2030 all invested funds and superannuation products will be fossil fuel free.

Impact Paid vaccination leave The most recent developments of the pandemic presented to us an opportunity to pressure university managements to grant full vaccination leave for all staff. We wrote to universities requesting leave for vaccinations, including for casuals. So far 17 universities have improved their leave arrangements to varying degrees. Insecure work While we continue to mount local campaigns to end wage theft, we also held two insecure work forums. The first was attended by Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi and ALP Senator Tony Sheldon with 200 people attending. The second had Sally McManus as a keynote speaker and was part of the National Week of Action. At a Divisional level we continue to campaign around conversions and wage theft with some good success. Climate Justice We launched a campaign to pressure UniSuper to divest our superannuation from industries fuelling the climate crisis. More than 4,100 union members sent messages to the UniSuper board via our campaign website to demand that their superannuation is not invested in coal, oil and gas. Our campaign has had impact, with UniSuper feeling the pressure and announcing that its overall fossil fuel investment exposure has halved from 5% to 2.5% this year. We know that the smart money is moving away from the old, destructive industries of the past and our ongoing campaign will continue to ensure that UniSuper makes the smart and sustainable investment choices that members demand.

• No new investments in entities with significant direct exposure to fossil fuels.

• Commit to designating a sustainable investment option to be the default Accumulation superannuation option. • Establish by end 2021 a subcommittee (including stakeholder representation) to advise the Board of UniSuper on ethical, social and governance matters generally including a specific remit on the sustainability of UniSuper investments. • Actively support and advocate for all shareholder resolutions that are consistent with these objectives in the companies where UniSuper is a shareholder. • Report to UniSuper members and stakeholders every six months on progress achieved in reducing reliance on fossil fuel and carbon intensive investments. Beyond divestment, we encouraged members to attend the SchoolStrike4Climate rallies earlier this year. Our joint statement, with other education unions, encouraging people to attend was published in The Age and SMH. In May, NTEU members joined the SchoolStrike4Climate movement to talk about what we, as union members, can do to tackle climate change. Professor Lauren Rickards (Co-leader, Climate Change and Resilience Research Program, RMIT) and Associate Professor Tamson Pietsch (Director, Australian Centre for Public History, UTS) spoke with Sophie Chiew and Varisha Ariadna, high school students organisers of the school strike on Friday 21 May. Wins/Impact register We now keep a register of Union wins from across the country. Our wins are now a regular agenda items at most organising meetings. This will help us better publicise the Union’s impact through publications and conversations.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Organising, Campaigns & Communications


Organising Community of Practice


To improve organising coordination and learning we established the Senior State Organisers Group. This group meets weekly and discusses organising data and the lessons to be learned, experimentation, shifts to organising strategy and tactics.

The ongoing crisis in higher education and the sector’s abandonment by the Federal Government has been prominent in the media over the last 12 months. The Federal Government also significantly changed the university funding regime through its Jobs-Ready Graduates legislation. This has resulted in $1 billion less revenue for the sector overall and contributed to the ‘second wave’ of job cuts that we have seen during 2021. Because of COVID-19 and changes to funding arrangements, higher education has been a strong focus of the mainstream and specialist media as the crisis has unfolded. NTEU has continued to feature extensively in local and national media as the legitimate voice of staff. The issues we have highlighted in the media include: • Job security, particularly in relation to the experiences of casual and fixed-term staff. • Public funding, funding mechanisms, and the necessity for greater levels of public funding to sustain the higher education system. • Job cuts and course cuts/changes. • Restructuring and staffing more generally • Wage theft, an issue that appears more and more to be widespread and systemic. • Academic freedom. • Governance issues.

Shape Agency Project The Union has engaged consultants, the Shape Agency, to help improve our communications performance. Their brief includes market research with members and non-members, the development of messaging and narratives for our externally facing work and a communications review. Their preliminary reports are already beginning to shape our communications practices.

Organisers are also given the chance to come together once a month to hear about Branch case studies, do problem solving and ask questions of each other and the National Office.

Publications Advocate Advocate (editor Alison Barnes) was published in November 2021 (vol. 27, no. 3), March 2021 (vol. 28, no. 1) and July 2021 (vol. 28, no. 2). Advocate is sent to all members. All issues were sent to members’ home addresses due to the lockdown. Average print run for the last year was 23,600, plus 6,600 e-delivery. The last three digital editions averaged 615 PDF downloads, 2,155 email unique opens and 312 issuu e-mag impressions. Sentry Sentry (editor Alison Barnes), the Union’s digital monthly magazine created in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was continued in 2021. Published monthly, between issues of Advocate, it contains updates on NTEU campaigns and policy work, plus stories and advice from members relating to current events. Sentry is sent to all members, with 7 editions since Oct 2020. It continues to be well received, averaging 650 PDF downloads, 7,200 email unique opens and 600 issuu e-mag impressions.

AUR is sent to all members who opt-in to subscribe. Average print run for the last year was 2,400, plus 13,800 e-delivery. AUR digital editions averaged 740 PDF downloads. The two editions this year averaged 4,200 email unique opens and 1,800 issuu e-mag impressions. I In September 2021, the AUR website was redesigned and relaunched. It can be viewed at aur.nteu.org.au. Connect Connect (editor Alison Barnes) was published in March 2021 (vol. 14, no. 1) and September 2021 (vol. 14, no. 2). Connect is sent to all casual members. Average print run for the last year was 3,400, plus 2,000 e-delivery. The 2021 digital editions averaged 201 PDF downloads, 475 email unique opens and 87 issuu e-mag impressions – all stats are significantly down from last year. Agenda Agenda (editor Alison Barnes, produced in conjunction with WAC), will be published in late September 2021. NTEU Tax Guide 2021 Produced in conjunction with Teacher Tax, the NTEU Tax Guide was published in July (A4, 10pp, digital only). The 2020 edition has totalled 565 PDF downloads (a significant decrease of 2020’s outlier of over 8,000 PDF downloads). Smart Casuals Branch customised editions of Smart Casuals (6th edition) were produced for ANU and UC.

AUR Australian Universities’ Review (AUR), edited by Ian Dobson and overseen by the AUR Editorial Board was published in May 2021 (vol. 63, no. 1, Special Issue: Academic freedom’s precarious future) and September 2020 (vol. 63, no. 2).

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Organising, Campaigns & Communications

Opposite: UniSuper Divest campaign website, Mar 2021; Advocate vol. 28, no. 2. Above Sentry, vol. 2, no. 6; Pat McConville, Tasmanian Division Secretary, accompanied with a contingent of Workplace Delegates, speaking to Seven News during the National Week of Action, Sept 2021.


Union Education www.nteu.org.au/myunion/education_ training Education & Training Organiser: Helena Spyrou

Union Education provides education and training to NTEU officers, members and staff which supports the Union’s objectives. It is delivered by National Union Education Officer Helena Spyrou along with National, Division and Branch staff and officers.

Union Education provides expert content design, coordination, and delivery to NTEU conferences and workshops. The Skills Sessions, the Friday Sessions and the NTEU Wiki, are examples ways of sharing knowledge.

Organiser development through Train The Trainer & Organising For Bargaining Workshops Consistent with the shift in focus for Union Education, as outlined in last year’s Annual Report, Union Education has been running these workshops for Organisers to equip them to run education and training programs for delegates and members that will develop their skills and knowledge.

Education Program NTEU members and staff engage with complex issues, and Union Education works with them, as active learners, to build on existing knowledge and to reflect upon their practice to develop new knowledge and practices. Most work is focused on the work of a union, understanding the higher education sector and the political context to critically analyse issues around employment practices, policy, governance and funding. Programs encourage questioning and action for change and focus on the principles of participatory democracy. Programs are 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 develops resources to implement the program, including ‘train the trainer’ education and ensures knowledge and good practice that already exists within the Union is recorded, accessible and shared.

