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Fair Work Act 2009                                                    






s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards


Four yearly review of modern awards


Educational Services Awards




10.04 AM, WEDNESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2016


Continued from 30/08/2016





MR McALPINE:  Yes, thank you, your Honour.  I'd like to call Cathy Rytmeister to the witness stand.

<CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER, AFFIRMED                     [10.05 AM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR MCALPINE                         [10.05 AM]


MR McALPINE:  Ms Rytmeister, could you please state again your full name and address for the record?‑‑‑Catherine Ruth Rytmeister (address supplied).


Have you prepared a statement in these proceedings?‑‑‑I have.


And do you have that statement with you?‑‑‑I do.


And have you recently read it again?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Do you have any corrections to that statement?‑‑‑There are a couple of small corrections.  In paragraph 4, amend that to four agreements since 2003.


So where it says five agreements that should read four?‑‑‑Yes.  That would be four academic, yes, because there were five but one was professional staff, so yes.


And in para 7?‑‑‑And in paragraph 7, I've recently stepped down from the chair of the consultative committee, so that should say, "This has occurred through my role as chair of the Macquarie University Consultative Committee until June 2016."


So instead of "This occurs" it should say "This has occurred"?‑‑‑"This has occurred", yes, and ‑ ‑ ‑


And before the comma we should have the words "until June ‑ ‑ ‑?‑‑‑"Until June".


‑ ‑ ‑ 2016"?‑‑‑Yes, and then the rest remains the same, yes.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                         XN MR MCALPINE


Thank you.  With those changes do you say your statement is true and correct?‑‑‑I do.


And you adopt it as your evidence in these proceedings?‑‑‑Yes.


Thank you.





VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Any objections?  Yes, Ms Pugsley?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PUGSLEY                                  [10.07 AM]


MS PUGSLEY:  Good morning, Ms Rytmeister?‑‑‑Good morning.


First of all, thank you for the first correction to your statement, because I was a bit puzzled by five rounds of bargaining, but I realised in 2010, 2011 agreement was reached for professional general staff in 2010 and for academic staff in 2011?‑‑‑That's right.


That's what you've just explained?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes?‑‑‑That's right.


You've been employed at Macquarie since 1989?‑‑‑Yes.


And you've worked both as a general staff member and an academic staff member?‑‑‑That's right.


Your current role is quality assurance and professional development lead in the office of Pro Vice‑Chancellor learning and teaching.  Is that a general or academic staff role?‑‑‑It is a general staff role at tier 9(?)(10.08.24).


Thank you.  Do you have any staff reporting to you in that role?‑‑‑No, I don't.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                        XXN MS PUGSLEY


Before taking up that role you were employed as a lecturer level B?‑‑‑Yes, that's right.


Approximately how many years did you work as an academic staff member?‑‑‑Well, I started working full‑time as an academic staff member in 1997.  Before that I worked as a casual, part-time, combined with some part-time work as a general staff member.


Were you initially appointed at level B or were you appointed at level A and were promoted?‑‑‑No, I was appointed at level A at the time in the Department of Statistics and I was promoted to level B during my time there.


In your fairly long time as an academic staff member was there any general pattern as to whether you were 40:40:20 or a different kind of pattern or did it vary according to which role you were doing at the time?‑‑‑It did - in the Department of Statistics where I was for seven years I was a 40:40:20 on that standard load and following that when I moved into the learning and teaching central area we were more service and teaching focused than research, although we did have a research load.


In relation to the workloads clause in the current academic staff agreement would you agree that workload models are to be determined at local level?  That's 4.3.12 of the agreement?‑‑‑Yes.


Have you been involved in any such development?‑‑‑Not directly, because I've been working in a central unit, but when we say local level it really means faculty.  So those determinations were done at the faculty level.


At 4.3.18 there are ‑ ‑ ‑?‑‑‑Let me look at that.  Yes.


I'll wait till you get that in front of you.  4.3.18 there are specific limits, not norms, for various teaching related activities.  Can you explain to the Bench a bit more about how that came about and was included in the agreement?‑‑‑I'll have to think back to that.  We wanted to ensure that there was no single area, I guess, where people were working what we regarded as unreasonable - for unreasonable periods of time in any particular activity.  So we limited the - we sought a limit on those particular activities that are listed there and that was granted, yes.  That was agreed and negotiated.


