Fair Work Commission approves University of Tasmania’s new staff agreement

UTAS staff collectively voted in support of the new agreement commencing from February 6.

The University of Tasmania’s new staff agreement gained approval from the Fair Work Commission earlier this week and will be in action from 6 February until 2025.  

In a ballot that was held between 17 to 22 December 2022, 88% of staff voted ‘yes’ for the proposed agreement. The deal promises a 13.5% pay increase over four years, starting from 4.6% in July 2022 which was already paid to staff. There will be a 3% hike in July 2023, 2.5% in July 2024 and 3.4% in July 2025. 

UTAS’s Chief People Officer Kristen Derbyshire said that the new union agreement is a result of the “culmination of many months of consultation and collaboration by our colleagues and union representatives”.

The new agreement comprises increasing conversion of casual employees to secure contracts, the introduction of Continuing Contingent Funded (CCF) employment, and an increased gender affirmation leave to up to 30 days per year. 

While the agreement also mentions simplified and enhanced leave provisions including expanded parental leave entitlements, the exact details remain unclear.

“This outcome enables a simplified, contemporary Agreement that aligns with our values and provides our people with increased job security, fair pay, and access to generous leave provisions,” said Derbyshire.

Earlier last year, UTAS revealed a massive wage theft which has been ongoing for up to eight to nine years, leading to bargaining discussions for a new enterprise agreement. 

UTAS staff previously organised an industrial action in October 2022 demanding better working conditions and opposing the lack of action from the management.

Honi has reached out to National Tertiary Education Union’s Tasmanian division for a comment.