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Smart Casuals NTEU HANDBOOK FOR CASUAL AND SESSIONAL ACADEMIC STAFF AT MURDOCH UNIVERSITY

www.unicasual.org.au www.nteu.org.au/murdoch


INSIDE Welcome...................................................1 NTEU is your Union............................ 2 How to contact NTEU........................................ 2

Marking................................................................. 10 Other Required Academic Activity.............. 10

Rates......................................................... 11

How to join............................................................. 2

Things to Know................................... 12

Special rates for casuals/sessionals................ 2

The A to E of Academic Staff...........................12

NTEU and casuals................................. 3

Superannuation . ................................................12

What’s the problem with casual employment?........................................................ 3

Leave.......................................................................12 Parental Leave......................................................13

What is NTEU doing for academic casual employees?............................................................. 3

Student Evaluation of Teaching . ..................13

Being a casual ....................................... 4

Intellectual Property...........................................14

How is casual employment different from other employment?............................................. 4

Health and Safety................................................15

Where do your rights come from?................. 4

Collegiality.............................................................13 Intellectual Freedom..........................................14 Workers’ Compensation...................................15

What is a Sessional?............................................. 4

Equal Employment Opportunity...................15

Your rights............................................... 5

Grievances............................................................ 16

Opportunities for more secure employment.......................................................... 5 Early Career Development Fellowships (ECDFs)..................................................................... 5 Separate Pay for Marking................................... 6 Increased Casual Loading................................. 6 Payment for Attendance at Meetings............ 6

Harassment and Bullying................................ 16 Termination......................................................... 16 Looking after your career................................ 16

Casual’s Checklist................................17 Getting the most out of your union membership......................................... 18

Unit Coordination Rates.................................... 6

What is my Local Union Branch?................. 18

Improved Superannuation............................... 6

When should I contact the Union?.............. 18

Facilities for Casual Staff.....................................7

What if my supervisor is also an NTEU member?............................................................... 18

When You Start Work........................... 8 Letter of Appointment........................................ 8 Tax File Number & Employee/Salary Number................................................................... 8 Getting Paid on Time.......................................... 8

Once You’re At Work............................ 9 Pay............................................................................. 9 Tutorials................................................................... 9 Lectures................................................................... 9 Undergraduate Clinical Nurse Education .. 9

What does the Union do?................. 19 Industrial Advice................................................ 19 Lobbying Government..................................... 19 Enterprise Bargaining....................................... 19 Communication with Members...................20 Membership Benefits........................................20

How to get Involved........................... 21 Membership Form.............................. 22


Welcome Welcome to the 4th edition of Smart Casuals for Murdoch University. Working as an academic casual is an exciting opportunity and can be personally and professionally rewarding. For some of you it is a stepping stone to an academic career. For others it may be an opportunity to share with university students your professional knowledge. Over the years, I have worked with many casual colleagues and have often felt that their enthusiasm and dedication is taken for granted with little demonstrated appreciation. Hopefully, you have received positive student feedback – and also encouragement from your academic supervisor and other colleagues. If every academic casual at my university had accessed this NTEU booklet, their working life would have been easier. I recommend that you read this closely, keep it at close hand as an important resource and pass onto colleagues. Whilst the information here has been specifically adapted for your university, you are also encouraged to contact your local NTEU Branch office if you have further questions. The Union is working hard to improve your pay and working conditions. We have recently won you a wide range of improved pay and conditions which are outlined in this booklet. You need to speak up if you are not receiving your correct pay and entitlements. Join the NTEU and we can assist you in this. Get involved in the Union so we can represent your and your colleagues’ interests even more effectively. See www.unicasual.org.au for full details.

Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President

Smart Casuals is a publication of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). 4th edition. All Rights Reserved © 2011. ISBN 978-0-9806500-2-0 Editors: National Industrial Unit, Chris Latham Production: Paul Clifton Original design: Andrew Li

For more information, please contact the NTEU National Office Post: Phone: Fax: Email: Web:

PO Box 1323, Sth Melbourne VIC 3205 (03) 9254 1910 (03) 9254 1915 national@nteu.org.au www.nteu.org.au

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NTEU is your Union The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is the only union working exclusively in the tertiary education sector. The Union has a democratic and effective structure, and gives university staff an authoritative and expert voice in current debates about Australian tertiary education. NTEU is active around a broad range of professional and industrial issues of concern to tertiary education workers, and has a team of specialist research, industrial, recruitment and campaign staff maintaining high-level expertise and providing assistance direct to the membership. Members can also save money by accessing a wide range of services and benefits.