Most workshops have been online, due to COVID-19 lockdowns, so Organisers are also learning to run online interactive workshops encouraging participants to engage in discussion, undertake an activity during the session and a follow up activity after the session. The Organisers ensure that future delegate workshops and activities can include both face-to-face and online interaction.

Skills Sessions The skills sessions are small group interactive fortnightly workshops on Tuesday afternoons via Zoom. They are for Organisers and other staff, Branch Committee members, Campaign Committees and Delegates. Each workshop includes activities, practice and discussion.

Above: Delegate training, UC; ‘What is a Good University’ Friday Session, June 2021.


NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Union Education

Friday Sessions – interactive online education sessions

Featuring delegates and members in NTEU publications

The Friday Sessions program, held monthly, continued throughout this period and have focused members, officers and staff running briefings and workshops mainly focusing on growing crisis in our universities with mass job losses, increased job insecurity and increased workloads.

Union Education continues to work closely with NTEU publications to feature member and Delegate profiles and activist involvement, as well as feature articles from member experts in each edition of Advocate, Agenda, Connect and Sentry.

Training in Enterprise Bargaining and Negotiation Union education supports the National Industrial Unit to run training sessions for members of bargaining teams

Financial governance training Union Education continues to provide the mandated financial governance training to new officers.

NTEU Scholarship Program Union Education administers two NTEU scholarships: Joan Hardy Scholarship for post-graduate nursing research ($5000) and Carolyn Allport Scholarship for post-graduate feminist research ($15,000 over three years). Normally a decision is made within two weeks of the closing date. For the 2021 round of applications, we received 8 for the Joan Hardy Scholarship and 65 for the Carolyn Allport Scholarship. The scholarships were awarded in September 2021. ◆

Induction arrangements for new staff Union Education keeps updated an online Induction Kit and runs a two-day national induction course (or online equivalent) for new staff to learn about their role, the Union and the sector.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Union Education

Above: Secure Jobs Now Friday Session, Sept 2021; ANU Organising for Power, June 2021. Below: ACT Delegate, Monica; ECU member promoting the ‘Where’s the Vaccine For Insecure Work’ Friday Session, Mar 2021; Leafletting for local area meetings in ANU’s RSSS Building, March 2021.


OurUni OurUnion Recruitment & Retention National Organiser (Member Engagement): Michael Evans National Membership Officer: Melinda Valsorda

Following the ‘high’ of 2019-20 where NTEU membership peaked at 31,002 in June 2020, the estimated 35,000 job losses across Australian universities is reflected in our membership, reduced to 27,931 as at June 2021. As we move into a new bargaining round, it’s clear from events over recent years that the Union continues to receive support from university staff that is clearly much higher than its membership numbers. Our challenge continues to be how we translate this support into higher and stronger levels of membership and activism. The new membership database, scheduled to be online in early 2022, will provide a range of enhanced tools and processes to assist with both member retention and better growth strategies.

As part of this we have implemented a series of ‘member experience’ projects, to improve our members’ experience of the Union: • Member retention and win back journeysdeveloping systems and process to ensure targeted communications. • Member welcome journey across email and phone/text channels so they better understand current campaigns and how the Union operates. • Member advice and support exploring how to streamline our servicing work while setting clear expectations. • Stories and content to increase the diversity and accessibility of the content we create. • Member Portal identifying and developing website content for different segments of the membership. ◆

NTEU total membership numbers at 30 June, 2010–2020 32,000











26,111 26,675


24,279 24,000


22,000 2010












Above: UniSA ‘Our Uni Our Union’ campaign, 2021.


NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Recruitment & Retention

Budget & Finance Finance Manager: Glenn Osmand (on extended leave), Justin Hester (Acting) Senior Finance Officer: Gracia Ho Finance Officers: Alex Ghvaladze, Tamara Labadze, Jay Premkumar, Daphne Zhang

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.

• Expenditure under budget by about $1,056,000. The key features of the 2021/22 Budget are as follows: • A budgeted deficit of $771,000. • Membership income expected to decrease by $1,143,000 or about 4.8%, which reflects some of the difficulties faced in the education sector as a result of COVID-19: • A decrease in total membership numbers.

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 2020/21 financial year are set out in the table below, and include: Defence Fund Allocation 7% Discretionary 4% Operating 10% Branch & Division Salaries 56%

National Office Salaries 23%

• An operating surplus of $1,737,000 (against a budget surplus of $335,000). • Membership income was higher than expected by $271,000, and

• An increased proportion of casual members. • Total salaries (including on costs) to increase by about $400,000. • Operating and discretionary spending to increase with the expectation that some travel, meetings and conferences will return in the second half of 2022FY. NTEU will publish Audited Financial Statements later in calendar year 2021 in line with regulations within the Registered Organisations Act and International Accounting Standards. ◆

Summary of 2020-21 Income and Expenditure – Actual vs Budget Budget 2021-22 INCOME Membership Fees Other Income

2020-21 Actual Union Expenditure

Actual 2020-2021




















EXPENSES National Office

Defence Fund Allocation 6% Discretionary 6% Operating 11% Branch & Division Salaries 55%

National Office Salaries 22%

2021-22 Budgeted Union Expenditure NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Budget & Finance

Salaries, On-costs & Leave Operating Discretionary



















Defence Fund – 6%








Branches & Divisions Salaries, On-costs & Leave Operating Discretionary


ACT Division www.nteu.org.au/act Division Officers ACT Division Secretary: Dr Cathy Day (to Aug 2021), Dr Lachlan Clohesy (from Aug 2021) Assistant Secretary: Lina Koleilat (from Aug 2021) Division President: Katie Ley Division Vice-President (Academic): Dr Belinda Townsend (to Sept 2021), Dr Rebecca Pearse (from Sept 2021)

The ACT Division represents over 1,000 members at four ACT public universities: Australian National University (ANU) including ANU College; University of Canberra (UC), including UC College (UCC); Australian Catholic University (ACU); and UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Division Vice-President (General): Dr Cathy Day (from Sept 2021)

Recruitment & Membership Training & Development

Division Staff

The NTEU ACT Division has continued to deal with the fallout from COVID-19. In last year’s report, we anticipated future job losses in the ACT. These predictions unfortunately manifested themselves in the form of the ANU Recovery Plan, which flagged the disestablishment of 467 positions at the ANU. As ANU members represent approximately 70% of the ACT Division, this plan had a significant impact on ACT Division membership. Despite this, membership has remained stable at the UC Branch, as well as the UNSW Canberra and ACU Sub-Branches.

Division Industrial Officer: David Vincent-Pietsch Division Organisers: Dr Lachlan Clohesy (to Aug 2021), Dr Simon Dougherty, Monique Blasiak (from Dec 2020), Tamara Ryan (Feb to Sept 2021)

We have been working to expand our campaign and organising infrastructure to ensure we are in the strongest position possible for Round 8 bargaining for the ANU and UC. The emphasis in these efforts has been on building Delegate structures. As at September 2021 we have endorsed 42 Delegates at the ANU and UC Branches (up from 22 last year).

We will continue to expand our Delegate networks at these Branches, and are in the early stages of establishing Delegate networks at UNSW Canberra and ACU. We have held two full-day Delegate training sessions, as well as ongoing lunchtime training sessions for Delegates and Branch Committee members.

