Archive – administrative and support staff 2013

Read news and other information in enterprise bargaining round April to September 2013  

15 August 2013

Bargaining concludes  


After 9 bargaining meetings over the last 3 months, negotiations have wound up and it's now time to vote on the Agreement. There will be a staff ballot from 26 August to 1 September. This is the time for you to have YOUR SAY. 

Bargaining has been robust, with very intensive conversations taking place. While we may not have reached agreement on every point at the bargaining table, we have listened to the unions' claims and incorporated a number into the final proposal which you now get to vote on. 

The offer that TAFE is putting to you at the ballot features: 

  • A 12 month Agreement and a pay offer in keeping with the NSW public sector - that is, a 2.27% increase and 0.25% for increased superannuation 
  • Your existing leave entitlements and allowances maintained 
  • Roll over of the current Flexible Working Hours Agreement 
  • Improvements for temporary part-year employees; and 
  • Improved access to sick leave and leave for matters arising from domestic violence. 
  • The ballot is your chance to have a say - all staff covered by the Administrative, Support and Related Employees Agreement are eligible to vote. And we want you to vote. 

Casting your vote can make a difference. In order for you to get the pay rise we are offering, effective from 1 July, the majority of people voting MUST support the agreement. 

It's easy to vote and it's confidential. You can do it online or by phone. 

You will be getting an email from the TAFE NSW Managing Director Pam Christie to formally let you know about the voting process and to provide you with a copy of the proposed Enterprise Agreement. We urge you to have a look at all the material on the website and to familiarise yourself with the offer so that you can cast an informed ballot. 

Find out more by attending an info session at your Institute, ask your local HR rep, take a look at the Q and A information on the website, or ask the bargaining team a question

Remember now it is over to you. 


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

1 August 2013


A brief update to let you know about what's been happening on enterprise bargaining:

Wages offer

The NSW Government and the PSA and other public sector unions have agreed on a salary increase of 2.27% plus a 0.25% increase to superannuation for the next 12 months. This will apply to employees across the NSW public service, including in the Department of Education and Communities.

This is the same pay offer that TAFE has on the table for the Administrative, Support and Related Employees Agreement.

While the pay and superannuation issue was being resolved, the NSW Government has allowed TAFE to pay the increase from the first pay period in July if the new Agreement is supported. We want to give you the opportunity to vote on the Agreement and the pay rise soon, so that this date can be preserved.

Why is a ballot important?

The wage increase can't be passed on until you vote on the new Enterprise Agreement and it is actually agreed by the majority of people at the ballot.

In other words, a ‘Yes' vote secures the pay increase, calculated from the first pay period in July.

What's happening with bargaining? When will we get to vote?

We are reaching the end of bargaining and preparing for a ballot. Over eight meetings and approximately 40 hours of discussions, TAFE has genuinely bargained. We have agreed to changes to our original proposal and included ideas put forward by unions. We have asked the unions to formally respond to our offer of a 12 month Agreement that includes:

  • A 2.27% salary increase and 0.25% for increased superannuation
  • Maintenance of existing employment conditions
  • Improvements for temporary part-year employees, including the option to average pay over a year and receive it on a regular fortnightly basis
  • Improvements to make it easier to access sick leave and domestic violence leave.

We expect to have a ballot in August and will confirm dates as soon as we can.

Regardless of where we get to at the bargaining table, the final decision on a new Agreement is yours at the ballot. We have summarised some of the answers to the questions that people have been asking the bargaining team. Find out more by going the website, or ask a question of your own to

David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

23 July 2013


I want to let you know that bargaining this week has been held up because of ongoing discussions between the NSW Government and public sector unions about the calculations for pay and increased superannuation under NSW wages policy.

Until this is tied up, we can't wrap up the final wages figure that TAFE can offer. Once this has happened then we can move to arranging a vote on the new Enterprise Agreement. I hope to send you information on ballot dates as soon as I can.

In a nutshell, TAFE's offer is straightforward - no trade off of conditions and a pay rise in keeping with other public sector employees.

We're asking for a 12 month Agreement because we think there's an important discussion that needs to happen over the coming year. That is, talking to you in detail about simplifying the many classifications across administrative and support roles and removing barriers for mobility and satisfying careers.  

This will also help us to move forward with a more modern approach to customer service like other sectors and parts of government have done. We see this as a strong basis for a longer Agreement from 2014.

I also want to clear up misinformation circulating about our proposal to include Part-Year employment in the Agreement. TAFE's intention throughout bargaining has always beento provide improved stability in employment for our staff.We want to give temporary employees, currently working in peak times on a series of short term contracts, increased certainty of employment. Our original proposal was to remove the existing barrier to permanency of employment for these temporary part-year staff. 