How to join

Special rates for casuals/sessionals

Choose any method:

For casual/sessional staff, NTEU fees are set at three levels, based on your estimated earnings. These low casual rates, established in recognition of the unpredictability of casual pay rates and work, afford you full NTEU membership. All values include GST. Your union fees are fully tax deductible.

• Fill in the form at the back of this booklet. • Contact or visit your local NTEU Branch office. • Join online or download a form at www.nteu.org.au/join

Estimated salary range

6 month fee

12 month fee

$10,000 and under

$27.50

$55.00

$10,001 – $20,000

$38.50

$77.00

Over $20,000

$55.00

$110.00

How to contact NTEU NTEU has a staffed office at every Australian university. Your local NTEU Branch office provides a range of information, including membership forms, commercial benefits, industrial advice and more details on your employment entitlements.

NTEU Murdoch University Branch Office: ECL 3.025 South Street Campus, Murdoch University Phone: 08 9360 2922

Fax: 08 9360 6587

Email: nteu@murdoch.edu.au

Website: www.nteu.org.au/murdoch

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


NTEU and casuals What’s the problem with casual employment? While casual employment sometimes provides employees with important flexibility and can be seen as a “foot in the door” to more permanent academic employment, being a casual can also mean that staff experience a high level of job insecurity and financial uncertainty. NTEU’s research has shown that casual academic employment is sometimes like a treadmill: sessionals are often re-engaged to perform casual work year after year rather than appointed to entry-level fixed term or continuing academic positions. There can often be very little professional development offered to casuals and inadequate time for research due to high teaching loads. All of this can add to the difficulties in accessing a meaningful career path. Whilst casuals receive a 25% loading, this can often fail to fully compensate for the broader benefits of a range of other entitlements that other staff receive, such as sick leave, paid parental leave and above-guarantee superannuation (permanent academic staff in universities receive 17% superannuation, whereas casuals only receive 9%). Once account is taken of the amount of time needed for duties such as preparation, administration and student consultation, many academic casuals report underpayment for work performed. In addition, the high level of job insecurity that casual employment brings with it means that casual employees usually cannot get access to home loans or other finance.

What is NTEU doing for academic casual employees? Since the 1990s, higher education has gone through a period of turmoil due to cuts to Commonwealth funding, changes to industrial relations legislation and a range of other national and international pressures. One of these changes has been rapid growth in casual employment. A key priority of the Union is to improve the working conditions of casual employees, both by improving conditions directly and by ensuring universities provide opportunities for casuals to attain more secure jobs. In the last round of enterprise bargaining with management at your university, the Union won significant improvements in the conditions of casual staff, as detailed throughout this booklet. These improvements have only been won through the activity of casual NTEU members who campaigned to achieve these major gains.

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Being a casual How is casual employment different from other employment? A casual employee is one who is engaged and paid by the hour, rather than employed on an ongoing basis or for a set period on a salary. Casual rates of pay include a loading of 25% to compensate for some of the leave and other entitlements casual employees do not receive.

Where do your rights come from? Your rights as an employee are set out in legislation, in your Enterprise Agreement, in University policy and in your letter of appointment. Your university’s Enterprise Agreement negotiated between the Union and university management is the key place where your employment rights are set out, and takes precedence over University policy. If you are employed in casual work at more than one university, you should be aware that the Enterprise Agreements that cover your working conditions will be slightly different at each one. The interpretation of all the sources of your rights can be quite complex. NTEU can assist you with any issues you might have. For reference, you can get a copy of your Enterprise Agreement from our Branch Office, or it can be found on the NTEU website:

 www.nteu.org.au/rights/agreements

What is a Sessional? ‘Sessional’ is a term used in some universities to describe casual academic employees, as casual academics are often employed for ‘sessions’ or semester teaching periods. You should contact the Murdoch Branch office if you have any questions or enquiries.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Your rights Below is a list of the new rights enjoyed by casual employees at your university as a direct result of casual staff joining the NTEU and being active.

Opportunities for more secure employment Casual staff may apply for conversion to fixed term employment if they average more than 10 hours per week class contact over the whole of a teaching period. The University has committed to reduce the total full time equivalent number of casual academic employees of the University so that by June 30, 2012, it will not exceed the sector average. Contact the Murdoch NTEU Branch if you believe that you may be entitled to apply for conversion to a fixed-term contract.