Enterprise Bargaining & Industrial Enforcement ‘Resist job cuts at ANU In response to COVID-19, the ANU announced 467 job losses. In response, the NTEU called on all ANU staff, students, alumni and the broader ANU community to stand together to ‘resist job cuts at ANU’. NTEU has written submissions in relation to 12 Managing Change Proposals at ANU, and held significant rallies in Kambri and outside ANU Chancelry. We had success in allowing those whose contracts at the ANU had finished to be considered ‘internal’ for ANU job applications, mainly affecting former casual and fixed-term staff who had lost work. We were also able to save jobs through consultation on Managing Change process, and through pursuing redeployment. Bargaining We have been preparing for Enterprise Bargaining at the ANU and UC. The ANU Enterprise Agreement expired in June 2021, but due to a delayed pay rise in mid-2022 we anticipate bargaining early next year. UC’s Enterprise Agreement expires in March 2022.

Above Resisting cuts at ANU, Nov 2020



UC & UCC Workload Tracking Campaign The UC Branch Committee created a comprehensive Bargaining Strategy, which included creating a lead-in campaign that would focus on data collection regarding one of the primary member concerns, which is workloads. The campaign aims to collect data about actual hours worked per week to be used as evidence to negotiate better conditions and fair workloads at UC, and address any work, health and safety implications. The campaign began its first week of campaign tracking in September which collected thousands of hours’ worth of data about workloads. The campaign is ongoing. Background Checking at ANU & UC There has been considerable concern and pushback from staff about background checking (including the requirement of a Working With Vulnerable People Card) at ANU and UC. NTEU has been communicating staff concerns to management, including writing a letter to ANU Management in June and writing a submission to UC’s consultation on the Employee Background Checking Policy in August. ANU Libraries Library Delegates across ANU’s five libraries have been active in HSR elections, campaigning for NTEU nominees. Delegates ran a WHS survey in February 2021 which had over 70% of all-staff participation, and shows high levels of over-work and stress. The results are being used in a successful organising campaign. UC Increments Payrise and Backpay The NTEU pursued incremental progression at UC following reports that UC policy was inconsistent with the UC Enterprise Agreement. Ultimately, we were able to win incremental progression and back pay (where applicable) for members. NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ ACT Division

Campaigning and Public Advocacy The greatest success in campaigning terms has not been any single campaign, but the establishment of campaign infrastructure across the ACT. This is to ensure we are in the strongest possible position for bargaining at the ANU and UC, as well as to be in a position to help rebuild ACT Universities in a post-COVID environment. We have also been pleased to be supporting affiliate campaigns. Campaign Infrastructure – Establishing and expanding Delegate Networks We have been recruiting and training more Delegates across ACT Universities in preparation for enterprise bargaining. A formal Delegate Network was established at UC in January 2021. The UC Branch now has 16 Delegates. UC Delegates have undergone a full day of Delegate Training. Training was based on, and closely aligns with, that delivered by the NSW Division. We are currently establishing Delegate Networks at ACU and UNSW. At ACU we have identified five Delegates, and we are working with the ACU Industrial Organiser to induct and train these new Delegates. Preliminary work is also underway to establish a Delegate Network at UNSW Canberra. The ANU Delegate network which has been established previously continues to expand. There are currently 26 Delegates. Omnibus Action at Parliament House The NTEU ACT Division supported the ACTU and affiliates in fighting against the IR Omnibus Bill. We encouraged all members to share information on social media, and to call and write to crossbenchers.

stand together to ‘resist job cuts at ANU’. Our first rally was held on 22 September in Kambri, before marching to ANU Chancelry. The NTEU held a further rally at ANU Chancelry on 11 Nov 2020, including a stunt of presenting a massive (1.5m x 1m) Managing Change Proposal which claimed to disestablish all positions in Chancelry and Senior Management, a measure the NTEU estimated would save $9.79 million. May Day 2021 Rally The ANU Branch Committee and Delegates organised a rally and Speak Out for May Day (International Workers Day). Speakers were organised and the rally was well attended. The event was followed by a social catch up for members and non-members. UNSW Canberra Picnic The ACT Division held a social catch up and membership drive on campus in May 2021. The UNSW Canberra Branch Committee assisted in setting up the event, putting up posters around campus, calling members and inviting their colleagues to attend. The event was very well attended and we signed up new members from it. ◆

Above: Secure Jobs selfie from James Watson (UC), Sept 2021; Members demonstrating at ANU, Nov 2020. Below: ACT Division Delegate Alex.

Staff members also attended a press conference with the ACTU’s Sally McManus and Michele O’Neil outside Parliament House, the week the Bill went to the Senate.

Events ANU Rally to ‘Resist job cuts at ANU’ After the ANU announced 467 job losses, the NTEU called on all ANU staff, students, alumni and the broader ANU community to 29

NSW Division www.nteu.org.au/nsw Division Officers NSW Division Secretary: Michael Thomson (to April 2021), Damien Cahill (from April 2021) Division Assistant Secretary: Vince Caughley (from May 2021) Division President: Nikola Balnave Division Vice-President (Academic): Helen Masterman-Smith (from Sept 2021) Division Vice-President (Professional & General): Emma Joel (from Sept 2021)

Division Staff: Industrial Coordinator: Joshua Gava Senior Industrial Officer: Jeane Wells Senior State Organiser: Kiraz Janicke Industrial Officers: Bradley Beasley (to Jan 2021), Kobie Howe, Simon Kempton, Samantha Ramsay, Ida Nursoo (from Jan 2021), Guy Noble (from Jan 2021) Communications & Campaigns Organiser: Richard Bailey Division Organisers: Josh Andrews, Kaylene Ayers, Sharon Bailey, Phil Brennan (from June 2021), Martin Cubby, Stevie Howson, Rhianna Keen, Amity Lynch, David Mallard, Sean Mountford, Sean O’Brien, Kevin Poynter (to July 2021), Lisa Roberts, Sheryl Vine, Jenny Whittard Executive Officers: Kerrie Barathy, Sharon Muddle

Above NTEU members at the 2021 Sydney Mardi Gras; Secure Jobs selfie from Patrick Burr (UNSW), Sept 2021.


The NSW Division represents almost 7,800 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. Effect of COVID-19 Most of the focus across the NSW Division in 2021 has been on preparing for enterprise bargaining and fighting to save the jobs of NTEU members who were targeted for redundancy. As in most industries, and indeed in society more generally, the ongoing COVID pandemic was the central contextual factor shaping the activities of the NSW Division in 2021. The downturn in international student revenue, combined with Federal Government cuts to university revenue over the forward estimates and the deliberate exclusion of public universities from JobKeeper have created a very difficult environment for universities, with private higher education providers in an even more parlous position.

The reported revenue downturn was 5.8% on average across NSW universities, but this was felt unevenly. Having failed to stand up to the Federal Government’s austerity agenda, university management have used the COVID crisis as an opportunity to push through radical restructuring of the sector. Branch representatives, Industrial Officers and Organisers have fought hard, under very difficult circumstances, to save the jobs of NTEU members. It has been a brutal and short-sighted process. For those who lost their jobs it has been devastating, while the workloads of those who remain in the sector have often increased as they have been forced to shoulder additional duties. Overall, the capacity of the sector as a whole and its capacity to fulfil its social purpose of teaching and research in the public interest has been diminished. Mass redundancies have inevitably affected the Union’s membership. At the time of writing NTEU membership in NSW is just under 7800, a net loss of over 1000 members since our peak in late 2020. While the Division has recruited 826 members in 2021, this has not offset the losses, mostly due to members being made redundant, or not being issued with new fixed-term or casual contracts.

