Present tense:

Award wage increases

On 1 July, all rates were increased by 3.3% in the prevailing award in the post secondary sector, the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010, in line with the national minimum wage increase.

This means that the Level 12 salary in the award has increased to $62,115.33 per annum, the Level 7 salary is now at $54, 598.17, and the Level 4 rate is now $50,000.09. Casual rates have also been increased, with the Level 12 hourly rate now at $59.50, the Level 7 rate at $52.30, and the Level 4 rate at $47.89.

While the increases granted were less than what the ACTU and the rest of the union movement was hoping for, they still represent the biggest annual increases for some years.

Modern award reviews

As part of the four yearly modern award reviews, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has been hearing some submissions from the ACTU and other unions about both casual employment and domestic violence leave.

In regards to casual employment, the FWC has announced that all modern awards must henceforth include provisions to enable casual employees to convert their employment to ongoing once they have completed 12 months of regular, systematic and continuous employment.

The provision awarded falls short of what the ACTU was seeking, namely the requirement that all casual work be converted after six months, but it is still a significant improvement for casual employees. At press deadline, your Union was still working through the implications for casual employees in the post secondary sector, and a full report will be provided in the next edition of this column.

In regards to domestic violence leave, the ACTU was unsuccessful in enshrining paid leave, but the principle of unpaid leave for those in domestic violence situations was included, and is an important step forward in workplace recognition of this important issue.

Agreements update

Your Union continues to negotiate with several employers for renewed enterprise agreements. Two of these are reaching the final stages, with the agreement at Navitas English Services (salary increases of 5.1% over three years) now lodged with the FWC, and Embassy English Sydney (increases of 3% over two years) about to be voted on.

Negotiations are now in full swing at Australian Pacific College, with a salary offer now tabled, and the key issues being worked through. It is hoped that an agreed settlement can be put to teachers in the next month or so. Meanwhile at SELC in Bondi Junction, negotiations have been re-started after being put on hold due to a major restructure at the college late last year.

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

Kendall Warren