Early Career Development Fellowships (ECDFs) A major gain achieved by NTEU in the latest Enterprise Agreement has been the creation of Early Career Development Fellowships. There are to be at least 3 ECDFs to be created each year of the Enterprise Agreement at Murdoch University. ECDF holders will work at Level A and/or Level B in teaching and research positions or research only roles for 24 months. To be eligible to apply, casual staff must have: • Been awarded a PhD and performed casual teaching work for the University in three (3) entire teaching periods or undertaken research work for at least two (2) years, within the preceding five (5) years; or • Been active candidates for their PhD for at least two (2) years and performed casual teaching work for the University in 5 entire teaching periods, or have undertaken research work for at least two (2) years, within the preceding five (5) years. At the end of term of an ECDF, an assessment will be made as to whether a further fixed-term appointment of two (2) years should be made, subject only to an assessment of the employee’s satisfactory progress and the continuing need for the work being performed. At the end of the further period of two (2) years, the employee would be offered continuing employment, provided that the employee has demonstrated that he/she merits appointment and that operational requirements allow such an appointment. ECDFs will be awarded on academic merit and are available only to internal candidates. Your NTEU Branch will support casual NTEU members to secure ECDFs. Prospective candidates should contact the NTEU Branch office for more information.

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Separate Pay for Marking For many years some marking has been incorporated into a flat rate of pay. This was known as ‘reasonably contemporaneous marking’. The unclear definition of what constituted ‘reasonably contemporaneous marking’ resulted in marking performed by casual staff being either grossly underpaid or a major area of unpaid work. Whilst the Union was successful in winning large claims for backpay for some of our members, it was clear that this was an area that needed major reform in this round of enterprise bargaining. Due to the campaigning work of NTEU casual members, we won significant improvements under the new Enterprise Agreement. The University has undertaken to review casual academic workloads and payment, with all marking that forms part of the assessment for a subject and which takes place outside the contact time of a lecture, tutorial or clinical session to be paid separately at the prescribed marking rate from January 1, 2012.

Increased Casual Loading All casual staff are now paid a casual loading of 25% (up from 23%). The casual loading is paid in lieu of many of the paid leave entitlements provided to continuing staff.

Payment for Attendance at Meetings When casual staff are required to attend meetings, they are entitled to payment at the ‘other Academic activity’ rate. Where casual staff are required to physically attend an induction programme they will be paid a minimum of 3 hours for attendance.

Unit Coordination Rates Casual and sessional academic staff responsible for full subject coordination receive the doctoral rate for all tasks.

Improved Superannuation All casual and sessional academic staff now receive the Government Superannuation Guarantee, which is currently 9%. Previously staff who earned less than $490 per month received 3% superannuation.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Facilities for Casual Staff • Casual academic employees shall be entitled to attend School meetings on the same basis as other academic employees. • Casual academic employees are entitled to the following resources and facilities on the same basis as other academic employees: • Library cards out-of-hours access • Email accounts • Network and intranet access • Inclusion in the University’s staff directory • Casual academic employees shall be eligible to apply for internally advertised University positions. • Casual academic employees are eligible to apply for any internal funding opportunities, including grants and professional development funds, on the same basis as other academic employees. • The University will enable continued access to University email for 30 days after the employment contract end date.

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When You Start Work Letter of Appointment You will usually be given a letter of appointment either before or when you start work. This is often referred to as a ‘Casual Contract’ or ‘Record of Casual Appointment’. It’s important to have this letter as it indicates what’s in your contract of employment – this will be crucial to know if there is any misunderstanding later on. If weeks pass and you still haven’t received a letter of appointment, you should follow it up with your supervisor. Keep your letter of appointment and any other official documents relating to your employment in a safe place. Your letter of appointment should stipulate the type of employment and the terms of your engagement in relation to: • The duties required. • The number of hours required (e.g. 5 tutorials each week for 12 weeks). • Rates of pay for each type of duty required. • A statement that any additional duties required during the term will be paid for. • Other main conditions of employment like reporting relationships and details of the Enterprise Agreement. If you are unsure about any specific duties or it is not clear what the expectations are, seek a meeting with your supervisor for clarification. Ask that any clarification be put in writing. If your supervisor does not do so, write a letter to your supervisor or Head of Department setting out your understanding of the meeting and the University’s expectation of your work and ask that the supervisor correct any misunderstanding or misstatement on your part. Try to get these kinds of issues clarified as soon as possible after commencing work. An example might be that it is unclear whether you are expected to attend lectures and whether you would be paid additionally for doing so. In this case, it would be worth seeking clarification in writing.