Bargaining As university Enterprise Agreements begin to expire, NTEU members have been preparing for enterprise bargaining as an opportunity to address rampant job insecurity and everincreasing workloads. There has been strong NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ NSW Division

engagement with NTEU surveys of members and non-members to identify the deeply and widely felt issues in the sector and large turnouts at meetings of members to discuss and endorse the Union log of claims at each Branch. Unsurprisingly the issues of job security, workload regulation and ongoing flexibility in relation to working from home have emerged as priority issues, alongside paid sick leave entitlements for all staff and payment for all work performed. Several matters of collective importance that the Union was pursuing through the Federal Court have been determined favourably for the NTEU and its members.

Union wins The Union had a major victory when the Full Bench of the Federal Court determined that the intellectual freedom provisions of the University of Sydney Enterprise Agreement conferred workers with enforceable rights that were not subordinate to the University’s Code of Conduct. This is a significant funding as we move into enterprise bargaining and at a time when management within the sector seem to be increasingly sensitive to public criticism. The NTEU also settled an 18-month dispute of over the University of Newcastle management’s direction that all staff take 5 days annual leave without consultation. The Branch dispute resulted in staff being recredited around $6 million worth of entitlements and the securing of enhanced conditions in the NTEU negotiated Enterprise Agreements.

Paid vaccination leave campaign With most members across NSW in lockdown due to the COVID pandemic the Division launched a campaign for paid vaccination leave for all staff in NSW universities. At the time of writing 8 universities had agreed to paid vaccination leave, with UNE, Newcastle, WSU, USyd, ACU, UTS and UoW all extending payments to casuals. This is a great achievement and removes one of the economic barriers to staff getting vaccinated. We continued our successful Delegate training program, campaigned for the reform of university governance, assisted members with workplace grievances and are involved in several claims for underpayments of casuals across multiple universities.

As Secretary, Michael led the Union successfully through Round 7 of enterprise bargaining and through the COVID crisis. He oversaw a period of significant growth in union membership in the NSW Division, with large spikes in membership around industrial action and protected action ballots, for which Michael strongly advocated. Michael made an enormous contribution to the NTEU from the time he joined in 1998, until he completed his term as NTEU NSW Division Secretary in May this year. He will be remembered fondly by his comrades for this tenacity, toughness and principled internationalism. ◆

Michael Thomson retirement Finally, the Division celebrated the achievements of Michael Thomson, who retired having served as NTEU NSW Division Secretary from 2016-2021.

Above: NSW recruitment image; Secure Jobs selfie from Liz Murrell (CSU), Sept 2021. Below: Secure Jobs selfie from Benjamin Dougall (MQ), Sept 2021.

At the University of Western Sydney College, members organised a successful campaign to reject management’s low-ball pay offer of 1.25%pa which would have resulted in a real pay cut. Management’s non-union ballot was beaten with a total of 78% of staff voting ‘no’. Despite management’s claim that a ‘no’ vote would mean everything was off the table, negotiations have continued where they left off prior to the ballot. We are hopeful of a good outcome for members at WSU College. NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ NSW Division


NT Division www.nteu.org.au/nt Division Officers NT Division Secretary: Rajeev Sharma Division President: Darius Pfitzner Division Vice-President (Academic): Alan Berman Division Vice-President (General): Sylvia Klonaris

Division Staff Division Industrial Officer: Heinz Schmitt Division Organiser: Susan Bandias (to July 2021), Christine Steven-Rowe (from Aug 2021)

The Northern Territory (NT) Division represents 350 members at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Batchelor Institute (BI) and the affiliated research units. The Division’s membership number is a significant decline from previous year. Some understanding of the context is relevant. Last year, NT Division witnessed challenges at multiple fronts. CDU, we were told, experienced an adverse financial situation – a claim NTEU vigorously contested. It triggered significant job losses. At the same time, there was a major management restructure leading to the appointment of a new VC in early 2021. Batchelor Institute also went through staff re-alignment, contributing to decline in NTEU membership. Furthermore, COVID-19 induced sector wide job losses also played a role to our membership decline through voluntary separations and redundancies.

Recruitment & Membership Training & Development In order to deal with this situation, the Division has embarked on a recruitment drive. We have utilised every opportunity to engage new and prospective members over the issues currently facing our Division and the university sector in general.

Above: NTEU at Darwin May Day, 2021.


We have also prioritised creating a strong Delegate structure. A significant union presence on campus, regular communication with our members and other engagement activities have created positive momentum to highlight the valuable role of NTEU in

the NT. Recruitment and retention plans are in place to rebuild membership density of the Division. In recent times we have started to witness a modest turn around in membership.

Campaigning & Public Advocacy Campaigning and advocacy are central to Union operations. We believe that we exist to advocate for, and represent the rights, interests and welfare of our members in the industrial and legal spheres. Our highest priority has been to protect as many jobs as possible, particularly those of casual and fixed-term staff. We have been busy exploring and establishing campaign infrastructure. At the time of writing this report, we have formulated a plan to create a comprehensive network of activists to participate and contribute to ongoing campaigns particularly Enterprise Bargaining. This is significant considering that we had limited number of active and formal Delegates network prior to beginning this process. The Division has proactively engaged with CDU to deal with COVID-19 induced restructure and its ramifications on staff and members. After many rounds of deliberations, we were able to protect many jobs than were initially identified for redundancies. Despite virtual normalcy in the NT, working from home was the dominant mode for many of our academic and professional members. We have continued to engage with CDU and BI managements to address staff concerns including working conditions. We continue to deal with the NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ NT Division

post restructure phase that predominantly involved staff and positions in the VET sector in terms of final payments, redeployment etc. While there are multiple issues and concerns, workload remains a perennial source of discontent as expressed in the NTEU survey of members. The NT Division continues to campaign and promote the review of academic workload models across all units. We have also continued to urge the NT Government to provide support to CDU and BI in this difficult period. We have engaged with the relevant officials and elected representatives of NT Government to save jobs, including the commitment to positive measures designed to rebuild the sector.

Enterprise Bargaining & Industrial Enforcement Enterprise bargaining has commenced recently with CDU. Our core bargaining team comprises of Darius Pfitzner, Susan Bandias, Heinz Schmitt and Rajeev Sharma. We are well supported by Matt McGowan and Wayne Cupido from the National Office in terms of sector wide research and historic precedents. Our key objective is to secure an Agreement which maintains and extends working conditions and wages of current and potential members. We have had four meetings so far.

line with commitments enshrined in the Enterprise Agreement. Wrong entitlement and separation calculations was one of the most frequent source of disagreement. Late last year, we secured a commitment from CDU to hold an independent review into underpayment and wage theft highlighted throughout the sector.

Events Northern Territory has generally been lucky with limited number of COVID-19 induced lockdowns. This allowed us to organise and participate in many group activities and initiatives. We were well represented at the tradition May Day march in Darwin. Darius Pfitzner, Simon Morris, Janine Oldfield, Lolita Wikander and Rajeev Sharma were among many NTEU members to walk the march and demonstrate solidarity with fellow comrades. Our engagement with the wider community was further reinforced at the Darwin Show, another annual event that attracted large crowds this year. In collaboration with Unions NT, Darius Pfitzner and Rajeev Sharma attended the Unions NT stall at the show and promote NTEU contribution and value. We are also actively engaged with events to support LGBTIQ members and the feminist agenda.

