Dear Colleagues,
We are pleased to announce that at a meeting today between University representatives and the NTEU and CPSU representatives to discuss logistics and process around enterprise bargaining, all parties agreed to commence bargaining in February 2013.

Well that’s about time. It’s been many months since the last enterprise agreement expired. Where were you in late 2012 when the unions tried to get you to talk??

As we commence enterprise bargaining, it is again important to note that Higher Education is experiencing revolutionary change and our ability to anticipate and adapt to changes in Government policy, technologies and student demands, as well as increased competition,  will determine our capacity to thrive and continue delivering on our promise to our students, our staff and our region long into the future.

Gee thanks Ann. I’m not quite sure what that means but it sounds awesomely brainy. Our ability to anticipate and adapt to the revolutionary change in higher ed will determine whether we thrive and deliver. But, hang on, who is the ‘we’ striving so hard to deliver on promises to staff, students and region. It’s clearly not ‘staff’ who are seeking to deliver, but managers (who are staff but let’s not split hairs). So your job is to read the tea leaves correctly and if this happens you and all the other highly paid suits will thrive. And what are these promises that have been made to staff, students and region? Could you write and tell us what they are? And what if anything will happen to you and the others in the managerial matrix if these as-yet-unspecified promises are broken??
The development of new enterprise agreements will seek to empower our staff and to deliver an enhanced working environment, while creating the capacity for staff and the community to embrace the future.

That’s lovely Ann. But, really, the ‘development’ of ‘agreements will seek to empower’ ??? I’m lost in abstraction there. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been wanting to be empowered and to have my working environment enhanced for a long-time now. And I will definitely not be able to embrace the future unless these things happen.

Throughout the negotiations, the University will regularly meet with the NTEU and CPSU to discuss any issues that may arise.

Thanks. But isn’t that, by definition, what Enterprise Bargaining involves?

A UWS steering committee will work intensively to ensure negotiations are conducted in good faith and that the necessary work between meetings with staff representative bodies is carried out in an expedient manner.
In order to ensure enterprise bargaining is a priority and taken forward in the timely fashion which all parties desire, the University has appointed Bruce Heddle and Darren Gardner, both of Maddocks law firm, as the University’s bargaining representatives in accordance with section 176(1)(d) of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Ohhhhhhh!!! So let me get this straight. A bunch of lawyers will come and bargain for UWS, presumably paid by the hour. And they will strive to wrap things up pronto, will they? So why do we need them and how much are they going to cost? Will they get free Ipads? Can’t you rustle up a bunch of bargainers from among the motley crew at Werrington?

A series of campus forums were held in December which provided the steering committee with some good feedback on the current agreements.

Did they really Ann? I mean, is that the god-honest truth? How many people came along to these events? We heard the forums were empty except for a couple of management patsies. And what was the feedback you received?

We are committed to keeping staff updated throughout negotiations and will host further forums in February and will provide links to a dedicated bargaining website and other avenues for feedback prior to the commencement of negotiations.

Well good luck with the hosting Ann, but it might just be a waste of your valuable time putting on these events. But no matter. I suspect you’ll be hearing staff views loud and clear anyway.
Ann Tout
Executive Director, Office of People and Culture