Tax File Number & Employee/Salary Number Ensure you provide your tax file number to the person responsible for administering your wages. Keep a record of your Employee or Salary number so you can quote it to the pay officer if any problems arise.

Getting Paid on Time It’s a good idea to finalise your employment details as quickly as possible to avoid missing a pay period. Check with your School/Departmental administrator about frequency of pay periods and whether there are cut-off dates for the lodgment of time sheets.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Once You’re At Work Pay Casual pay rates depend on the type of work being performed. The following are extracts from the Murdoch University Agreement describing each type of casual work and the rates of pay you can expect for each.

Tutorials ‘Tutorial’ means any education delivery described as a tutorial in a course or unit outline, or in an official timetable issued by the employer. A casual employee required to deliver or present a tutorial (or equivalent delivery through other than face to face teaching mode) of a specified duration and relatedly provide directly associated non contact duties in the nature of preparation, reasonably contemporaneous marking and student consultation, will be paid at a rate for each hour of tutorial delivered or presented. The hourly rate in a repeat tutorial applies to a second or subsequent delivery of substantially the same tutorial in the same subject matter within a period of 7 days, and any marking and student consultation reasonably contemporaneous with it.

Lectures ‘Lecture’ means any education delivery described as a lecture in a course or unit outline, or in an official timetable issued by the employer. A casual employee required to deliver a lecture (or equivalent delivery through other than face to face teaching mode) of a specified duration and relatedly provide directly associated non contact duties in the nature of preparation, reasonably contemporaneous marking and student consultation will be paid at a rate for each hour of lecture delivered. The hourly rate in a repeat lecture applies to a second or subsequent delivery of substantially the same lecture in the same subject matter within a period of 7 days, and any marking and student consultation reasonably contemporaneous with it.

Undergraduate Clinical Nurse Education A casual academic required to provide undergraduate clinical nurse education will be paid for each hour of clinical education delivered, together with directly associated non-contact duties in the nature of preparation, reasonably contemporaneous marking and student consultation.

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Marking All marking except contemporaneous marking in lecturing/tutoring will be paid. All marking will paid at the standard rate, except for “Significant Marking” which is marking as a supervising examiner, or marking requiring a significant exercise of academic judgement appropriate to and academic at Level B status.

Other Required Academic Activity A casual employee required to perform any other required academic activity will be paid at an hourly rate for each hour of such activity delivered as required and demonstrated to have been performed. For the purposes of this clause “other required academic activity” will include work that a person, acting as or on behalf of the employer of a casual employee, requires the employee to perform and that is performed in accordance with any such requirement, being work of the following nature: • The conduct of practical classes, demonstrations, workshops, student field excursions. • The conduct of clinical sessions other than clinical nurse education. • The conduct of performance and visual art studio sessions. • Musical coaching, repetiteurship, and musical accompanying other than with special educational service. • Development of teaching and subject materials such as the preparation of subject guides and reading lists and basic activities associated with subject co-ordination. • Consultation with students. • Supervision. • Attendance at departmental and / or faculty meetings as required. The above list is not intended to be exhaustive, but is provided by way of examples and guidance.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Rates Below are the casual rates as set out in the Murdoch Enterprise Agreement. Activity

As of 4 June 2011

As of 2 June 2012

Basic Lecture (1 hour delivery and 2 hours of associated work)

$155.82

$163.71

Developed Lecture (1 Hour delivery and 3 hours of associated work)

$207.76

$218.28

Specialised Lecture (1 hour of delivery and 4 hours of associated work)

$259.70

$272.85

Repeat Lecture (1 hour delivery and 1 hour associated work)

$103.88

$109.14

Tutorial without doctoral or full subject coordination duties

$111.27

$116.88

Tutorial with doctoral qualifications or full subject coordination duties

$133.02

$139.77

Repeat Tutorial without doctoral or full subject coordination duties

$74.18

$77.92

Repeat Tutorial with doctoral or full subject coordination duties

$88.68

$93.18

Marking as supervising examiner or requiring significant exercise of academic judgement appropriate to an academic at Level B (lecturer) status

