Present Tense

Wages under review

Modern award review

The Fair Work Commission is currently undertaking a review of all modern awards, including the award that applies in the private college sector, the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010. This review is in line with the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The IEU has made a wide-ranging submission to this review, and we hope to effect changes to the award that will benefit IEU members in the sector. In particular, the Union is seeking to amend the sections of the award that relate to notice periods for casuals, the casual daily rate, and recognition of experience.

The Union is seeking information from members who may have been unjustly affected by the current provisions of the award. Specifically, we want some members to make a statement that we can include in our submission. If you are willing and able to assist, please contact the IEU.

Award rate increases

As well as the four yearly award review, the Commission also recently heard the annual national minimum wage case, and granted a general increase of 2.5%. This increase will flow through to all awards, including the post secondary award, meaning that the annual salary at the top of the scale will increase to approximately $58, 720 per annum, and all other rates will increase by a similar amount. These increases will take effect from 1 July.

Agreement making

In recent months, your Union has been busy negotiating agreements, in particular with Navitas English (formerly known as ACL), and with UoW College (attached to the University of Wollongong). Both negotiations have been productive so far, and it is hoped that an acceptable settlement can be reached in the near future. A fuller report on both negotiations will be given in the next edition of Present Tense.

In the coming months, the Union will commence bargaining with several other colleges, including UWS College, EF, Access, Sydney College of English, Specialty, Universal, SELC and Insearch. If you are an IEU member at any of these colleges, now is the time start encouraging your colleagues to join the IEU. It is no surprise that the Union is able to get the best outcomes at those colleges with the strongest union density.

The Fair Work Act includes provisions for good faith bargaining, under which an employer must negotiate for an agreement where it can be demonstrated that a majority of employees wish for this to happen. If you would like to know how this can be applied in your workplace, contact your Union, the IEU.

Seminar postponed

The IEU had hoped to hold our annual seminar for employees in the private college sector, but unfortunately there was insufficient demand for the proposed date on 18 May. The seminar will therefore be rescheduled for later in the year, most likely in October or November.

Kendall Warren