TAFE teachers strongly support Federation-negotiated salaries and conditions settlement

TAFE teachers have secured salary increases of 2.5 per cent each year for three years with no cuts to working conditions for TAFE teachers and related employees.

Federation urged TAFE members to vote yes in a digital ballot, to accept the terms of settlement negotiated between Federation and TAFE NSW.

Ninety two per cent of voters supported the proposed enterprise agreement in the ballot, which closed on Thursday evening.


Working over 5 days - Clause 18

Clause 18 has changed at 18.3.1.  A minimal wording change, but many members have, rightly, raised concerns about possible implications on teachers’ working week.

Teachers will still be able to complete their program in less than 5 days.

Federation has received formal correspondence from the Managing Director, Jon Black, acknowledging it is common for TAFE teachers to meet their weekly attendance in less than 5 days per week. Further this correspondence outlines TAFE’s intention that this common practice will continue.  In Fair Work, the intention of a clause is given weight should any dispute arise.

Click here to view correspondence from TAFE.

Administrative Arrangements

In relation to the Administrative Arrangements TAFE NSW has provided a written undertaking to the Federation precisely in the terms as for previous Enterprise Agreements. That is, subject to the successful settlement of the  2016 Enterprise Agreement, by a YES vote of TAFE Teachers and Related Employees, the Administrative Arrangements  will continue as follows:

  1. In relation to attendance time, the arrangements provide a teacher may complete 5 hours of their weekly related duties off-site including at home. From time to time, subject to TAFE business needs, additional onsite attendance may be required.
  2. Where onsite attendance is not required and a teacher completes the 5 hours or related duties off site, including at home, the activities to be performed must be consistent with the relevant clauses of the Enterprise Agreement and may be determined together with the timing of the activities by the teacher in consultation with their manager. The day, time and location of these hours are to specified and recorded on the teachers’ program diary (TPD) as part of the teacher’s approved program.
  3. Adjustments will need to be made where a teacher’s approved program varies from 35 hours per week under the annualised hours provision of the Enterprise Agreement.

Once the Enterprise Agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission TAFE has committed to circulating written confirmation of the Administrative Arrangements set out above.


TAFE members have sought clarification about working conditions under the new TAFE Enterprise Agreement (EA) to be voted on later this month. Here is Federation’s advice on the issues raised by members.

What has happened to administrative arrangements/five hours off-site?

A teacher may complete five hours of weekly related duties off-site, a condition contained in the administrative agreement. TAFE NSW has confirmed in writing that this agreement will be reissued and its provisions will continue.

The administrative agreement will continue to stand outside the Enterprise Agreement; the new Agreement will not remove or alter the five hours off-site condition.

Have there been any changes to Clause 18 – working over five days?

Teachers will continue to be able to complete their weekly program in fewer than five days. There has been a minimal wording change to Clause 18 but TAFE NSW acknowledges that it is common for TAFE teachers to meet their weekly program in fewer than five days per week and accepts that this practice will continue.  

Are there any changes to Annual Leave?

Teachers remain entitled to 11 weeks where they are not required to attend their workplaces. Clause 33.4.2 states the number of weeks employees shall not be required to attend their workplace – four weeks of Annual Leave for all classifications and seven weeks of Non-Attendance for teachers.

The new EA adds clause 33.4.3 to clearly delineate when Annual Leave will be taken: the first week of each “vacation” period was settled upon.

A lack of clarity around Annual Leave has been an issue for both the union and TAFE NSW in Fair Work during the 2013 EA, so creating certainty that four weeks’ Annual Leave is actually taken by teachers was not opposed by Federation.  This change should be seen as a consequence of Fair Work rather than an alteration to working conditions.

Members who have any other concerns should contact Federation on 1300 654 367.

View email sent to TAFE members on 24 November 2016


Dear Colleague,

All TAFE teachers are urged to vote YES to the proposed TAFE Teachers and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement when voting opens this week.

Federation supports the Agreement because it provides:

  • a 2.5 per cent salary increase each year
  • a duration of three years
  • protection of current working conditions
  • no change to current teaching hours
  • confirmation in writing from TAFE that the existing administrative arrangements will continue for the life of the Agreement (this allows TAFE teachers to continue to work off-site for five hours);
  • no change to related duties for part time casual teachers
  • the implementation of the three trial roles (Head Teacher Band 3, Assessor and Educational Support Officer) as classifications in the Enterprise Agreement
  • the establishment of a joint working party to develop a comprehensive future workforce capability framework.

This proposed Enterprise Agreement is very different to TAFE’s previous proposals which were opposed by the union and resoundingly voted down earlier this year by TAFE teachers.

TAFE will not pursue its proposal for the introduction of Trainers.

The statement of duties for new positions limits the work these people can perform. The Education Support Officer “does not teach or prepare lessons, or resources and does not deliver training nor undertake assessment”. The Assessor “does not teach or deliver training”. The Head Teacher 3 does not supervise other Head Teachers.

The Agreement provides 2.5 per cent from the first pay period on or after November 24, 2016 and an increase 12 months later of 2.5 per cent in 2017, with a further 2.5 per cent increase in 2018.

Voting opens from 12:01am on Friday November 25 and closes at 11:59pm on Thursday December 1.

It is important for all TAFE teachers to vote YES.

For further information click here.



John Dixon
General Secretary


For further information

NSW Teachers Federation

Phone: 02 9217 2100
Fax: 02 9217 2470
Email: mail@nswtf.org.au
Web: www.nswtf.org.au


Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary
NSW Teachers Federation
23-33 Mary St
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

© NSW Teachers Federation 2016


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