$51.94

$54.57

Standard Marking where duties include full coordination or staff member possesses a relevant doctoral qualification

$44.34

$46.59

Standard Marking

$37.09

$38.96

Little Preparation Required

$47.00

$54.33

Normal Preparation Required

$62.67

$72.45

Other required activity without full subject coordination or a doctoral qualification

$37.09

$38.96

Other required activity with full subject coordination or a doctoral qualification

$44.34

$46.59

Lecturing

Tutoring

Marking

Undergraduate Clinical Education

Other Required Academic Activities

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Things to Know The A to E of Academic Staff Academic staff are classified into five pay bands or ‘Levels’. Associate Lecturers are at Level A, Lecturers are at Level B, Senior Lecturers Level C, Associate Professors at Level D and Professors at Level E. There are steps, or pay increases, within each level that the staff member progresses through on an annual basis subject to acquiring new skills. Casual academic staff are engaged at the Level that corresponds to the standards attached to the Enterprise Agreement – generally at Level A or Level B.

Superannuation Under Federal legislation and the Enterprise Agreement, the University must contribute to a superannuation fund on your behalf. At all Australian universities, the required recipient fund is UniSuper. NTEU strongly recommends UniSuper to staff on the basis of its good performance and low administration costs.

 www.unisuper.com.au You should be provided with the necessary application forms for UniSuper when you start work. If not, ask your institution’s Human Resources Department. Employer contributions are ‘preserved’ (not accessible) until the age prescribed by legislation and can earn significant interest during this time. If you are in UniSuper, you will only have one account – even if you change university or work at more than one university. If you leave the tertiary education sector the money can be rolled into another superannuation fund, or if your new employer offers a choice of funds, you can request new contributions be made directly to your account with UniSuper. The university has superannuation officers who can advise you about your superannuation options, but if you think you’re missing out contact NTEU.

Leave Under our Agreements, the casual loading is paid in lieu of most types of leave received by other employees.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Parental Leave Under the National Employment Standards, if you have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months, and have a reasonable expectation that this will continue, you will be entitled to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave. In addition to this entitlement, the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme commenced on 1 January 2011 and provides 18 weeks’ payment at the Federal minimum wage. Some casual employees will be able to qualify for this payment. One of the key determinants for eligibility to the Paid Parental Leave payment as a casual staff member is whether you satisfy the Government’s ‘Work Test’. As the eligibility for the Government’s paid parental leave payment is different to the eligibility for 12 months’ unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards, it is crucial that you obtain expert advice from your Union office about your own situation.

Student Evaluation of Teaching Most teaching in universities is now subject to student teaching evaluation: your students will likely be asked to evaluate your teaching at the end of semester. Make sure you keep copies of all your students’ teaching evaluation questionnaires, just in case any issues arise later.

Collegiality Ideally, the experience of working as a casual academic should include an opportunity to fully participate in the academic life of the Department. Unfortunately, while some Schools and Departments are inclusive of casual academics and welcome their contribution at School/ Departmental meetings, many exclude casual academics, often inadvertently. Treating casual academics as professional colleagues can go a long way to alleviating the stress casuals work under, especially given inadequate support facilities. A good way to organise participation in Departmental meetings is to group together with other academic casual staff in your School or Department. Remember that if you are required to attend these meetings, you are entitled to be paid for this time. As a casual at Murdoch you are entitled to be listed on the University’s staff lists; access to the library; and a university email address which will remain active for 30 days after the end of your contract. For more information please contact the NTEU Branch office.

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Intellectual Property Casual academics generally have the same rights as permanent academic staff to intellectual property created as part of their employment. The general rule of thumb is that intellectual property in works created in the course of your employment (such as new course materials or a new course) belongs to the University. However this position is often modified by University policy and/or the Enterprise Agreement: for example, if you have developed materials with market appeal, the University might grant you a license to sell that work in certain circumstances. Remember that if you are not paid to do research, the University will have no claim over any intellectual property relating to your research activities. Under Federal law, you also have moral rights in relation to works created in the course of your employment. Your moral rights include: • Attribution of authorship. • The right to not have authorship of a work falsely attributed. • The right to not have your work altered without your permission. If an intellectual property issue arises in relation to your employment, make sure you get individual advice from your local NTEU Branch office.