However unions didn't accept this, so we have reluctantly taken the offer of permanent Part-Year employment off the table. We are now proposing a 12 month temporary Part-Year employment arrangement, which recognises the common pattern worked by many frontline staff supporting service delivery and allows them to average their pay over that time and receive it on a regular fortnightly basis.

Employees already working on a permanent Part-Year basis will continue as permanent employees.

I'll continue to keep you updated on developments. Regards and keep sending your questions to the

David Riordan

Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

18 July 2013


Yesterday we got a step closer to finalising bargaining negotiations so you have the opportunity to vote on the new Enterprise Agreement and secure your pay rise effective from 1 July.

In the interests of reaching agreement at the bargaining table, we have responded to the issues raised and revised our original bargaining proposal to meet union concerns.

The revised package gives you a wage increase, maintains conditions and offers some improvements.

Where are we at - what's TAFE's revised proposal?

  • Our pay offer is consistent with other NSW public sector employees. This is a total of 2.5% comprising a wage increase of approximately 2.25% and 0.25% for increased superannuation.
  • We have withdrawn the original proposal for permanent part-year employment - but we still want to give part-year employees the opportunity for greater job certainty and the benefit of having their salary average across the year, by including temporary part- year employment in the Agreement.
  • We have agreed to make it easier to access sick leave. A statutory declaration can be used as evidence of illness.
  • We have agreed to make it easier to access special leave in cases where staff have experienced domestic violence.
  • We've also revised our approach to library shifts. We are asking for a consistent approach to shift length across the organisation. This change affects approximately 100 library staff.

What next?

We are working towards finalising bargaining at the next meeting so you have the chance to cast your vote for a pay rise at the upcoming ballot. A pay increase can't be passed on without your Yes vote on the Agreement. Regardless of where we land at the bargaining table, you have the final say on a new Agreement. We will let you know the exact dates of the ballot as soon as we know.

Want more detail?

You can read the Q and A about the revised part-year employment and library shift proposals if you want more detail. You can also read the revised proposal provided to bargaining representatives. If you have any questions please send them to the


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

5 July 2013


Bargaining discussions are getting closer to finalisation.

We are still interested in a 12 month Agreement maintaining your conditions of employment with minimal change.

TAFE also wants to ensure that you receive a wage increase, paid from 1 July.

Confirmation of TAFE's pay offer

As I mentioned last week, we have been waiting on the Government's clarification of its position, before we could confirm the pay increase on offer for the new Enterprise Agreement.

In response to the decision of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission last week, the Government has amended the legislation that gives effect to the NSW Government's Wages Policy. These changes apply to TAFE NSW because we are covered by this policy.

This means TAFE's pay offer remains a 2.25% increase to salaries and allowances and a 0.25% increase to the contribution to employee superannuation.

The Government has also said that it will introduce legislation, so that people in defined benefit superannuation schemes will get the 0.25% increase for superannuation, along with the rest of the public sector.

Why a 12 month Agreement?

The reason for this is so we can start discussions with you soon about the development of a new administrative and support classification framework. We want to use the next 12 months to gather your feedback and develop options for consultation. We can then use this as the basis for more comprehensive negotiations and a longer term Enterprise Agreement in 2014.

Good faith bargaining

We have now had seven bargaining meetings. TAFE has discussed and carefully considered all the bargaining proposals put forward by the unions. We have written to them about as many of these issues as possible, to date, giving the reasons for our response. You can read a summary of TAFE's responses so far, if you are interested in more detail.

We have a further meeting scheduled for 17 July. We will be working to finalise the Agreement quickly so that the 1 July date can be preserved for your pay rise.

If you have any questions please send them to the


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

27 June 2013

Enterprise bargaining update


Our meeting yesterday helped all the parties to crystallise the key issues for our ongoing discussions. We are continuing to bargain in good faith to try and identify points for further negotiation.

TAFE's proposal continues to be a 12 month Agreement with minimal change and a pay rise in keeping with Government guidelines.

NSW Government wages policy and TAFE's pay offer

In relation to this, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has announced its decision about how the NSW Government's wages policy deals with the costs of the increase of the employer's contribution to the superannuation guarantee levy.

We are waiting on Government's clarification of its position on this.

In the meantime, the NSW Government has approved TAFE to give an undertaking that while the issue is being finalised, 1 July 2013 would apply as the commencement date for any salary increase for employees covered by a new Agreement.

In other words, a staff vote on the new Enterprise Agreement doesn't need to happen before 30 June for the pay rise to be effective from 1 July.