In conclusion, we continue to engage with CDU and BI managements to address staff concerns including working conditions. Despite the ongoing turbulence, the NT Division has utilised every opportunity to engage new and prospective members over the issues currently facing CDU, BI and Flinders Medical Centre and the university sector in general. A significant union presence on campus, regular communication with our members and other engagement activities has cemented the valuable role of NTEU in the Northern Territory. The Division Council along with Division staff continue to work diligently for members’ rights and we are mindful of the challenges ahead. In these difficult times, NT Division has shown resilience and courage. Our members have supported each other and fought for the future of quality education and training for our students. We believe that we are in a much stronger position to face future challenges. In closing, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all NT Division Council members and staff. ◆ Above: CDU Bargaining Team; Rajeev Sharma at the Unions NT stall at the Darwin Show, July 2021. Below: Secure Jobs selfie from Judith Lovell (CDU), Sept 2021.

Our grassroot driven ‘log of claims’ was unanimously endorsed by members. It reflects their key concerns, which most notable are job security, workload, equity issues, including the explicit recognition of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander staff, including commitments on A&TSI employment. Bargaining at Batchelor Institute is currently on hold. BI has agreed to pay a 1.25% administrative pay increase in March, back dated to 1 January 2021 to all BI staff. We have managed the disputes well at the Division level. The bulk of industrial disputes focused at CDU and closely aligned with restructure planning and implementation. Most matters have been dealt with in NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ NT Division


Queensland Division www.nteu.org.au/qld Division Officers Qld Division Secretary: Michael McNally Division Asst Secretary: Jonathan Strauss Division President: Andrea Lamont-Mills Division Vice-President (Academic): Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Division Vice-President (General): Garry McSweeney

Division Staff Division Industrial Officers: Noeline Rudland, Rohan Hilton, Rob Rule, Kyla Johnstone, Anthony Hack (from Aug 2021) Senior State Organisers: Michael Oliver, David Szumer Branch Industrial Organisers: Peter Whalley-Thompson (to July 2021), Angela Scheers

The Queensland Division represents almost 4,000 members at the seven Queensland Public Universities. The Division also has members at the Brisbane (Banyo) Campus of the Australian Catholic University, Bond University, and various Higher Education private providers across the state. COVID-19 Queensland has been relatively insulated from the direct health and social impacts of COVID-19. We have had relatively few lockdowns and those of short duration. Our colleagues in southern states have not fared as well and our hearts go out to them.

Above: Secure Jobs selfie from Heather Stewart (GU), Sept 2021; Staff and students rally against cuts to Griffith University programs including Fine Arts, Nov 2020.

The impact has still been massive for the sector in Queensland. Major job losses at first CQU and then Griffith, coupled with the huge impacts on insecure workers not captured in the formal processes, have been devastating. Every institution has had large-scale voluntary separation programs. Work intensification created by not rehiring casual and fixed-term staff, and not replacing staff that have left, has fallen onto fewer and fewer staff. This has led to highly stressful and in some cases toxic workplaces and a surge in illness, bullying and harassment. Staff are deserting the sector in droves and institutions are creaking under the weight of departures and budget cuts.

Opposite page: Griffith member Alejandro Lopez and his ‘future unionist’ Martín at Labour Day which was able to go ahead in 2021; UQ Casuals trying to show how many casuals it takes to make up 1 VC’s salary (they didn’t make it!)

This has created a challenging work environment for staff of the Union also and their ongoing efforts are acknowledged.

Branch Organisers: Erin Campbell, Kate Warner, Stewart Delacy-Leacy, Melissa Webster, Patsy O’Brien and Tneka Springett (from Feb 2021)


Recruitment & Membership Training and Development The Queensland Division continues to improve our focus on providing our members with the tools they need to be active and vocal members and to recruit their colleagues to the Union. Assessing everything we do with the question ‘is it building the power of the Union?’ is a great way of focusing our efforts on what’s important. The training and development offered over the past year has been offered on a Division wide basis which has been a positive in terms of members connecting across institutions. On offer have been standard sessions such as Meeting with Managers, Representative Training and Bullying and Harassment. With the increased focus on grass roots organising the Division has also offered structured organising conversation training for Organisers, Delegates and activists. Delegate training will be commencing in late September as a regular monthly session. We are trying at the same time to focus our communications and messaging on demonstrating the value to potential members of joining the NTEU. This means new ways of highlighting our wins and new messages about the value of membership based on what we are fighting for.

Enterprise Bargaining and Industrial Enforcement Bargaining has commenced at CQU and, after a false start, at UQ. Preparations for bargaining are under way at Griffith and James Cook, with negotiations on the backburner

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Queensland Division

somewhat at USQ. The QUT Agreement doesn’t expire until 31 Dec 2021 but the bargaining campaign plan is in place and we are in the initial phases of preparation at USC that doesn’t expire until 30 June next year. In CQU Bargaining, progress has been slow. This is primarily due to the unrealistic claim by CQU management for a two-year Agreement that provides for no pay increase whatsoever, the loss of 5 days annual leave and major changes to the span of hours. While we have been meeting regularly with management, progress is unlikely while those claims remain on the table. At UQ the parties had commenced preliminary negotiations around bargaining protocols etc, when on 14 July, management unilaterally sought to ‘kick the can down the road’ for 12 months by proposing a Variation to the Agreement with a 2% pay increase attached. UQ management indicated that they would put out a Variation with or without the support of the Union by the end of August. The NTEU Bargaining team informed management that without some significant and enforceable commitments to job security for the duration of the variation, there was no way the Branch could even consider such a proposal. Management were unwilling to do so and the Branch mounted a campaign to get management back to the table. The campaign critically involved a lot of engagement with non-members, based around a petition calling on UQ management to resume negotiations. Members engaged in good old-fashioned leafletting, distributing flyers about the variation and the petition to thousands of staff and students arriving at UQ. Management’s nerve broke as the petition edged toward 1,000 signatures and they informed the Branch on the 13th of August that they would not be proceeding with the variation and would be resuming negotiations. A great union win! QUT Fixed-Term conversion Long-term QUT fixed-term professional and academic staff had been trying for years to access conversion to permanent appointment – some had been on temporary contracts

for almost two decades. Although industrial action improved the clause in the Enterprise Agreement in 2018, members were still not having luck applying individually. With assistance from their NTEU Branch, members organised to instead apply as groups of contract staff in specific areas using a common process and appealing denied applications as a group of staff. Suddenly, what seemed impossible individually was accomplished and over 40 fixed-term staff have since been made permanent through the process. Griffith PBL Tutor Win In May 2020, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tutors in the School of Medicine were told they had been wrongly classified and paid as a tutors, and they would now be classified and paid as ‘clinical facilitators’. They were told that as of 15 June 2020 their pay rate would be cut accordingly. At a meeting of distressed and angry tutors, it was decided they would collectively challenge the decision and seek the assistance from their Union. Several of the members attended the conciliation sessions between the Union and management at the Fair Work Commission. Conciliation failed, but just prior to a scheduled arbitration, management notified the tutors they would restore their previous classification and rate of pay, retrospective to June 2020.

Campaigning and Public Advocacy Sometimes there is no means from a technical/legal perspective to prevent a university management from doing something stupid or wrong. This is when we campaign to get better outcomes. UQ Library & Architecture restructures In early December 2020, a proposal was presented to UQ Library staff for the immediate disestablishment of 42 positions. As a result of members across UQ campaigning, the head librarian extended the consultation period, and after continued campaign pressure, significantly modified the method of implementing the new structure, reducing the number of positions

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Queensland Division

to be spilled immediately from 42 to 14. The remaining positions, all Liaison Librarians, would be retained for 18 months allowing affected staff to transition to the new outreach and liaison roles. At around the same time a ‘spill and fill’ restructure was proposed for the School of Architecture. Members within the school organised meetings, and with the assistance of union staff built a campaign to resist the proposal and demand proper consultation. The campaign engaged students, the wider staff cohort, members of the wider architecture profession and concerned citizens. A huge petition was delivered to the School. The campaign resulted in the alternative pathway proposed by staff being followed and jobs were saved. JCU Workloads ‘Win in Progress’ Members from Veterinary Science (Vet), notified a workloads dispute and are working collectively to resolve excessive workloads in their workgroups. Along with NTEU Workplace Representative Aduli Malau-Aduli, they organised workgroup meetings sharing details of their workload concerns, and gathering the evidence required to achieve reductions in their workloads. Ongoing quarterly workload meetings between NTEU members and Management in Vet Science ensure staff feedback is front and centre as the workload model is adjusted.