Intellectual Freedom Casual academics should have the same rights and responsibilities with respect to academic freedom as ongoing and fixed term academic staff. Intellectual freedom includes the rights of all staff to: • Participate in public debates and express opinions about issues and ideas related to their discipline area or areas of professional expertise, and about higher education issues more generally. • Make comment outside their discipline or areas of professional expertise as long as they clearly do so on their own behalf and do not claim to represent the University or present their comments in such a way as might be reasonably linked to the University. • Express unpopular or controversial views, but this does not mean the right to harass, bully, vilify, defame or intimidate. • Pursue critical and open inquiry and to freely discuss, teach, assess, develop curricula, publish and research subject to the laws and customs of the jurisdiction in which they are operating. NTEU has campaigned hard to ensure that Enterprise Agreements enshrine intellectual freedom – often against the opposition of university managements. Your Agreement protects the rights of academic staff to engage in critical inquiry, intellectual discourse and public debate.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Health and Safety Under State legislation, your employer is obliged to ensure your safety at all times when on campus or engaged in activities related to your employment with the University. The University must provide: • Safe and well-lit corridors and walkways to prevent assaults occurring. • Personal protective equipment, proper ventilation and other necessary precautions against dangers associated with the use of hazardous substances. • Proper ventilation of class rooms to safeguard against personal discomfort and airborne disease. • Safe equipment, including ergonomically safe chairs, desks, etc. • Murdoch provides an on Campus Security Escort to your car, public transport or anywhere on campus if you are concerned for your safety. Campus Security can be contacted on 9360 6262. The University has Occupational Health and Safety representatives elected by employees who can raise any issues of concern about safety in the workplace. Your local NTEU Branch office can put you in touch with your local representative.

Workers’ Compensation Casual staff are entitled to claim workers’ compensation if injured in the course of their work. This includes injuries arising from work, injuries sustained during working time (whether on campus or whilst working elsewhere) and injuries sustained travelling between worksites for the University. Injuries for which claims may be made include: • Physical injury – e.g. back strains and muscle damage to hands and wrists sustained in the course of preparing or delivering classes. • Ill health – e.g. poisoning or the contraction of disease in class or during clinical instruction. • Emotional stress injury – e.g. stress associated with being overworked or subject to harassment by other staff or students. Any work-related illness or injury should be reported as soon as possible to the University. You should also contact your NTEU Branch immediately for further advice and assistance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Federal and State Laws designed to protect employees from discriminatory employment practices cover universities. These laws protect people from discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, absence from work during maternity leave or other parental leave, religion, political opinion, trade union membership or activity, national extraction or social origin. If you are denied employment or employment entitlements or are terminated because of a characteristic associated with one of these protected categories, you have a right to seek compensation. You should contact your local NTEU Branch office immediately.

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Harassment and Bullying Unfortunately, harassment and bullying can sometimes happen in the workplace. You have the right to lodge a complaint should you experience sexual harassment or discrimination at work. Bullying is recognised as behaviour aimed to demean, humiliate or intimidate. The University has a policy regarding workplace bullying. If you experience any form of harassment or discrimination, make sure you contact your local NTEU Branch office for advice and assistance.

Grievances The University has internal grievance procedures designed to resolve work disputes. If you feel you have been treated unfairly at work in any way, contact your local NTEU Branch office for confidential advice before lodging a grievance, as the procedures can be complex and are often not properly applied.

Termination If you have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for six months or more (eg teaching whole semesters, even if there are breaks such as midyear or long vacations) and you have a reasonable expectation of continued casual employment, you may have grounds for claiming unfair dismissal if you suddenly lose your job or are not given more work. If you are dismissed before the semester is over, you may also be entitled to pay for the balance of the semester. Contact your local NTEU Branch office, which may also be able to pursue less formal means within the University to try to save your job or find you another.

Looking after your career Many permanent academic staff started their academic careers as casual staff. The teaching experience gained from casual tutoring and demonstrating can be invaluable when applying for permanent academic positions. Make sure you keep an accurate record of your teaching experience, including tutorial / demonstration outlines, copies of any course materials you have developed, student evaluations etc. It’s also a good idea to get a reference from your supervisor at the end of the semester.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


Casual’s Checklist ❏❏

Keep your letter of appointment and any other official documents relating to your employment in a safe place.

❏❏

Finalise your employment details as quickly as possible to avoid missing a pay period.

❏❏

Check with your School/Departmental administrator about frequency of pay periods, whether there are cut-off dates for the lodgement of time sheets and how time sheets are lodged.

