What is an enterprise agreement?

An enterprise agreement is an agreement made between an employer and its employees that sets out terms and conditions of employment.

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

What is enterprise bargaining?

Enterprise bargaining is the process by which one or more employers and employees negotiate the terms and conditions which are included in an enterprise agreement.

All parties can be represented in the process.

When does enterprise bargaining begin?

Bargaining on a proposed enterprise agreement begins when the employer agrees to bargain, or initiates bargaining.

Who represents me in enterprise bargaining?

Employees have the right to represent themselves or nominate a bargaining representative to participate in the negotiations on their behalf.

If you are a member of a union, your union will automatically represent you in enterprise bargaining.

At UQ, the unions who are party to the negotiations are the National Tertiary Education Union, Together, the Australian Services Union and United Voice.

A number of staff members have also nominated to participate in the negotiations as individual bargaining representatives.

Employees were notified of their representational rights in relation to the upcoming round of bargaining in an email dated 9 March 2017. You can access a copy of the Notice of Employee Representational Rights that was circulated on that date.

How long will enterprise bargaining take?

There is no set timeframe in which bargaining must be completed, although it is usually beneficial for all parties to reach an agreement as soon as practicable.

Although our current enterprise agreement nominally expired on 31 March 2017, it will continue to operate until it is terminated or replaced by a new agreement.

What is bargaining in good faith?

The Fair Work Act 2009 requires that all those who participate in the bargaining process do so in good faith.

This includes:

  • attending and participating in meetings at reasonable times
  • disclosing relevant information (other than confidential or commercially sensitive information) in a timely manner
  • responding to proposals made by other bargaining representatives for the agreement in a timely manner
  • giving genuine consideration to the proposals made by other bargaining representatives, and giving reasons for any responses to those proposals
  • not behaving in a capricious or unfair way that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining
  • recognising and bargaining with the other bargaining representatives for the agreement.

The good faith bargaining requirements do not require a bargaining representative to make concessions during bargaining for the agreement, or reach agreement on the terms that are to be included in the agreement.

What is a log of claims?

Bargaining representatives usually begin the bargaining process by each submitting a log of claims to be discussed during enterprise bargaining.

The log of claims lists the key priorities that a bargaining representative would like to achieve in the new agreement.

View the University’s bargaining objectives.

Do I have to vote for a new enterprise agreement?

Every employee covered under the agreement can have their say about their terms and conditions of employment, and can do so by voting when a ballot is held.

Employees are not obliged to vote; however, the University encourages all staff to exercise their right to do so.

When will I be able to vote on a new enterprise agreement?

All employees covered in an agreement will be notified seven days before voting on an agreement. Employees will be provided with a copy of the new enterprise agreement and other explanatory materials.

Employees will also be notified of the time and place that the vote will take place and the voting method that will be used.

How can I be involved in the enterprise bargaining process?

The University encourages all staff members to be involved in the enterprise bargaining process. It is important that the University understands staff views and that staff have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion.

How can I stay up-to-date with the progress of enterprise bargaining?

The University will provide staff members with summaries of the progress of enterprise bargaining via all-staff emails and updates on the enterprise bargaining webpage.

What if I have further queries?

UQ’s Enterprise Bargaining (EB) Team can answer any specific enquiries you may have about the bargaining process or the proposed next agreement.

Email the EB team to get in touch, and they'll respond to you within two working days.