Those are essentially teaching related activities?‑‑‑That's right, yes.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                        XXN MS PUGSLEY


The way that actual workloads of individuals are set are by agreement between the individual and their supervisor.  That's at 4.3.20?‑‑‑It doesn't necessarily mean agreement.  We ideally would like agreement, but the supervisor - generally the head of the department will allocate workload.  There is consultation on that though, yes.


So you've been employed as an academic under this agreement and the previous three agreements?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes?‑‑‑Four - five agreements, actually.


Workload models have developed over time, obviously, through ‑ ‑ ‑?‑‑‑Yes.


Sorry, workload clauses, I should say, through the agreements?‑‑‑Yes.


But generally speaking, in the time that you were employed as an academic as it the same system, that you would sit down with your supervisor and negotiate your workload for the year?‑‑‑Yes.  There were some quite different practices in different departments.  So the department that I was in had an agreed workload model that had been determined by the staff collaboratively and workload was allocated according to a points system.  It was still allocated by the head of department but there was an agreed points system that was used, yes, and different things have applied elsewhere.


At 4.3.21, 4.3.21 of the current agreement on page 43, the clause states:


The allocation of workload will take into account staff preferences, individual ability and the teaching and administrative needs of the department and faculty, equity considerations and the staff member's promotion and research plans and provide reasonable accommodation for staff member's carer responsibilities and any relevant disability.


Can you remember being involved in negotiating that clause?‑‑‑Sorry, in negotiating?



***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                        XXN MS PUGSLEY


Was that a clause that was put up by the union or were there general discussions around it?‑‑‑It was put up by the union and it was really formalising what had been occurring over time, but we felt it important that that be in the agreement so that those discussions would occur.


At 4.3.2 on page 45 there's the ability for the staff member and their head of department to have discussions to vary their workload allocation if circumstances chance during the year.  Again, was that the something that was put up by the union?‑‑‑Yes.  I believe so.  Hang on, let  me think.  Yes, I think that was our clause.


At 4.3.37 on page 45 there is special consideration allocated for early career academics?‑‑‑Yes.


Was that the case when you yourself were an early career academic?‑‑‑Not explicitly.


Do you have a sense from 4.3.37 of what sort of special consideration is given?‑‑‑Yes.  Current workload models now provide for a slight - often a reduction in overall teaching load and a slightly - and in some models a slightly higher allocation of time for people starting off in their career, yes.


During the period that you were employed as an academic were you enrolled in a higher degree for part of that time?‑‑‑Yes, I was.


Was there any consideration in your workload given to the fact that you were enrolled in a higher degree?‑‑‑Yes.  It came under my research work.


Okay, and you've been branch president at Macquarie since 2010?‑‑‑That's right.


Does Macquarie have a system of time release for union officials?‑‑‑Yes, notionally.


How does that - how does it work?‑‑‑Well, there's a 20 per cent time release and in the first couple of years of - well, the first two years of - first year and a half of this agreement my unit received some funding, some replacement funding, from the centre.  In last year, however, that was refused and my unit was told that they just had to make the allowance for me to take that time, it wasn't centrally funded, which was controversial, of course.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                        XXN MS PUGSLEY


In terms of how bargaining occurs in the sector, is it correct that there is a series of national claims in each round and then each branch then negotiates separately on how they settle those national claims?‑‑‑That's right.


Yes, and from your memory, in the last round of bargaining that led to the current set of agreements was the national claim in relation to academic workloads for an hours based cap on teaching?‑‑‑Yes.


Then it was up to each branch as to how they then turned that into a clause?‑‑‑That's right.


Thinking back to the negotiations for the current agreement, it's true, isn't it, that the workloads clause was not the last matter to be resolved between the parties?‑‑‑No, it was not.


No, so the final sticking points related to quantum, indigenous employment, domestic violence leave and fixed term employment.  It took longer to settle those matters?‑‑‑I think that would be - I think that's a fair summary.  It's hard to just remember off the top of my head.  It was a couple of years ago now.


Thank you.  I have no further questions.



CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PILL                                           [10.17 AM]


MR PILL:  Some very limited - Ms Rytmeister, I'm representing group of eight in these proceedings.  Is it fair to say that you considered you were successful in negotiating an academic workloads clause into the Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement that you've attached to your statement?‑‑‑Yes.


You'd agree with me that in your role as branch president of the NTEU and your involvement in determining what the claims would be that you pursued in bargaining that you sought to pursue clauses that you considered were relevant to the academic staff at the university?‑‑‑Yes.


And appropriate and fair?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                                  XXN MR PILL


You accept that in the various bargaining rounds that you've described there's never been a claim for something such as an overtime payment for academic staff?‑‑‑Not an explicit claim, no.