❏❏

Provide your tax file number to the person responsible for administering your pay.

❏❏

Keep a record of your Employee or Salary number so you can quote it to the pay officer if any problems arise.

❏❏

Consider getting advice from the university’s superannuation officer or financial advice before making any decisions about superannuation www.unisuper.com.au.

❏❏

Download a copy of your Enterprise Agreement from the NTEU website for reference www.nteu.org.au/rights/agreements.

❏❏

Make sure you have access to work facilities (desk, computer, email, photocopying, office space etc).

❏❏

Clarify anything you are unsure of in relation to your duties with your supervisor as soon as possible, preferably in writing.

❏❏

Note down any extra hours worked over and above your allocated paid hours.

❏❏

Keep copies of all your students’ teaching evaluation questionnaires.

❏❏

Report any work-related illness or injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.

❏❏

Keep copies of any course materials or other work you develop as a casual academic.

❏❏

Get a reference from your supervisor at the end of the semester.

❏❏

Make sure any previous regular casual employment is counted as service for long service leave if you gain a fixed term or ongoing position.

❏❏

Contact the Union if any issues arise as soon as possible after they occur.

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Getting the most out of your union membership What is my Local Union Branch? Your local NTEU Branch office is referred to throughout this handbook and is your first port of call for advice or assistance in relation to your job. The Branch office can provide you with more information about the Union and how it operates at your institution. The Branch has elected representatives, including a Branch President and Secretary as well as a website with contact details and local news:

 www.nteu.org.au/murdoch

When should I contact the Union? You don’t have to suffer through employment problems. NTEU can help you devise a strategy for dealing with your issues, and assist in making you aware of your rights and options in confidence. NTEU gives members confidential advice, and we will not raise individual cases with management without the permission of the member in question. You should raise any concerns you have about your work, workplace or conditions with the Union as soon as possible.

What if my supervisor is also an NTEU member? Your issues will be dealt with confidentially. The NTEU will act for you, as the affected employee, regardless of whether your supervisor (who acts for the University) is an NTEU member or not.

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Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


What does the Union do? Industrial Advice While important improvements have been made for casual staff, NTEU knows that many casual academics still work unpaid hours, have difficulties accessing proper facilities at work and do not feel integrated into the collegial life of their Schools and Departments. Over the life of this Enterprise Agreement, NTEU will be aggressively enforcing existing provisions and entitlements through legal and industrial avenues to ensure that your rights are protected. NTEU employs staff in local Branch and State (Division) offices, and in the National Office. They provide specialist advice and support to members on all matters related to the conditions of their employment, including appointments, promotion, classifications, contracts, unfair dismissal, disciplinary procedures, intellectual property, consultancies, research funding and a myriad of other issues.

 www.nteu.org.au/rights

Lobbying Government NTEU lobbies Government and all political parties on issues related to tertiary education funding, policy and employment. NTEU makes submissions to parliamentary inquiries, and liaises with employers, students and professional associations on issues affecting the work of university staff.

 www.nteu.org.au/campaigns

Enterprise Bargaining NTEU represents university staff in enterprise bargaining at every university. NTEU provides the resources and organisational strength to enhance our members’ bargaining power – but remember, our capacity to bargain effectively is directly linked to our strength on the ground. If you want to have a say in negotiations affecting your pay and conditions, join the Union!

 www.universitybargaining.com.au

www.unicasual.org.au

19


Communication with Members Connect is the NTEU’s national publication for casual academic staff. It is published and sent to all casual academic staff twice a year. It can also be read online in the resources section of our website dedicated to casual academic members at:

 www.unicasual.org.au NTEU provides a wide range of services to members, including regular information through newsletters and journals, seminars for members on professional issues, union training and access to ACTU financial services. The NTEU national website provides up-to-date information on all areas of the Union’s work:

 www.nteu.org.au NTEU’s national magazine, the Advocate, is sent to all members, including casuals, three times a year.

 www.nteu.org.au/advocate The women’s magazine is sent to all women members once a year.

 www.nteu.org.au/women The Australian Universities’ Review, NTEU’s refereed academic journal, is published twice a year and is sent to all members who request it.

 www.aur.org.au Members also receive the Murdoch Branch Newsletter and United, the Western Australian Division’s newsletter

