Fair Work gives green light to TAFE EA

The Fair Work Commission has approved the TAFE Commission of NSW Teachers and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2016 that members voted to accept last November.

This means members will begin receiving the benefits of the new Enterprise Agreement – including a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise over three years with all current conditions locked in – from February 3, in accordance with Section 54 of the Fair Work Act. The nominal expiry date of the Agreement is February 3, 2020.

TAFE members overwhelmingly voted last November to accept the new agreement negotiated by Federation and TAFE management after members voted down a contentious TAFE offer last April that significantly attacked working conditions.

TAFE teachers had voted in a protected action ballot in October to consider industrial action if a negotiated settlement could not be reached.

Agreement between TAFE NSW and Federation on terms of settlement for a new Enterprise Agreement came almost simultaneously with the results of the protected action ballot.

This new agreement, approved today by Fair Work, includes:

  • a 2.5 percent annual pay rise from the first full pay period on or after 24 November 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • no change to current teaching hours
  • confirmation in writing from TAFE that existing administrative agreements would continue for the life of the agreement (this allows TAFE teachers to continue to work off-site for five hours)
  • implementation of Education Support Officers, Assessors and Head Teacher Band 3 as trialled in the previous Agreement
  • no change to related duties for part time casual teachers
  • the establishment of a joint working party to develop a comprehensive future workforce capability framework.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron said Federation would continue to campaign against the contestable funding model that has seen millions of dollars taken out of TAFE’s budget to fund private providers, leading to catastrophic consequences for thousands of students cheated by dodgy private colleges.

“There is now an urgency to ensure that the public TAFE system is promoted and protected and that the level of public money handed to private colleges be capped,” Mr Mulheron said.