UQ EBA Process

The University of Queensland (UQ) enterprise bargaining process is regulated by the Fair Work Act 2009. There are three main stages in the process:

1. Bargaining

University and employee representatives (including union representatives) will negotiate the terms and conditions of the next enterprise agreement.

At UQ, we have one enterprise agreement which covers eligible academic and professional staff, as well as eligible language teachers in the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education.

The unions that are party to the negotiations are the National Tertiary Education Union, Together, the Australian Services Union and United Voice. Four staff members have also nominated to participate in the negotiations as individual bargaining representatives and we welcome their participation.

Each party typically submits a log of claims at the outset of negotiations, outlining the key priorities they would like to achieve through enterprise bargaining.

2. Staff vote

Once bargaining has concluded, there will be vote of all eligible staff. All employees covered by the agreement are eligible to vote.

At least seven days before the vote takes place, eligible employees will be informed when, where and how the vote will take place. They will also be provided with a copy of the proposed agreement and any other relevant materials. This is known as the ‘access period’.

An enterprise agreement needs to be agreed by a majority of employees by casting a valid ‘Yes’ vote. Employees who choose not to vote are not counted, even if covered under the agreement.

If a majority is not reached following the vote, then the bargaining representatives will resume negotiations.

3. Fair Work Commission approval

Once a majority of voters support a new enterprise agreement through a ‘Yes’ vote, the agreement must be lodged with the Fair Work Commission for approval.

The Fair Work Commission reviews the agreement to ensure that it meets all of the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009, including the ‘better off overall test’.

This test requires that each employee to be covered by the agreement is better off overall than the relevant modern awards including the Higher Education Industry Academic Staff Award 2010 and the Higher Education Industry General Staff Award 2010.

When the Commission approves the agreement, the University will be notified and the agreement will come into effect on the date specified.