Climate Change Action Network In the lead up to the School Strike for Climate in May, the Division ‘re-launched’ the CCAN. A seminar featuring a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report to be released this year (WG II, AR6), Dr Nina Hall and the Queensland state representative for Doctors for the Environment Australia, Dr David King heard about the role of the IPCC and about the increasing impacts on health caused by climate change. We also had a key address from Sam Pensalfini, a high school student and organiser from the School Strike for Climate on how we as unionists can support the School Strike campaign. It was passionate and excellent. ◆ 35

SA Division www.nteu.org.au/sa Division Officers SA Division Secretary: Ron Slee (to Aug 2021), Andrew Miller (from Aug 2021) Division Asst Secretary: Nick Warner (to Aug 2021), Cécile Dutreix (from Aug 2021) Division President: Peter Cardwell (to Aug 2021), Kent Getsinger (from Aug 2021) Division Vice-President (Academic): Virginie Masson Division Vice-President (General): Katerin Berniz (to Aug 2021), Peter Cardwell (from Aug 2021)

Division Staff Division Industrial Officers: Annie Buchecker, Kathy Harrington Division Industrial Organiser: Cheryl Baldwin Division Organisers: Juliet Fuller, Rebecca Galdies Administration Officer: Donna Good Casual Staff: Karen Grgic, Jessica Jacobson, Stef Rozitis

The South Australian Division represents over 1,800 members at three public universities: University of Adelaide (UoA), University of South Australia (UniSA) and Flinders University.

Deep Organising Overview

Helen Masterman-Smith from Charles Sturt University introduced members to the organising ideas of US labour organiser, Jane McAlevey (author of No Shortcuts) and how this approach is being trialled at the Charles Sturt University Branch in NSW using mapping tools.

SA Summer School Series of Six

Introduction to Bargaining

This series was held for all SA members via Zoom from Nov 2020 to Feb 2021.

Andrew Miller and Ken McAlpine outlined the basics of bargaining.

Digital Campaigning Overview

Delegate Training and Branch Planning

Jake Wishart, National Digital Campaigns Organiser provided an overview of digital campaigning, messaging, and framing, having a clear ask, using social media effectively and creating trends – e.g., twitter and Facebook (groups vs pages) Common Cause Values and Framing

Kent Ketsinger and Becc Galdies. What is it, how we can use it and the common traps. Using Facebook effectively for organising

Juliet Fuller and Stef Rositas advised participants on when to use Facebook, how it differs from Twitter, using groups vs pages, events etc. Twitter for political pressure and promotion

Victoria Fielding and Brian Pulling on how twitter works, how to grow your audience, how to respond to trends, and the role of journalists.

Train the trainer workshop was held in march for NTEU staff and experienced or interested activists/Delegates across the three Branches. New Delegates workshop was held in March for all new Delegates across the Division. UoA workshop A workshop on Branch planning and identifying key campaigns to organise around was held in March for all UoA Branch Committee members and Delegates. UniSA workshop A Branch planning and induction day for UniSA Branch Committee members was held in August. It included goal setting and Branch Agreement development.

Above NTEU contingent at Adelaide May Day, 2021.



Enterprise Bargaining preparation UniSA and Adelaide Bargaining surveys to all staff at UniSA in March and at Adelaide in May. Area Meetings Run by Division Organisers and Delegates, area meetings were held at Adelaide during May and June, and at UniSA from April to June. Log of Claims meetings: Meeting were held at UniSA in June and Adelaide in August. EB teams training Bargaining team training sessions were held with the UniSA and Adelaide EB teams in July. with Gabe Gooding and Kelly Thomas.

Events Bluestocking Week In November 2020, the Division held the Bluestocking Seminar ‘Women and COVID-19’, presented by Barbara Pocock. It was a fund-raising event for Catherine House (SA women’s shelter). A Women of Letters book was composed with submissions from many prominent women.


Mayday – SA Unions Held in historic Port Adelaide on 1 May 2021, the NTEU stall was titled ‘Women and Wage Theft’. UniSuper Forum In February, UniSuper board member and past NTEU General Secretary, Grahame McCulloch presented a UniSuper forum for members.

Enterprise Bargaining and Industrial Enforcement Collective disputes have been taken on academic workloads (Flinders and UniSA), change management (multiple at Flinders) and casual wage theft (Flinders). A variety of other disputes and member advocacy actions have been taken on matters of Enterprise Agreement implementation, in particular unlawful contracts, flexible work arrangements, bullying, discrimination and misuse of disciplinary procedures. Six Enterprise Agreement Variation disputes were taken at the University of Adelaide. The Division also attends to a large volume of individual matters, with close attention to consequential organising opportunities. ◆

Above: Promoting UniSA’s free coffee for Union Solidarity Week, July 2021; Sam Whiting and Victoria Rollinson; WAC reps Anna Strzelecki and Cécile Dutreix at May Day 2021. Below: Secure Jobs selfie from Annie Farthing (Flinders), Sept 2021; Bargaining reps from UniSA and Adelaide University at Enterprise Bargaining Training, July 2021.


Tasmanian Division www.nteu.org.au/tas Division Officers Tas Division Secretary: Perpetua Turner (to May 2021), Patrick McConville (from June 2021) Division President: Natalia Nikolova Division Vice-President (Academic): Anthony Beckett Division Vice-President (General): Kellie Brandenburg

Division Staff Division Industrial Officer: Emma Gill Division Organiser (South): Gaylee Kutchel (from Nov 2020) Branch Organiser (North): Janine Bryan

The Tasmanian Division represents over 700 members at the state’s only university, the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Although Tasmania has been relatively shielded from the worst consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, University and NTEU operations continue to be significant affected. Academic and professional staff have been required to intensify their work in order to deliver dual teaching models, and the Union has had to move much organising and industrial support online.

Variation In 2020, the Union and staff endorsed a Variation to the Staff Agreement. The Variation entered into force in July 2020. While the Variation meant staff to forgo a 2% pay rise scheduled for July 2020, it also prevented UTAS from undertaking any forced redundancies as part of a generalised program of cost-cutting. Oversight of the Variation was provided through weekly meetings of a COVID-19 Temporary Measures Committee (CTMC). The Variation also included multiple rounds of voluntary redundancies, resulting in 200 job losses from the University. The Variation concluded on 30 June 2021. Regular, fortnightly meetings with management (via human resources) continue in the form of a Consultation and Communication Group (CCG).

Above: Our petition to the UTAS Vice-Chancellor reproduced as a jigsaw; Secure Job message from Suan Haley (UTAS), Sept 2021


Management have taken to raising a number of industrial matters at these meetings,

including change proposals, of which there have been around ten over the last year. The Division had anticipated attrition of its membership as a result of the significant job losses at the institution. In fact, Tasmania’s membership has been remarkably resilient over the past year and the Division is now concentrating on strategies for growth in the context of bargaining for a new collective Staff Agreement.

Division Secretary Long-time Division Secretary Kelvin Michael retired in October 2020. He was succeeded by Perpetua Turner, who subsequently stood down in May 2021. Former Division Councillor, Pat McConville, was coopted into the role by Division Council in June 2021.