Well, you say not an explicit claim.  Is there one that you kept in your head and you didn't put on the table?‑‑‑It is something that we talked about over the table on occasion as part of the negotiations but there wasn't a claim as such on it.


Did you put a claim that the university should record and monitor the actual working time of academic staff?‑‑‑No.


Did you put a claim that individual academic staff should record and monitor their time and report their time?‑‑‑No.  You're talking about the actual working time, not the allocation of time under a workload model.  I mean ‑ ‑ ‑


The time that an academic staff member works.  There's no claim that's been put in bargaining that would involve the academic staff member recording their time?‑‑‑No.


Now, Ms Pugsley took you to a number of provisions in the enterprise agreement.  I'll take you to one more, which is 4.13.12, and just to contextualise the questions, at Macquarie workloads are allocated in accordance with the workload model through the individual discussions that Ms Pugsley referred to?‑‑‑That's right.


The clause negotiated was to require those workload models to have a degree of specificity, or in this case specific weightings for teaching workloads for each of the applicable items in 4.3.3 under "Teaching and related duties"?‑‑‑Yes.


So the clause that was being negotiated and the system that's in place is one that has a reasonable degree of specificity and particularisation around teaching and teaching related activities?‑‑‑Yes, that's right.


Much more so than in relation to research?‑‑‑Yes.


The clause that you've lifted out in - well, do you accept that in your statement you've lifted out one subclause, which is 4.3.29?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, that clause obviously doesn't sit in isolation.  It's just part of the broader clause.  You accept that?‑‑‑Yes, that's right.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                                  XXN MR PILL


You see that it refers to 15.75 as a nominal limit?‑‑‑That's right.


Yes, and the use of the term "nominal" in that context reflects the fact that particular activities like research or other self‑directed community based activities are not prescribed or recorded in hours?‑‑‑Well, there's no prescription of the whole of an academic's workload.  I mean, it varies hugely.


Yes?‑‑‑So the prescription is in the teaching area, but otherwise there is any amount of work that could be done.


Yes, and a lot of that is essentially self‑directed or self‑determined.  If I'm a researcher, the how, when and where of what I'm researching is a matter that I largely determine as the academic?‑‑‑Well, that's the nature of the academic role, yes.


Yes, thank you.  No further questions?




COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Sorry, just for my - sorry, just some questions.  Just in relation to the clause in the Macquarie University agreement, what happens when someone works more than the maximum workload?‑‑‑What do you mean by what happens?  What happens in what sense?  I'm just not sure what you're ‑ ‑ ‑


Well, do they get paid overtime, do they get time in lieu?  What happens?‑‑‑No.  No.


Can they not work over those 45 weeks at 35 nominal hours per week at all?‑‑‑No, they do - I'm sure there are many people who work more than that, but there is no payment, no overtime.


So what's the point of the clause then?‑‑‑To enable a guide for required work.


What does that mean?‑‑‑Well, there is work that's required by the employer and we were attempting to ensure that the required work allocated could be done within a reasonable time‑frame, knowing that academics have - do a lot of self‑directed work, but the work that has to be done should be able to be done within a working week.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                                  XXN MR PILL


So if one of the - if an academic at Macquarie said, "I'm regularly required to work 40 hours," how would that be ascertained?‑‑‑Ascertained by the employer?


Well, presumably they would say - the clause 4.3.29 says, "I've got a 35 nominal hour maximum week.  I reckon I'm doing 40 and I think that's unfair."  What would happen?‑‑‑Well, if they came to us and made that claim then we would represent them in that by saying ‑ ‑ ‑


How would you ascertain whether they're doing 40 as opposed to 35?‑‑‑Then we would have to ask them to provide some evidence of that.


What would that look like?‑‑‑It depends on the academic.  It depends on what the work is.  It could be - it's easiest when it's teaching loads.  So if there is an overload of teaching then that's relatively easy to measure.  There's still variation ‑ ‑ ‑


Outside of teaching it's very difficult to measure?‑‑‑It is.


And you'd have to have time sheets or something, wouldn't you?‑‑‑No.  No, I think what we would do is appeal to what is an expected general, accepted practice in that discipline.


How would you determine that?‑‑‑Collegially.  We would talk to members - as an NTEU representative I would talk to members in the area and say, "What do you feel is reasonable?  What do you think is a reasonable time for this required work to be done, to get the required outcomes?" but there's no clear way of measuring it, actually.