Library shift proposal

We are providing more information on our proposal for library shifts. There is an explanatory  paper on the website that you can check out as well as some questions and answers that unpack some of the detail. We would like to see the provisions in the current Enterprise Agreement for library shift loadings and shift length be applied consistently in all Institutes. While many library staff will not be affected by this, we are nonetheless proposing an approach to minimise the impact of the change during the life of this Agreement.

We have agreed to another meeting on 3 July.

In the meantime send any questions to the or find background information on the TAFE enterprise bargaining web pages.


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

19 June 2013

Enterprise bargaining update


Here is our brief update about today. We are working hard with bargaining representatives to try and reach agreement on the proposals on the table. TAFE is still seeking a minimal change Enterprise Agreement of 12 months' length.

NSW Government wages policy and proposed pay increase of 2.25%

We are waiting on the outcomes of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission hearing in relation to this to see if it has any further implications for our Enterprise Agreement pay proposal.

Part-year employment

We are continuing to discuss questions about our proposal about part-year employment and will come back to the table next week with some more information that unions have requested.

Library shifts

As I mentioned in my last update, Institutes are using a range of approaches to the payment of library shifts and we would like see a consistent approach being used across the organisation. We are getting more details about our proposal to bargaining representatives and then will put a Q and A on the website to explain it to you.

We are continuing to work through bargaining matters raised in the unions' logs of claims and there is another bargaining meeting on 26 June, where we aim to provide a draft Enterprise Agreement to the group.

Please feel free to send any questions to the or find background information on these TAFE enterprise bargaining web pages.


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

5 June 2013

News - enterprise bargaining 


Today's meeting made further progress and also covered TAFE's proposals for part-year employees and a more consistent approach to library shift arrangements across TAFE.

There are still some issues to be dealt with, but we are moving through matters and there is a good collegial approach in the bargaining room.

Part-year employees

TAFE wants to recognise the important role that our current part-year employees play in service delivery during our peak times.

We are hoping that our proposal would give part-year employees greater certainty of employment and also remove the current barrier to permanency. Our proposal also includes a new voluntary option for people who may want to have their pay averaged across the year.

Draft Guidelines for part-year employment are available for you to check out and there are some answers to questions that interpret how the new arrangements for part-year employees would work. We will be coming back to the next meeting with some more detail on questions raised today.

Library shifts

TAFE believes that shift arrangements should be applied consistently and fairly across the organisation. At the moment there is a mix of approaches being used for library shift loadings and shift length.

Several Institutes are using the shift provisions in the current Enterprise Agreement. However, some Institutes are using a 1974 policy as the basis for the pay and conditions of library staff. We are now discussing the proposal that this be discontinued and that the Enterprise Agreement applies across TAFE to library shift arrangements.

This would mean no change for many library employees, including those in North Coast, South Western Sydney, New England and Hunter Institutes. Some library staff in other Institutes may be affected by the proposal. We will provide further information soon about this.

Leave proposals

We have agreed to a number of proposals put by unions such as accepting a Statutory Declaration as a sufficient form of evidence for sick leave purposes for periods up to five days. We have also agreed that employees will not have to exhaust all other forms of leave before using Special Leave in cases of experience of domestic violence.

Bargaining discussions are continuing. Our next meeting is on 18 June. In the meantime you can get more information from your local HR manager, or send a question to the


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

22 May 2013

Bargaining continues


Today's meeting covered more TAFE responses to union logs of claims and ongoing discussion of bargaining issues raised at earlier meetings.

As we said in our last update, TAFE wants to give you a pay rise with minimal change to the current Agreement. The increase has to be within the boundaries set by the NSW Government for public sector pay rises.

Unions have put forward a large number of proposals, many of which have cost implications for TAFE. Once again we made the point that any improvements to your conditions or allowances would have to be funded by savings to TAFE's overall wages bill.

We have agreed to get more information from Government about the 0.25% contribution to superannuation from the 2.5% offer. We understand that this is being discussed soon in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and we'll get information to you about this as soon as we can.

Discussions are continuing in a positive environment and the next bargaining meeting has been scheduled for 5 June.

Feel free to forward any questions to the or ask your local HR manager.


David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

15 May 2013

Administrative and support staff enterprise bargaining update

TAFE NSW continued enterprise bargaining negotiations today.

We have provided our initial response to the proposals for the new Enterprise Agreement put by unions and will continue to respond to others we've received.

Discussion about these proposals will continue during our future meetings.

The TAFE NSW bargaining representatives emphasised the following points:

Wages offer

  • TAFE's proposed offer of 2.25% for a wage increase and 0.25% for increased superannuation reflects NSW Government wages policy and changes to Commonwealth superannuation law.
  • From 1 July 2013 the employer's contribution to super will increase by 0.25%, because of the NSW Government's decision on this.
  • The NSW Government has determined that any public sector employee wage increase must allow for the superannuation increase and not go above the Government's wages policy guidelines of a 2.5 % increase.

