Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions.

What is an Enterprise Agreement?

An enterprise agreement is an agreement about conditions and entitlements of work that covers the whole University. The enterprise agreement is a document that you can refer to when you need answers to questions about working here. We are currently negotiating a new enterprise agreement, trying to simplify it so it is easier to understand and use.

What will be in the enterprise agreement?

Most of the agreement describes the relationship between the University and its employees. It will describe working at the University, including;

  • Wages and allowances
  • Hours of work
  • Leave
  • Other conditions and entitlements of work.

There may also be some information about the relationship between the University and unions. It will also describe how long the agreement will last, who is covered by the agreement, and how the negotiations for subsequent agreements will be conducted.

What will not be in the enterprise agreement?

To simplify the agreement, we will not duplicate anything already in legislation or decisions by Fair Work Australia. These provisions are your right by law, so we do not need to duplicate or interpret these in the agreement.

We will not include strategies or statements of values in the enterprise agreement. You can read about our strategies and values on our website.

KPIs and performance metrics will not be included, as these are included in the University's strategic plan or mid-tier strategies.

What is enterprise bargaining?

Enterprise bargaining is the process by which one of more employers and employees negotiate the terms and conditions which are included in an agreement. Either side can be represented in the process, for example unions can represent employees.

Who represents me in enterprise bargaining?

Employees have the right to represent themselves or nominate a bargaining representative to participate in the negotiations on your behalf. If you are a member of a union, your union will automatically represent you in enterprise bargaining. At Western Sydney University there are two staff unions – the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

How long will enterprise bargaining take?

Although our current enterprise agreements expired on 31 January, these agreements will remain in place, until new agreements are voted on and then approved by the Fair Work Commission. There is no set time frame for bargaining to finish, although it is usually beneficial for all parties to reach an agreement as efficiently as possible. The University is hoping to complete bargaining by June this year.

What is bargaining in good faith?

Those involved in the bargaining process, including bargaining representatives, are required to bargain in good faith.

The following are the good faith bargaining requirements that a bargaining representative for a proposed enterprise agreement must meet:

attending, and participating in, meetings at reasonable times disclosing relevant information (other than confidential or commercially sensitive information) in a timely manner responding to proposals made by other bargaining representatives for the agreement in a timely manner giving genuine consideration to the proposals of other bargaining representatives for the agreement, and giving reasons for the bargaining representative's responses to those proposals refraining from capricious or unfair conduct that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining recognising and bargaining with the other bargaining representatives for the agreement.

What happens if the bargaining representatives cannot agree?

In some circumstances the parties involved in bargaining for an enterprise agreement may reach a point where they cannot continue because they have an issue that they cannot resolve between themselves. In this situation the parties can seek assistance from the Fair Work Commission to help settle the issue and finish making the enterprise agreement.

Do I have to vote for a new enterprise agreement?

Every employee covered under their relevant agreement (academic or professional staff) should have their say about their terms and conditions of employment, and can do so by voting when a ballot is held. Employees are not obliged to vote however it is important to consider whether you want your voice to be heard.

When will I be able to vote on a new enterprise agreement?

All employees covered in an agreement will be notified seven days before voting on an agreement. Employees will be provided with a copy of the new enterprise agreement and any other materials that reference the agreement that assist with explaining the terms and conditions. To also assist employees at the University with the voting process, employees will be notified at the start of the seven day access period, the time and place that the vote will take place and the voting method that will be used.

Is the University proposing a reduction to our leave entitlements, including flex leave?

No, the University is proposing to continue the existing leave entitlement amounts for flex (up to 14 hours of flex leave per four-week settlement period), annual, personal, sick, long service, parental leave and leave without pay.

What does simplified plain English agreements mean?

The following video provides further information about what simplified plain English agreements mean.

Where can I find out more?

For more information about enterprise bargaining, visit the main enterprise bargaining webpage. You can also download a full list of proposed amendments and draft clauses tabled at each meeting on the proposed clauses webpage.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on enterprise bargaining, please email or complete the online form (submissions can be anonymous).