Answers about Enterprise Bargaining
What is an Enterprise Agreement and where can I find the agreements?
An enterprise agreement is an agreement made between an employer and its employees that covers wages and conditions of employment. Enterprise agreements are negotiated in good faith through collective bargaining.
TAFE NSW currently has 4 Enterprise Agreements:
- TAFE Commission of NSW Teachers and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2013
- TAFE Commission of NSW Administrative, Support and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2013
- TAFE Commission of NSW Institute Managers Enterprise Agreement 2013
- TAFE Commission of NSW Teachers in TAFE Children's Centres Enterprise Agreement 2013
What is Enterprise Bargaining?
Enterprise bargaining is the negotiation process by which TAFE NSW and its employees, and the unions representing them, negotiate wages and conditions of employment. Bargaining usually occurs during a series of meetings that are held to negotiate a new enterprise agreement, which is then put to vote by all employees covered by the particular agreement.
Enterprise bargaining usually starts where the employer agrees to, or initiates bargaining, when the current enterprise agreement is nearing, or past its nominal expiry date.
Who represents me in enterprise negotiations with TAFE NSW?
An important part of the enterprise bargaining process is your right to nominate a bargaining representative to participate in the negotiations on your behalf. There are three ways you can be represented during the negotiations:
- your union can represent you - if you are a member of a union that is entitled to represent you (for example, the AEU or the CPSU), your union will automatically be your bargaining representative for the agreement, unless you appoint another person as your representative, or revoke the union's status as your representative; or
- you can appoint a bargaining representative to represent you; or
- you can appoint yourself as a bargaining representative.
How long will bargaining take?
There is no set time for bargaining to finish, although it is in everyone's interests to reach agreement in a time frame as efficiently as possible. We do not believe it is in anyone's interest to have a long term, extended bargaining time frame.
How will I stay up to date?
We will keep you up to date with regular updates to let you know how bargaining is progressing. Frequently asked questions can be found here or you can email the EB team your questions and we will respond to you within 2 business days
How can I have my say?
You can have your say by providing us with feedback. We are interested in what you have to say and will listen to your feedback and take it into account. You can also provide feedback to your manager who can also provide advice to the Bargaining Team.
Who can vote?
All employees who are covered by the current agreement and will be covered by the agreement can vote for it. You do not need to be a member of a union.
Do I have to vote for a new EA?
Every employee should have a say over their conditions and wages and the way you can do this is to stay informed and vote when the ballot is held. You aren't obliged to vote but we ask that you consider voting when the time comes to make sure your voice is heard.
When will I have to vote?
Voting for a new enterprise agreement will be managed by an independent ballot management service provider.
Seven days before voting for an agreement you will be given a copy of the agreement and any other materials to assist in explaining the terms of the agreement and to help you with the voting process. At this stage you will also be told when, where and how the voting will take place.
Where can I find out more about Enterprise Bargaining generally?
The Fair Work Ombudsman provides general information about enterprise agreements and enterprise bargaining
How is TAFE NSW managing the bargaining across the four Enterprise Agreements?
Pam Christie, Managing Director of TAFE NSW has appointed Kerry Penton, Institute Director, Riverina Institute, to the position of Director Workforce Engagement to conduct the negotiations on behalf of TAFE NSW. TAFE NSW's bargaining teams are made up from representatives from all ten Institutes. Membership of the teams can be found below.