Skip to content
Curtin University
New Curtin University Enterprise Agreement

Latest News

Information updates have been provided to staff throughout the enterprise bargaining process, via the VC Note to Staff and Curtin Weekly. A record of these updates is included here, with more items to be added as the Agreement is finalised.

Update on Staff Agreement approval and salary increases

Following overwhelming support from the staff who recently voted for the proposed Curtin University Academic, Professional and General Staff Agreement 2017 – 2021 (2017-2021 Staff Agreement), an application for the formal approval of that has now been lodged with the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The FWC has indicated we should anticipate a timeline of up to 12 weeks for this approval process, throughout which time our current Staff Agreement will remain in force.

Even though the proposed 2017-2021 Staff Agreement is unlikely to come into effect prior to March 2018, we propose to proceed with the salary uplift (provided for, and in accordance with, Clause 29 of the 2017-2021 Staff Agreement) in January 2018.  As such, I confirm the salary uplift is not being paid under the current Staff Agreement.

This pay run is scheduled to take place on the 11 January 2018 and will include any increase you would have received as of 1 January had the 2017-2021 Staff Agreement been in place.

May I also take this opportunity of thanking everyone who has engaged in any capacity throughout what I think has been a very collaborative agreement making process over the last 18 months.

I am hopeful of being able to update you on progress through the FWC in February 2018.

Ian Jackson
Director, People and Culture

 Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (29 November 2017)


Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (31 October 2017)

In-principle agreement reached with National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)

Curtin University and the NTEU have today reached in-principle agreement on a new Enterprise Agreement which will apply to academic, professional and general staff for the next four years. 

This consensus has been reached after some 18 months of bargaining and is welcomed by all parties.

To assist you in making an informed decision when voting on the proposed agreement, information sessions will be held this week and online information will be made available soon via the Enterprise Agreement website.  Details of the information sessions, which will be run by Professor John Cordery (Provost) and Ian Jackson (Director, People and Culture) are included below.

Ian will also host Just Ask Me (JAM) sessions next week, providing an opportunity for staff to ask any questions they want about the enterprise bargaining process and the proposed agreement. Details of these JAM sessions are also included below.

Voting is expected to take place from 7 to 13 November.  Staff will soon receive a series of emails advising them about the voting process.

You can continue to email questions and feedback to

Enterprise Agreement Staff Information Sessions

Wednesday 25/10/2017

Norm Dufty Lecture Theatre: 210.102

11:00 – 11:25

Briefing Session 1

Norm Dufty Lecture Theatre: 210.102

11:33 – 12:00

Briefing Session 2

Break 12:00 – 12:30

Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre: 210.101

12:30 – 12:55

Briefing session 3

Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre: 210.101

13:05 – 13:30

Briefing Session 4

Friday 27/10/2017

Tim Winton Lecture Theatre: 213.104

13:00 – 13:25

Briefing Session 5

Tim Winton Lecture Theatre: 213.104

13:35 – 14:00

Briefing Session 6

Break 14:00 – 15:00

Haydn Williams Lecture Theatre: 405.201

15:00 – 15:25

Briefing Session 7

Haydn Williams Lecture Theatre: 405.201

15:35 – 16:00

Briefing Session 8

Just Ask Me (JAM) Sessions: hosted by Ian Jackson, Director People and Culture

Monday 30 October

11am – 12.00pm

Building 200B
People & Culture

Tuesday 31 October

11am – 12.00pm

Building 200B
People & Culture

Wednesday 1 November

11am – 12.00pm

Building 200B
People & Culture

 Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (22 August 2017)

 Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (7 June 2017)

Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (29 May 2017) 

Please click on the following link for Bargaining Update (16 May 2017)

Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (8 May 2017)


 Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (26 April 2017)

In the negotiation meeting on 11 April, Curtin tabled a settlement offer for consideration by the bargaining parties. 

Please click on this link to view the Curtin EBA Settlement Offer - 11 April 2017.

