Present Tense

Members make their feelings known

Navitas dispute

Regular readers would be aware that your Union has been locked in negotiations with Navitas English (the company that runs the AMEP, SEE and other programs for the Federal Government) for over a year now. It has been clear for some months that these discussions have reached something of an impasse. Industrial action taken in December did see a small improvement in Navitas’ offer, but still nowhere near the minimum that members will accept.

Members resolved, therefore, to undertake further industrial action, with a half day stoppage planned for Tuesday 15 March (the details of which were still being planned at the time of writing).

At the same time, Navitas informed the IEU that they would move ahead and hold a ballot for the proposed agreement during March. The aforementioned industrial action will take place immediately before the voting period for the agreement. This means that members will have two opportunities to make their feelings known, first with the industrial action, and then with the vote on the agreement.

If the agreement is voted up, then it will be binding on all staff, but if it is voted down, the Union will seek further improvements ahead of a revote later in the year.

Agreements on other locations

The news has been better at other workplaces, with agreements reached at three colleges. At Insearch, the parties agreed to salary increases totaling 9.75% over three years, along with several other improvements, and voting is taking place at the time of writing. At EF International College, the parties agreed to salary increases of 6.75% in total over three years, along with a number of other improvements. Meanwhile at UoW College, an agreement providing for increases of 2.75% per annum was approved just before Christmas last year.

The IEU is also involved in negotiations at several other colleges, including UWS College, Mission Australia, UNSW Global, Sydney College of English, Access Language Centre, and Universal English College. It is hoped that agreements can be reached at all of these centres in the next few months.

The Fair Work Act contains provisions for ‘good faith bargaining’, under which an employer can be compelled to negotiate when it can be demonstrated that the employees (or group of employees, such as teachers) wish them to do so. To find out how this can be made to work at your college, contact the IEU on


As part of the IEU’s ongoing commitment to members in all sectors, the Union will hold its regular seminar for members in the private post-secondary college sector on Tuesday, 12 April, from 4pm, at the IEU offices, Wattle Street. The seminar will look at the general industrial landscape of the sector, the rights and responsibilities of employees, and how you can make your Union work best for you and your colleagues. More details will be emailed to members closer to the time.

Future Perfect enews

Members should be aware by now that for the last 12 months your Union has been sending out by email an enews called Future Perfect. Members are encouraged to open these emails, as they usually contain additional news about matters discussed in this column, as well as others that are not. There is also more scope to run items of direct interest to you and so if there is anything that you would like to see discussed, email your Union on

Kendall Warren