Membership Benefits In addition, NTEU members also have access to Union Shopper, a shopping service providing discounts and savings on a wide range of products and services. A casual using Union Shopper to purchase goods just 2 or 3 times would be likely to save the equivalent of an entire year’s membership dues. Members can get a copy of the Membership Benefits Guide by contacting your local NTEU Branch office or online at:

 www.nteu.org.au/join/benefits

20

Smart Casuals - Murdoch University Branch


How to get Involved For the Union to continue to pursue these issues and to succeed in this important campaign to improve the rights of casual staff we need your help. Your involvement can be as simple as joining the NTEU, talking to your colleagues about issues affecting casual staff, participating in your local academic casuals network and online forums on www.unicasual.org.au and keeping in touch through our website

 www.nteu.org.au The Union organises a number of conferences, meetings and events for members to participate in. Your local NTEU Branch office has an elected committee that meets regularly, and we have working parties to deal with particular issues of local concern to staff. At a State level, there are Division working groups and networks. Contact the Division office in your State to find out about local activities. At a National level, there is an annual Women’s conference, an Indigenous members’ forum, a National Academic Casuals Committee and a National Education and Research Advisory Group.

 www.nteu.org.au/myunion/about/committees If you are interested in any of these events your local NTEU Branch office can give you information about getting involved. Elections for Branch Committee and other positions are held every two years, and casual staff who are NTEU members are eligible to both run and vote in these elections.

 www.nteu.org.au/myunion/get_involved

www.unicasual.org.au

21


CASUAL MEMBERSHIP FORM

NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION

 I want to join NTEU  I am currently a member and wish to update my details The information on this form is needed for aspects of NTEU’s work and will be treated as confidential.

YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS TITLE

|SURNAME

GIVEN NAMES HOME ADDRESS

|STATE

CITY/SUBURB PHONE |WORK INCL AREA CODE

HOME PHONE INCL AREA CODE

|POSTCODE

|DATE OF BIRTH

MOBILE

| MALE  FEMALE

EMAIL HAVE YOU PREVIOUSLY BEEN AN NTEU MEMBER?

 YES: AT WHICH INSTITUTION?

ARE YOU AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL/TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER?  YES

YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT DETAILS

|CAMPUS

INSTITUTION/EMPLOYER

|DEPT/SCHOOL

FACULTY

 SESSIONAL ACADEMIC  GENERAL/PROFESSIONAL STAFF CASUAL You may resign by written notice to the Division or Branch Secretary. Where you cease to be eligible to become a member, resignation shall take effect on the date the notice is received or on the day specified in your notice, whichever is later. In any other case, you must give at least two weeks notice. Members are required to pay dues and levies as set by the Union from time to time in accordance with NTEU rules. Further information on financial obligations, including a copy of the rules, is available from your Branch. ‡Associated bodies: NTEU (NSW); University of Qld Academic Staff Association (Union of Employees) at UQ; Union of Australian College Academics (WA Branch) Industrial Union of Workers at Edith Cowan University & Curtin University; Curtin University Staff Association (Inc.) at Curtin University; Staff Association of Edith Cowan University (Inc.) at ECU Office use only: Membership no.

PAYMENT DETAILS

|STEP/INCREMENT IF KNOWN

Pay by cheque, money order or credit card

CHOOSE YOUR SALARY RANGE  SELECT PERIOD OF MEMBERSHIP  TICK APPROPRIATE BOX Salary range

6 months

12 months

$10,000 & under: $10,001–$20,000: Over $20,000:

  

 $55  $77  $110

$27.50 $38.50 $55

 PLEASE ACCEPT MY CHEQUE/MONEY ORDER

OR

PAY BY CREDIT CARD:

NAME ON CARD CARD NO.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

EXPIRY SIGNATURE

|  MASTERCARD  VISA |$ |DATE

Description of goods/services: NTEU Membership Dues. To: NTEU, PO Box 1323, Sth Melbourne VIC 3205

YOUR EMPLOYMENT GROUP

|LEVEL LECTB, HEW4

POSITION

|MAIL/ BLDG CODE

I hereby apply for membership of NTEU, any Branch and any associated body‡ established at my workplace.

SEND SIGNED FORM TO NTEU

SIGNATURE

POST:

PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205

FAX:

(03) 9254 1915

DATE

EMAIL: national@nteu.org.au


Smart Casuals (Murdoch University)  

NTEU handbook for casual and sessional academic staff at Murdoch University

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