Please click on the following link for an update on the 21 March 2017 Bargaining Meeting 

Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (20 March 2017)

Please click on the following link for a Bargaining Update (28 February 2017) 

Please click on the following link for an update on the 25 January 2017 Bargaining Meeting  

 Please click on the following link for an update on the 13 December 2016 Bargaining Meeting


Please click on the following link for an update on the 29 November 2016 Bargaining Meeting 


Please click on the following link for an update on the 1 November 2016 Bargaining Meeting

Please click on the following link for an update on the 8 November 2016 Bargaining Meeting

Please click on the following link for an update on the 15 November 2016 Bargaining Meeting


Please click on the link for Salary offer information (PDF - 125Kb)

Please click on the following link for an update on the 25 October 2016 Bargaining Meeting 

 Please click on the following link for an update on the 11 October 2016 Bargaining Meeting

Please click on the following link for an update on the 27 September 2016 Bargaining Meeting


Please click on the following link for an update on the 6 September 2016 Bargaining Meeting

Please click on the following link for an update on the 13 September 2016 Bargaining Meeting

 Please click on the following link for an update on the 30 August 2016 Bargaining Meeting

Please click on the following link for an update on the 23 August 2016 Bargaining Meeting 

The last bargaining meeting was held on Tuesday 9 August, with all parties agreeing to a break from negotiations for the week of 16 August 2016.

Please click here for a 9 August 2016 Bargaining Meeting update.


Please click on the following link for details of the 2 August 2016 Bargaining Meeting.


26 July Bargaining Meeting

At this meeting the following issues were discussed:

Indigenous Employment

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies (CAS) and three additional representatives from CAS lent their expertise and perspectives to this discussion.

Curtin has a deep and long-held commitment to advancing Indigenous education and the self-empowerment of our Indigenous staff and students. It believes the best way of achieving this is embedding mechanisms for change across the University's entire suite of activities to deliver positive results for students, staff and the community.  Staff employment outcomes are an important component of this, with Curtin's commitment demonstrated by:

  • the Curtin Reconciliation Action Plan, which has an Indigenous employment target of 2.4 per cent of the Curtin workforce and details the strategies being adopted to achieve this target
  • the Curtin Strategic Plan, which has the same Indigenous employment target
  • Curtin Council monitoring the progress of Indigenous employment and other Indigenous strategies through University updates and presentations.

The focus of the NTEU's Indigenous employment claim is for Curtin's 2.4 per cent target to also be included in the enterprise agreement.  The position presented by the NTEU at the bargaining table was that Curtin has made good progress, relative to others in the higher education sector, in improving Indigenous employment outcomes, however, the NTEU wants the ability to instigate legal remedies if it considers that Curtin is not making sufficient progress in the future.  Curtin considers this to be going well beyond the role of a union.

A second issue exists regarding the way employment is constructed at CAS. Roles are currently structured so that it is most likely that persons of Aboriginal decent will be best placed to meet the requirements of positions in CAS, however, in some circumstances, there are no Aboriginal applicants who meet the requirements of the role. As the Agreement states that only an Aboriginal person can be appointed on a continuous basis to a position in CAS and any other person can only be appointed on a fixed-term contract, this presents issues which Curtin is seeking to rectify, while continuing to focus on appointing Aboriginal staff for the majority of roles.

Discussions on these important issues will continue at future meetings.

Excess Annual Leave

Taking annual leave on a regular basis is an important contributor to the wellness of staff and financial wellbeing of schools and administration areas. Many staff members are currently carrying annual leave balances well beyond what would be considered reasonable, with Curtin's current annual leave liability at around $35million. Curtin would like to get the balance back - allowing staff to take leave regularly as well as accrue reasonable amounts for special purposes if necessary, but ensuring managers can deal with leave accruals which go beyond what is reasonable.

Curtin has proposed a revised annual leave process which allows staff to accrue up to six weeks leave, after which managers can make plans with them to take their leave over the ensuing six month period. Where a suitable plan is not developed, then managers will be able to direct staff members to take their excess leave, with eight weeks notice. The clause proposed by Curtin is modelled on the clause in the agreement which currently covers NTEU employees.

Bargaining representatives have acknowledged the problem Curtin is trying to address but have differing views on what is a reasonable balance of annual leave and the process for reducing it.  Discussions will continue at future meetings.


The NTEU is proposing that the enterprise agreement provides for a 17 per cent superannuation contribution for all staff phased in over the next four years.  This initiative would result in increased employment costs of more than $8 million per year, which would need to be found from school and area operational budgets. Curtin has sought suggestions from the NTEU about how this could be funded, other than through significant job losses, reductions in services and increased workloads for staff.  No response has been forthcoming at this point.