A further point made by TAFE in negotiations today, is that any increase in costs associated with employee conditions or allowances above 2.5%, would have to be funded by employee related cost savings.

Length of the Enterprise Agreement

  • TAFE is proposing a 12 month Agreement with minimal change.
  • The reason for this, is that during the life of the Agreement, we would like to use TAFE staff's ideas on options to modernise the classification of administrative and support roles.
  • The outcomes of this engagement with you, would be used as the basis of enterprise bargaining on a longer duration Enterprise Agreement in 2014.

Here is a summary of answers to the questions  that you have sent to

We will continue to answer your questions, or feel free to get more information about enterprise bargaining from your local HR manager.

David Riordan
Institute Director
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

6 May 2013

Bargaining starts on the new Admin & Support staff Enterprise Agreement

Today TAFE NSW met with unions and other employee representatives to commence bargaining on a new Agreement.

TAFE is proposing an Agreement with minimal change for a 12-month period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. TAFE is offering a 2.5% remuneration increase, comprising a 2.25% wage increase and a 0.25% increase in superannuation, in line with NSW Government wages policy.

TAFE also indicated that we would like to discuss options to resolve some longstanding issues to do with varying approaches to library shifts and part year employment.

TAFE is seeking a 12-month Agreement this time, because once this Agreement is approved, we want to get your ideas on modernising the administrative and support classification system. These ideas can then be used as the basis of negotiating a longer term Enterprise Agreement with unions and bargaining representatives early in 2014.

An information sheet and slides summarising TAFE's bargaining position are available in the Bargaining meeting info module on the top right of this page.

Feel free to ask any questions about enterprise bargaining or the development of the Agreement. You can send them to You can also ask your local HR manager.

I will continue to keep you updated about the progress of bargaining negotiations.


David Riordan
Institute Director,
TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute
for the TAFE EA Bargaining Team

18 Apr 2013

Notice of TAFE Administrative, Support and Related Employees representational rights for commencement of enterprise bargaining


I am writing to inform you that TAFE NSW is about to commence the negotiation of a new enterprise agreement for TAFE NSW administrative and support staff covered by the TAFE Commission of NSW Administrative, Support and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2012.

The current agreement expires on 30 June 2013.

As we work to develop the new enterprise agreement, I look forward to productive engagement with all employees and representatives involved in the bargaining process.Your involvement in the bargaining process is very important.

I have authorised David Riordan, Institute Director, Sydney Institute and Paul Ingwersen, Director, Riverina Institute to lead the bargaining team on behalf of TAFE NSW in collaboration with the Department's Industrial Relations team, led by Mark Philip. Other TAFE NSW officers, including Alan Schembri (South Western Sydney Institute), Tina Renshaw (Sydney Institute), John Boss (Illawarra Institute) and Malcolm Boyes (Northern Sydney Institute) will also participate in the bargaining process as the need arises.

Representation during negotiations

Today I have written to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and other unions representing TAFE administrative, support and related employees about commencing negotiations to develop the new enterprise agreement. You can find a copy of these letters on the TAFE NSW enterprise agreements website.

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 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.

If you wish to nominate a bargaining representative to represent you during the negotiation process (including yourself), send an email to TAFE& The email must include your full name and electronic signature, along with details of the representative you seek to appoint. It is proposed the first bargaining meeting will take place in the week commencing 29 April 2013. However, you can nominate a bargaining representative at any time during the bargaining process.    

Further information about your rights to representation during the negotiation process is available on the Representational Rights tab of this website. 

If you have any questions you can contact your local human resources manager. The Fair Work Commission website has very useful information about enterprise agreements or you can also call their Infoline on 1300 799 675.

I will continue to keep you informed as the negotiations proceed. Email updates on the progress of bargaining will also be provided to you from the TAFE NSW Bargaining team lead by David Riordan, Institute Director, Sydney Institute and will be posted regularly on the Department's website.


Pam Christie
Managing Director of TAFE NSW
Deputy Director-General, TAFE and Community Education



This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.

Bargaining Info round 1 2013

Summary of TAFE's revised position 17 July (PDF, 98kB)

TAFE's revised bargaining position 17 July (PDF 397kB)

Summary of TAFE's responses to union bargaining issues (PDF, 2.8MB)

TAFE NSW bargaining position-slides (PDF, 373kB)

Information sheet (PDF, 82kB)

More information?

Your manager can also help you with any answers to other questions you might have about the proposed agreement. The following documents provide answers to some frequently asked questions that we have received from you.

Your questions answered (PDF 98kB)

Q&A: Part-year employment (PDF, 106kB)

Q&A: Library shifts (PDF, 106kB)