Supporting the independent education community

Agreements roundup


Your Union is busy making improvements for members across the sector, and a big part of that is by enterprise bargaining. The IEU has been negotiating with several colleges in recent months.


At Navitas English, an agreement-in-principle was reached in January, and the parties have since been finalising a draft to put to members. The proposed agreement includes salary increase equivalent to the Wages Price Index (2.1% for 2018, probably slightly higher this year), a figure which has been above the inflation rate in recent years. The agreement also includes improved classifications for support staff, which will hopefully see more staff progress to the top of the pay scale. There are also extra pay rises for Level 5 support staff. Voting commenced on 18 March, and your Union is endorsing a ‘yes’ vote.


At Insearch, an agreement-in-principle was reached in early March. The new agreement will include annual pay rises of 2.5%, an improved criteria for awarding sessional contracts, and an annual paid Union meeting. The draft was still being finalised as of press deadline, but your Union will be encouraging a ‘yes’ vote.


At Embassy English, negotiations have been stalled, following the sale of the college by Study Group to EC English. Bargaining has also been delayed in Melbourne and Queensland, and recent talk has been to work towards a national agreement (with separate salary scales). The IEUA in all three states will continue to pressure EC to finalise these agreements in the near future.


At UOW College, negotiations are reaching the pointy end, and are stuck on an agreed wages outcome. The College is refusing to move from its most recent offer of 1.9% per annum, so members of the IEU and the NTEU held a lunch time rally on 13 March to pressure the College to improve their offer. It is indicative of management’s approach that no one was prepared to accept the resolution calling on a decent settlement, and members are angry enough to consider industrial action.


Negotiations are also underway at Sydney College of English, Taylors College and UNSW Global, though these have not yet got very far, while bargaining will soon commence at WSU The College, Navitas ACT and Navitas English Services.


The Fair Work Act contains provision for ‘good faith bargaining’, under which an employer can be forced to negotiate when it can be demonstrated that a majority of the staff (or section of staff, such as teachers) want them to. To find out how this might work at your college, contact your Union, the IEU.