Thursday, November 22, 2012


By mike fitzgerald, tafe organiser

(Reproduced here in full from

"The current ACT Public Service CIT (Teaching
Staff) Enterprise Agreement, 2011-2013(EA)
concludes in June 2013 and negotiations on
a new EA will commence around February
next year. Prior to this the AEU will serve CIT
with a log of claims. To assist in developing a
log of claims for the new EA you are invited
to contact me on phone 6272 7900. Also
speak to your Sub-Branch representatives
(listed below) concerning issues and make
recommendations as to how the new EA
could work better for you, your colleagues
and your students. The log of claims will be
subject to endorsement by TAFE Council.
Please engage in these discussions between
now and December to ensure your concerns
are addressed.
Your Sub-Branch representatives include:
Gavin Holmes (Building & Environment);
Piers Douglas, Paul Murray and Rachel
Bowak (Creative Industries); Karen Noble
(Health etc); Graeme Lawson (ICT); Mark
Hemmingsen (Fyshwick TS); Moir Holmes and
Anne Brown (Science etc); Stuart Gilmore,
Andrew Blanckensee, Fiona Honeyman, Janet
Harris, Ian Miller (Vocational College). These
Reps are also listed at:
and click on Sub-Branch Executive and
Council Records.
Raising and Resolving Workplace
Issues within the AEU
The method of progressing and resolving
workplace issue through the Union is outlined
as follows.
1. Contact your local Sub-Branch Rep and
the TAFE Organiser on 6272 7900 to discuss
the matter. An immediate resolution
may be possible, especially if all Sub-
Branch members work together to find a
2. Unresolved issues may be discussed
within your Sub-Branch and a motion may
be developed in order to seek a resolution
to the issue.
3. This Sub-Branch motion could be forwarded
to TAFE Council, the body which is
composed of Sub-Branch representatives
from across the CIT. TAFE Council will discuss
the issue and may support the motion
to resolve the issue.
4. This TAFE Council motion will be tabled
at AEU Executive or go to Branch Council
- the bodies consisting of representatives
from the entire AEU membership in the
ACT (some 3300 members). This body will
deliberate the TAFE Council motion and
recommend any actions.
5. These actions could include strategies
to address the issue locally, at CIT senior
management level, involve the CIT CEO,
Fair Work Australia, the Commissioner for
Work Safety, the Commissioner for Public
Administration, the relevant Minister for
Education or, indeed, to progress the issue
to the national AEU body which regularly
lobbies the Minister for Education and
Prime Minister.
WorkSafe ACT Improvement
Notice Compliance
12 October marked 6 months since the date
of serving the Improvement Notice on CIT by
the Commissioner for Work Safety in regard
to bullying and harassment issues. CIT is due
to be assessed regarding the establishment
of appropriate policies, guidelines and workplace
strategies to comply with the directives
and to ensure that CIT is a healthy workplace
now and in the future.
As part of this process and with the
assistance of Ms Meg Brighton from the
Cabinet and Chief Minister’s Directorate, CIT
has surveyed all staff to identify workplaces
requiring improvements to attain appropriate
levels of safety and respect. The AEU has
negotiated and provided input into these
processes through engagement with the CIT
Workplace Improvement Consultative Group.
Any issues which have been identified
through these surveys are currently being
discussed within the relevant workplace/
Centre, with the goal of staff agreeing on
appropriate short and long term action to
improve the workplace. Staff trust in any
reforms by CIT in relation to stemming
bullying and harassment is paramount in
establishing confidence in future workplace
safety at CIT.
The AEU would be pleased to hear from
members who may wish to make comment
on the discussions occurring within your
Centre in general and specifically on the
following ACT WorkSafe directive: “The
inspector directs [CIT] to… take active
steps [in addition to reviewing policies and
procedures] to build confidence in the policies
and procedures in relation to the prevention
and management of bullying and harassment
of staff.” Please pass on your views to Mike
Fitzgerald, TAFE Organiser, phone 6272 7900
or email:
The Commissioner for Public Administration
recently published The State of the Service
Report 2012 which included a progress
report into the status of investigations into
some 57 claims of bullying and harassment,
predominantly submitted by CIT staff. This
report can be accessed on the following
webpage and the CIT specific report can be
found on pages 104-111. au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/353727/ stateofservice2012.pdf

The Commissioner applauded the courage
of those who have come forward with
complaints despite the reluctance of many
public servants to raise complaints. He noted
that the investigations were ongoing, that
there were common concerns raised amongst
the complainants and that it would be
premature to publish the status of individual
matters. In addition, the report identified the
ACT Public Sector Code of Conduct and Public
Sector Management Standards to be deficient
in some regards and would need to be
amended in future. Hence, the consequences
of the efforts of the complainants will likely
have broad reaching impacts on the entire
ACT Public Sector, ensuring that behaviours of
employees “...embody principles of decency,
courtesy, professionalism and fairness
and exemplifying ways of working and a
workplace culture that the ACTPS will strive to
foster and promote.”
The AEU congratulates the members who
have taken the courageous steps to seek
personal justice and healthy CIT workplaces.
Under direction and advice from the Chief
Minister’s Department, and in compliance
with the ACT Work Safe directives, CIT has
reviewed its policies in relation to addressing
the inadequate existing policies including
Bullying and Harassment, Complaints, OH&S
and other related policies. It has surveyed
all staff to identify workplaces requiring
improvements to attain appropriate levels of
safety and respect. The AEU has negotiated
and has provided input into these processes
through engagement with the CIT Workplace
Improvement Consultative Group.
One cannot help but consider the connection
between the troubles that have beset CIT
and the funding withdrawals and efficiency
dividends which have effectively reduced CIT
funding by more than 35% in real terms over
the last 15 years. The ACT Government and
the Gillard Government have the ability to
relieve this stress by appropriately investing in
CIT in order to ensure the provision of quality
public VET and further education in the ACT.

1 comment:

  1. I have other matters to deal with at the moment and will admit to not being quite "up-to-date". I'll also admit to only having had time to scan this post.

    But I aqm struck by the number of "may"s, "could"s and, you know, if wishes were fishes. (in the numbered points)

    I don't know what we'd do without you LV because getting any information regarding CIT - especially if you fall into the student category ;-) - is like pulling teeth.

    I don't understand why the Australian Skills Quality Authority isn't involved in this yet. They're the ones ultimately responsible for organizations like CIT that "go rogue".

    As you know LV, already working on trying to get answers from the Federal MP, Chris Evans, who is supposed to be responsible for this POS.

    As you also so know, not a lot of success yet. But if nothing else, there's always the prospect of at least proving that the buck doesn't stop anywhere.