Delegate recruitment The Tasmanian Division is focused on growing the Union, defending the protections and conditions for staff, and outlining a positive agenda to embed the NTEU in University life. One aspect has been a program of Delegate recruitment and renewal, including identifying Delegates whose workplace endorsement may no longer be valid (after a two year term) and commencing new endorsement processes in their worksites.

Bargaining The current collective Staff Agreement had a nominal lifespan of 2017–2021. Having now nominally expired, the Tasmanian Division is preparing to enter bargaining in the last quarter of 2021.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Tasmanian Division

The Division undertook an extensive consultation process with members and potential members around our Log of Claims, including pre-survey calls, a survey, reference groups, consultations on a draft log and, finally, endorsement meetings. Ultimately, the log received strong endorsement from members at numbers above the threshold set and expected by previous National Councils. The top priorities identified by UTAS staff include workloads (including professional and academic workload models that reflect reality), and secure employment, both in terms of precarious employment and greater confidence in security of ongoing jobs. These priorities match those of the sector more broadly. UTAS staff also identified as priorities greater fairness for casuals, and salary and conditions comparable to the rest of the tertiary sector. Since the last Agreement was concluded between the NTEU and UTAS, University management has changed significantly. The new Vice-Chancellor, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellors have not yet given a clear indication of their priorities for bargaining. New staff in the University’s human resources team are reluctant – some would say embarrassed – to discuss the University’s behaviour on key industrial matters over recent years.

This includes a lack of action on the development of academic workloads. A consultative model for academic workload model development is set out in our Agreement, but for much of the last year the University failed to fulfil its obligations to nominate a Chair for the Academic Workload Consultative Committee, which guides the development of workload models and documentation. Leveraging our powers under the AWCC has been an ongoing focus of industrial effort. Following the expiry of the Variation to the Staff Agreement, UTAS immediately recommenced forced redundancies. The Tasmanian Division delivered a petition signed by over 500 staff to the ViceChancellor during the National Week of Action, which coincided with the launch of our bargaining campaign, asking him to rule out further job cuts and to come to the bargaining table in good faith. Last year, Tasmania’s traditional May Day rally had to be cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. This year, NTEU members were pleased to be able to join comrades from across the state’s labour movement. ◆

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Tasmanian Division

Above: Secure Jobs selfie from Bennet McComish (UTAS), Sept 2021; Attending National Council virtually from Hobart, Oct 2020. Below: Secure Job message from Toby Juliff (UTAS), Sept 2021; Attempting the UTAS Petition jigsaw, Sept 2021.


Join us to protest the

for Failing ion ucat Edrsity herof unive Higsand jobs lost s Thou

Thousands and thousands of our friends and colleagues have lost their jobs in Higher Education due to the Coalition government’s refusal to offer financial support when the international student market collapsed in 2020. The JobKeeper criteria was explicitly changed 3

times to ensure universities missed out. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison declared it was “time to go home” to struggling International Students stranded in Australia. A government mired in sleaze and scandal has nothing to teach Higher Education.


Authorised by sAm GibbArd, Nteu rmit brANch PresidNet



Wednesday 31st March 8.30 am. Kaleide Theatre Building 8, Level 3 Swanston Street Entrance

Victorian Division www.nteu.org.au/vic Division Officers Victorian Division Secretary: Mel Slee Division Asst Secretary: Sarah Roberts Division President: Mark Shier Division Vice-President (Academic): Christian Haesemeyer Division Vice-President (General): Cathy Rojas

Division Staff Senior Industrial Officer: Linda Gale Division Industrial Officers: Joe Nunweek, Rob Binnie, Clare Danaher, Margaret Maloney, Serena O’Meley, Corey Rabaut, Rhidian Thomas Division Industrial Organisers: Janet Bourke, Jesse Page, Linda Cargill, Lisbeth Latham, Colin Muir, Garry Ryan Senior State Organiser: Chloe Gaul Division Organisers: Aimee Hulbert, Simon Linskill, David Willis, Rifai Abdul, Frank Gafa, Roberta Stewart, Amelia Sully (on parental leave), Cal Parsons (parental leave appointment), Ben Kunkler, Trevor Miller Campaigns & Communications Officer: Toby Cotton Admin Officer/Executive Support: Adrienne Bradley

Above: NTEU members protest Alan Tudge’s ‘keynote address’ at RMIT, March 2021.


The Victorian Division represents over 9,400 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) and two campuses of Australian Catholic University (ACU) and many TAFE sites and smaller education providers, such as William Angliss and Navitas. Recruitment & Membership Training & Development The pandemic continues…

Campaigning & Public Advocacy Wage Theft Campaign: The Origin Story The National Wage Theft campaign began with a small group of very talented casual activists at Melbourne University fighting for a measly $120 to pay for their compulsory Working With Children’s Checks. They won. Feeling their power and growing in numbers, they pushed on for more. Their actions were bold, creative, fun: an occupation of the Dean’s office, lunch time speakouts, dozens of casual piling in to collectively negotiate with HR, banner painting and other arts and crafts, a George Calombaris Wage Theft sausage sizzle, a picket of the ViceChancellor’s $7 million mansion, a march on the Resources building to demand COVIDpayment for casuals. Since that time, the Fair Work Ombudsman has gotten involved and the NTEU has recovered millions of dollars in unpaid wages with much more to follow.

As 2020 morphed into 2021, Victoria remained largely in lockdown. It is to the tremendous credit of the NTEU’s many wonderful activists that the NTEU has struggled on to combat waves of redundancies, wage theft and excessive workloads. Victorian Division staff have soldiered on to continue to win individual cases for our members, educate our Delegates and build the Union.

Casual activists have ensured to engage continuing staff in signing Open Letters and other actions. The solidarity of continuing staff has, at times, been critical. It will be vital in Enterprise Bargaining.

Despite the predictable plummet in our membership, the Victorian Division is bouncing back. Despite the peaks and troughs of membership numbers during the pandemic, the Victorian Division has held its ground and has grown by over 200 members since before the pandemic in March 2020.

Events Protesting the Minister for Failing Higher Education In March 2021, during a brief window between lockdowns, the NTEU received a tip-off that the then Chancellor Ziggy Switkowski, had invited his friend in the Scott

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Victorian Division

Morrison Government, Alan Tudge, to RMIT to deliver a ‘keynote address on the future of international education for Australia’. The RMIT NTEU Branch acted quickly to form an alliance with the RMIT Student Union to ensure that Alan Tudge got the welcome he deserves. Several hundred staff and students noisily protested outside the venue, at one point chasing Switkowski and Tudge up the street. Speakers at the protest included international students representing those who Scott Morrison had told to ‘go home’ when the pandemic hit. They expressed their frustration and disgust at the Government’s mistreatment of International students stranded in Australia without appropriate support.

Enterprise Bargaining & Industrial Enforcement TAFE PACCT Multi-Enterprise Agreement – hurrah! For over 20 years now, around 3000 Professional and Technical Staff in TAFE have been divided into 12 separate Enterprise Agreements at each of the 12 TAFE Institutes in Victoria. This has profoundly weakened their union power and influence.

Following many months of lobbying the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the Treasurer’s office, the NTEU has finally broken through to secure a Multi-Enterprise Agreement (MEA) uniting all TAFE Professional Staff into one, powerful bargaining unit. The MEA will come into effect in July, 2023. Enterprise Bargaining Round 8 Due to extensive lockdowns, the Victorian Division has had a deliberate go-slow approach to launching Round 8 Enterprise Bargaining. Nonetheless, Swinburne University Branch is seizing the moment by uniting with the Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) NTEU members who are raring to go! The organising team has devoted their efforts to identifying and training Delegates to ensure they are bargaining reading and has steadily recruited to the Union. The recent National Week of Action on Workloads and Insecure Work and the many local actions taken around workloads, casualisation and insecure work over recent years have built awareness of the NTEU’s key claims in this round of bargaining and a willingness to fight for them. Onwards! ◆

NTEU staff have also had to negotiate 12 separate, almost identical Enterprise Agreements.

NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ Victorian Division

Above: Promotion for RMIT Wage Theft website; Suzanne Newton, La Trobe Branch VP, with the Branch petition poster, July 2021. Below: Secure Jobs selfies from Jeremy Bowtell (RMIT) and Anthony Ng (Deakin), Sept 2021.


WA Division www.nteu.org.au/wa Division Officers WA Division Secretary: Jonathan Hallett (to Oct 2021); Catherine Moore (from Oct 2021) Division Assistant Secretary (Academic): Richard Hamilton (to Oct 2021); Jonathan Hallett (from Oct 2021) Division Assistant Secretary (General): Corinna Worth (to Dec 2020), Sanna Peden (from May 2021) Division President: Catherine Moore (to Oct 2020), Richard Hamilton (from Oct 2020) Division Vice-President: Sam Green

Division Staff Senior State Organiser: Donna Shepherdson Industrial Officers: Joe Fiala, Nashell Ireland Division Organisers: Henry Booth, Beth Cole (on extended leave), Phil Chilton (to June 2021), Eileen Glynn, James Higgins (from Feb 2021), Raechel Smith (to June 2021), Fiona Whittles (from July 2021), Kathy Rogerson (casual, June to Sept 2021) Member Services Officer: Jayne van Dalen

Above National Week of Action donut stall at Curtin, Sept 2021; Workloads petition, ECU, Sept 2021.


The Western Australian Division represents approximately 2,400 members at the four public universities in WA: Curtin University, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia (UWA), as well as the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA). The Division also represents members at Student Unions at all the four public universities, Research Institutes (largely affiliated with UWA) and private providers such as Navitas. This has been a challenging year during which many of our members have suffered from the stress and anxiety of insecure work and increasing workloads, while university managements across the country have used the crisis in funding as an opportunity to reduce staffing. We have been short-staffed in various areas for substantial periods of time, which has meant staff and elected officers have been stretched – almost to breaking point. Despite this, we have continued to focus on doing the groundwork that will empower us to thrive in 2022 and beyond. Individual member queries for industrial advice and representation are now being routinely directed towards our Member Services Team through our online confidential submission form, and then triaged to the most appropriate support person. This has freed up Organisers to work with delegates and members to grow our activity and our membership.

Recruitment & Membership Training & Development We have recruited over 400 new members, but have still not matched the loss of members, in many cases triggered by relentless change management across our workplaces. Nevertheless, we count ourselves as fortunate that, unlike our colleagues in other states, we have still been able to run in-person meetings on campus most of the time, as well as online meetings – frequently both at the same time. Our Delegates, local Branch Committee members and activists have stepped up, working together to pursue recruitment targets while also supporting each other through change management. Active local members have engaged in mapping exercises, followed by plenty of practice at having organising conversations. It is heartening to see the growth of activism and member engagement across our Division and we look forward to reaping the benefits during Round 8 bargaining. Our Senior State Organiser ran two days of excellent delegate training in our Division Office in February this year. We also enjoyed Ken McAlpine’s bargaining training in May, and look forward to future workshop opportunities once Western Australia’s borders re-open.

Enterprise Bargaining & Industrial Enforcement The University of Notre Dame Australia Collective Agreement (2018 to 2021) was finally registered in February 2021 after NTEU ANNUAL REPORT 2021 ◆ WA Division

almost 3 years of bargaining. The Agreement expires in December 2021, at the same time as the Murdoch Agreement. Our other three public universities: UWA, ECU and Curtin, have June 2021 expiry dates. UWA was one of the universities where, in the middle of 2020, staff voted to approve variations to their Enterprise Agreements in order to minimise COVID-related damage to the University. These variations consisted of delaying a scheduled pay rise, cancelling the 2020 leave loading payment and mandating a purchased leave scheme in exchange for job protections. The COVID-19 impact on UWA subsequently turned out to be lower than predicted, so University management decided to end all of the cost saving measures. This meant members received their scheduled pay rise and leave loading payment and were not required to purchase leave, but all the job protections remained. Thanks to the Enterprise Agreement Variation, staff at UWA avoided stand downs and redundancies as a direct result of COVID-19, and the COVID-19 Temporary Measures Committee (CTMC) was successful in ensuring contract extensions in all cases where the work remained. Our university managements have also used the crisis in our sector to continue the shift to online and blended learning. This is despite students, particularly young undergraduates, preferring real-time in person opportunities to engage in learning, and despite international students being attracted to university experiences on campus that offer beautiful surroundings for engagement in study, relaxation and research with peers and mentors. Our universities have, and continue to, invest large sums of money in physical university campuses in which blended learning will become the norm, supposedly reducing operating costs and reducing structural deficits. This premise does not seem to factor in the massive investment of time and energy that will be required of our lecturers and tutors during the transition, and beyond.


Staff in WA universities are tired of their goodwill being taken for granted, and their labour being provided for free. At UWA, we have recouped around $26,000 in underpayments relating to non-payment of tutorial rates to casuals to date. We expect to be paid for all work required to be done. Our Branches are setting up negotiating team advisory/support groups to focus on specific bargaining areas such as insecure work, workloads, and occupational health and safety (with a framing focus on mental health and psycho-social hazards in the workplace). We are actively identifying delegates and building our delegate network so that local members become empowered workplace leaders. Enforcement in the WA Division is primarily run through our Division Industrial team, with additional education through Know Your Rights sessions facilitating identification of breaches. These are always a good opportunity to recruit new members. A key area that has generated interest across our universities in recent times centres around requirements for consultation during restructures, redeployment and redundancies.

Campaigning & Public Advocacy Over the last year we have continued to push for greater transparency around management decisions, consultation, finances and reporting. We have used formal opportunities such as our Submission to the Senate Review on Murdoch University Governance in November 2020, and Freedom of Information applications at Curtin and UWA. At Division level we have met with state members of parliament to lobby for increased transparency on university reporting of insecure work, and have presented our case at a WA Labor Advisory Council meeting in August attended by our Premier, Mark McGowan, and the Minister for Education and Training, Sue Ellery, among others.

active engagement of local and interstate colleagues led to some of management’s curriculum changes being curtailed. The UWA Branch’s campaign to SaveOurUWA has reached UWA Senators, politicians, alumni, professional organisations and many more to protest Structural Reform cuts, and has garnered a lot of media attention. We are grateful for the support of comrades across Australia in this ongoing campaign.

Events In May we held a casualisation forum with Sally McManus as the keynote speaker and contributions from casuals at each of our universities. This was a great springboard for lobbying and campaigning on insecure work. The National Week of Action theme on secure jobs and safe workloads resonated well at all our branches and was especially timely given that casual conversion notices had been issued in the previous week. We were fortunate in WA to still be able to hold on campus events. At Curtin the gorgeous spring weather meant members, delegates, committee members and students were able to get together and enjoy a donut and a chat in the sun. ◆ Above: Where’s the Vaccine for Insecure Work?, ECU, March 2021; National Week of Action, UWA, Sept 2021; Secure Jobs selfie from Nigel Denbigh (UWA), Sept 2021.

In December 2020 our Murdoch Branch launched an online action to lobby the University Senate to ‘re-think their thinking’ in response to the academic offering proposal (AOP) from management. The 43


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