Domestic Violence Leave

The terrible consequences of domestic violence are high on the national agenda and recently Curtin has developed Family and Domestic Violence Procedures to ensure staff who are dealing with this issue are appropriately supported.  The University currently provides:

  • 14 days of personal leave per year (accumulating) which may be taken to deal with matters relating to domestic violence
  • access to counselling and other support services
  • ability to change work hours and work locations
  • assistance with changing work phone numbers and email addresses
  • return to work assistance and considerations
  • flexible working arrangements

In addition, a safety net exists where additional leave may be granted in special circumstances.

Curtin has agreed to modify the personal leave provisions to specifically recognise domestic violence as a category or reason for accessing personal leave.

The original NTEU claim was for up to 20 days domestic violence leave per year, in addition to current personal leave provisions, however, this has now been reduced to 10 days. Curtin already provides 14 days of paid personal leave per year, which is in excess of the usual 10 days provided in many other organisations.  Curtin contends that current provisions and support processes are effective and reasonable and has now finalised its position on this matter.


12 July Bargaining Meeting

Formal responses to the logs of claims from the individual bargaining representatives were provided. These can be viewed on the Log of Claims page.

There were further discussions at this meeting around clauses relating to misconduct, unsatisfactory work performance, change management and Curtin's proposal to decrease the number of staff employed on fixed-term contracts by creating a new form of contract without  an end date (Curtin Contract).

The NTEU has expressed an interest in exploring Curtin's proposals to reduce staff on fixed-term contracts and Curtin is optimistic that a viable proposal can be formulated that will acquire support from the NTEU on behalf of its members.

Curtin is committed to providing support and reasonable opportunities to staff to resolve any issues where work performance requires improvement. The current EBA clause is overly prescriptive and cumbersome in attempting to achieve this.

Curtin presented a new proposal at this meeting to streamline the operation of the unsatisfactory work performance clause, however, it was not well received by the bargaining representatives.  Curtin will incorporate the feedback provided as considerations on how to improve this process progress.

28 June Bargaining Meeting

Curtin agreed to formally respond to the logs of claims of the individual bargaining representatives as soon as practicable.

Ian Callahan agreed to meet with management staff in the Trades areas to gather information for the meeting with the Trades Unions regarding their logs of claims.

The NTEU agreed to provide 'tracked changes' to the proposed misconduct, change management and consultation clauses.

The NTEU and Curtin agreed to work to find a date for the discussion of Indigenous matters that was acceptable for all representatives required to be at the meeting. This item had previously been set for discussion on 6 June but was postponed due to staff unavailability.

Curtin agreed to provide a copy of the guidelines currently used by managers to assist with managing leave.

Curtin undertook to compile a history of the University's public holiday provisions, to demonstrate the link between time off in lieu of public holidays and the closedown period.

Staff with excess paid leave entitlements remains a significant issue for the University. Curtin stated that it would make available data on leave liability, including a breakdown of professional and academic staff with excess accrued leave.

13 and 14 June Bargaining Meetings

Curtin agreed to provide a formal response to a log of claims submitted by an individual bargaining representative.

As an option to decrease the number of staff employed on fixed term contracts, the University tabled its 'Curtin Contract' proposal.  This will be considered by the various bargaining representatives.

The NTEU proposed creating 20 days additional specific leave for staff members dealing with domestic violence, over and above the 14 days per year of personal leave currently available.  Curtin acknowledged the importance of supporting staff dealing with domestic violence issues and tabled the current procedures addressing the matter. The existing procedures already provide a variety of support mechanisms and processes for staff in these circumstances and the 14 days of personal leave available to Curtin staff is above the 10 days commonly made available in other organisations. Curtin invited the NTEU to come back with an alternative proposal that was cost neutral. 

It was agreed that the NTEU would come back with its suggested changes to the misconduct clause tabled by Curtin.

Curtin agreed to provide parental leave data to the bargaining team to assist in discussions regarding the potential costs of extending entitlements to a broader group.

21 June Bargaining Meeting

The removal of the 'Leave for Career Break' clause in the enterprise agreement was agreed in principle. Curtin does not have such a scheme in place and the clause is not of use. Career breaks are covered by existing flexible work provisions, including leave without pay.

The schedule of meetings was revisited, with agreement that Monday afternoon meetings would be vacated until further notice and Tuesday afternoon meetings would continue.

Discussion of Indigenous employment matters was deferred to enable additional personnel to provide context to discussions.

