Future Perfect: Staff at three colleges gain pay rises

The IEU has recently concluded bargaining with three colleges, with outcomes providing meaningful benefits for members.

These agreements provide benefits over and above the basic entitlements of the award, including higher pay, better leave, and better regulated working conditions.

UNSW College

At UNSW College, terms were agreed late in 2023 for a new agreement, with pay rises encompassing a $1000 ‘uplift’ to all rates, followed by a pay rise of 4% from January 2023, a further 3.5% in 2024 and 3.5% in 2025.

Taylors College

Meanwhile, at Taylors College (which runs the University of Sydney’s pathways programs), the IEU has recently agreed to a settlement, ending a long-running and contentious negotiation.

The new agreement has several benefits for members, including pay rises of 5% from July 2023, and 4% from July 2024, a lump sum payment of about $1500-$2500 for most teachers, greater regulation around work during non-term times, and greater flexibility around work start times.

It took hard work and dedication from members to get here. The previous agreement at the college expired in early 2022, and the college gave an administrative pay rise of 2.5% at the time. It then took several months to get the employer to the bargaining table, with discussions not starting until November.

The college then put forward several proposals that were unacceptable to members, and negotiations settled into something of an uneasy impasse. Matters were further delayed when Navitas bought out the college from Study Group in May 2023.

Towards the end of last year, members had had enough, and authorised a range of industrial actions via a Protected Action Ballot Order. This move appeared to make the employer soften their stance on several matters, and the parties were finally able to agree to terms in February.

These negotiations were both difficult and protracted, but members held firm and were able to extract significant concessions from management to finally arrive at an acceptable settlement. Such agreements are only possible with the help of a strong, active, and growing IEU membership.

Navitas Skilled Futures

Finally, at Navitas Skilled Futures, formerly Navitas English, the company that runs many government migrant programs such as the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE), an agreement-in-principle was reached to roll over the existing agreement for one year, with a pay rise equivalent to the Wage Price Index, which will probably land at about 4% to 4.5%.

This short-term agreement should allow enough time for the Department of Home Affairs to conduct their announced internal review of the AMEP.

The Fair Work Act includes provisions for ‘good faith bargaining’, under which an employer can be compelled to negotiate when it can be demonstrated that a majority of employees (or group of employees, such as teachers) want that to happen. Enterprise agreements typically provide for superior pay and conditions to the award. To find out how this might work at your college, contact the IEU.

This update is part of the April 2024 edition of Future Perfect enewsletter.
Future Perfect is distributed to IEU members in the private post-secondary education sector two times per year.

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