Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at UTS have unanimously agreed to supporting a new staff agreement that will improve working rights and conditions.
Following a presentation from the UTS NTEU bargaining team last Thursday, NTEU members “endorsed the in-principle new staff agreement,” said UTS Branch Director Dr Sarah Attfield.
The new agreement will improve job security for casual staff members. Advocating for 110 new permanent jobs for current casuals, better conversion pathways for staff and avenues to job security after two years for professional staff.
The bargaining team were also able to gain a 4.5% pay rise in 2022, ten days of paid domestic violence leave, academic freedom and freedom of expression, and workload protections for both casual and professional staff.
Members had agreed on twenty days gender affirmation leave per year for trans and gender-diverse staff, an employment target of 3% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, paid language allowances and an increase from five to ten days of paid cultural leave.
Dr Attfield commented, “The bargaining team are very pleased with this outcome – it has been a very long process and we took industrial action twice last year, but we’ve ended up with an excellent draft agreement that will deliver major improvements to the working conditions of academic and professional staff at UTS. I’d suggest that some of the new clauses can be described as ‘sector leading’.”
Before gaining approval from the Fair Work Commission, the agreement will first be placed to an all-staff vote.
“I’m confident that UTS staff will vote to approve the agreement when the vote is opened by the University, and once it’s all been processed, the NTEU branch will start the work of making sure the new clauses are implemented!”