It was proposed that the upcoming agenda would include:

  • Curtin proposals to: increase flexibility options available to staff to reflect the maximum under the Fair Work Act; remove the repayment on early resignation and recovery of outstanding debts provisions (as these are covered by policy and procedures); and provide mechanisms to assist excess annual leave management
  • NTEU item to increase the scope of intellectual freedom within the agreement.


April and May Bargaining Meetings

The first meetings with the various bargaining representatives (held on 29 April and 10 May 2016) were used to further discuss the bargaining protocols for the upcoming negotiations, including location and time release for bargaining representatives.  Mondays and Tuesdays were agreed as the preferred bargaining days for Curtin.

Additional bargaining positions were presented by bargaining representatives; these can all be found on the Log of Claims webpage.

7 June Bargaining Meeting

Curtin's bargaining position was presented at this meeting, with an undertaking to provide further details as individual terms are negotiated.  Curtin's initial response to the NTEU's bargaining position was provided (in a letter dated 3 June 2016) and Curtin advised it will respond further to NTEU claims as details are presented during bargaining meetings.

Curtin agreed to a request for significant financial data and information on its workforce profile to be provided to bargaining representatives at a future meeting.

It was also agreed that agenda items would alternate between Curtin and the various other bargaining representatives, with upcoming meetings to cover:

  • Domestic violence
  • Change and consultation
  • Misconduct and/or serious misconduct
  • Redeployment and redundancy
  • Parental leave.


The Trades Unions and an individual self-representative have issued their bargaining positions (log of claims) for the enterprise agreement negotiations.

These documents can be viewed by clicking on the links below: 


Curtin, along with five other representatives in the enterprise agreement making process, have now each tabled their own initial bargaining positions.  Preliminary responses to some of these have been discussed and explored. 

Negotiations are progressing through bargaining meetings being held twice a week with the various bargaining representatives.

The following documents can be viewed by clicking on them:



Fair Work Commission finds in Curtin's favour 

Curtin recently raised concerns with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) over perceived misrepresentations by the NTEU of our bargaining position and, in doing so, the University applied for a good faith bargaining order.

In handing down his decision, Commissioner Williams reflected that the 'Enterprise Bargaining Update' issued by the NTEU on 27 April 2016 was misleading and that the NTEU's actions had not met the good faith bargaining requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009.

A copy of the full decision by the FWC can be viewed here: [2016] FWC 3508

VC Note to Staff – 26 April 2016 (by Deborah Terry)

Joint statement – Embracing Future Opportunities

Consultation will soon begin across Curtin in preparation for the negotiation of our new enterprise agreement for staff. I encourage you all to be involved as it will be an opportunity for you to hear more details about the process; to ask questions on issues that may be of interest or concern to you; and to contribute to the discussions.

Details concerning the consultative sessions that will be held will be circulated as soon as possible. A number of different sessions will be held to ensure that we are able to consult as widely and as deeply as possible. We are genuinely interested in your views and I can assure you that your feedback will be considered.

All of the State’s public universities (Curtin, ECU, Murdoch and UWA) are negotiating their enterprise agreements this year. Although we each have specific issues that will be of concern to staff within our own institutions, we do face common issues in preparing our organisations for the future so that we continue to be relevant and viable and, importantly, remain great places to work.

Teams made up of members of the senior executive and human resources from each institution have been sharing ideas about how, as a sector, we can best prepare for future challenges and continue our important service to the community. A joint statement has been prepared by the four vice-chancellors outlining our areas of common interest and concern, especially in relation to the rapidly changing environment in which universities operate. You can find the statement here.

I hope this Note provides a useful context to Curtin’s 2016 enterprise agreement discussions. I encourage you to be involved in the forthcoming consultative sessions and look forward to your contribution in helping to shape how we evolve as an organisation that continues to provide appropriate and fair working conditions for staff.

If you have any initial questions or comments at this stage, I encourage you to contact Mr Ian Jackson (Director, People and Culture).

The Curtin University Academic Professional and General Staff Enterprise Agreement 2012-2016 will reach its notional expiry date on 30 June 2016. Curtin University is initiating negotiations for a new enterprise agreement with its academic, professional and general staff.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, staff need to be notified of their right to be represented by a bargaining representative – please see the attached Notice of Representational Rights. If you wish to appoint a bargaining representative, you must provide a copy of the notice of appointment to Curtin University – please email your notice of appointment to

Ian Callahan
Chief Operating Officer