DEPUTY PRESIDENT KOVACIC:  How would you make that judgment in respect of research?‑‑‑Again, I would have to refer to the standards in the discipline and the people in the discipline and what they saw as a reasonable expectation in the time available.


Just going to the clause, clause 4.3.43 deals with disputes about individual workload allocations.  Has that ever been utilised?‑‑‑We have had disputes on workload allocation, yes.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                                  XXN MR PILL


So what happened with those in those circumstances?‑‑‑Sometimes - well, mostly they've been about teaching workloads and they've generally been resolved through negotiation.


So predominantly they're teaching workloads?‑‑‑Usually that's where the dispute comes in, yes.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  But am I right in that understanding that a clause like this is difficult to assess and monitor because of the varying nature of academic work, particularly in research?‑‑‑Well, I guess we would assume that the university is allocating workloads that are compliant unless we're notified otherwise and then it would be a case by case basis determination.


And that assessment and monitoring would be very difficult, wouldn't it?‑‑‑Yes, but not impossible.  I'm not sure that it would be difficult so much as requiring - it is a case by case issue, yes.


Yes.  I have nothing further, thank you.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Where you've had the disputes you mentioned that it was about teaching primarily, so presumably the counter of that is that the academic is saying, "The research that I want to do is being affected by the amount of teaching being allocated so there needs to be a rebalancing."  Is that the sort of conversation that would occur?‑‑‑I'm just trying to think of some specific disputes.  The overall balance of workload is often of concern, but it's ‑ ‑ ‑


Well, they're not going to say - put it another way.  They're not going to say, "Cut back on your research," to the academic.  It's going to be the teaching that's going to be looked at, isn't it, to sort of ‑ ‑ ‑?‑‑‑The university will never say, "Cut back on your research."


No?‑‑‑So often the dispute comes in not having enough time allocated to do the teaching work that is involved, particularly in assessment.  That's where some - that's mainly where disputes have come in, yes.


Mr McAlpine.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MCALPINE                                      [10.28 AM]


MR McALPINE:  Can you have a look at paragraph 4.3.42?‑‑‑Yes.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                      RXN MR MCALPINE


And can you explain how people in practice - the clause says what it says, but in practice how the provision for employees working overload is actually applied at Macquarie University?‑‑‑Sure.  Well, most of the workload models have either a points or hours system and those - so it would normally be in teaching that people would take up that extra time and they would just take up - they would have an allocation of more hours or points that would then be offset from the next period's workload, and staff - there have been many cases of staff taking advantage of this provision.


What about how often do staff take advantage of the provision that allows for additional remuneration for above-load teaching?‑‑‑That would normally be in the case of teaching in the third session, in the summer session, which is a non‑standard teaching session, a short teaching session, over the summer.  Some staff may agree to teach in that period for extra remuneration and in some cases - I believe in the business school there has been some above‑load remuneration, yes.


Do you know how that's determined?‑‑‑Locally.  What do you mean?  How what is determined?


What is the basis of the remuneration?‑‑‑My understanding is that there is a sort of standard - it appears on the payslip as a one‑off payment where if staff are employed there's a judgment as to how much time they're employed for above load and then that's paid as just additional remuneration as a one‑off, but there's a standard rate that's employed in the business school, in the faculty, business and economics.


Okay.  I have no further questions, thank you.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Thank you.  You're excused.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [10.30 AM]


MR PILL:  Our next witness is Prof Simon Biggs who is physically here in Melbourne.  He's in the ante room to the ‑ ‑ ‑


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Ms Pugsley, while we're waiting, what time was Prof Vann due to arrive?


MS PUGSLEY:  He's due to arrive at 12 noon.  He's flying from Canberra to Sydney this morning.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  All right.  We'll finish before - take a break after this witness.

***        CATHERINE RUTH RYTMEISTER                                                                                      RXN MR MCALPINE


MS PUGSLEY:  Thank you.

<SIMON RICHARD BIGGS, SWORN                                              [10.33 AM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR PILL                                      [10.33 AM]


MR PILL:  Thank you.  Take a seat, Prof Biggs.  If you could just restate your name and work address for the record please?‑‑‑Beg your pardon, my name and?


Sorry, your name and work address for the record please?‑‑‑Simon Richard Biggs.  My address is the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at the University of Queensland.


Now, you're the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at the University of Queensland?‑‑‑I am.


Yes, and have you prepared a statement in these proceedings?‑‑‑I have.


Do you have a copy of that in front of you?‑‑‑I do.


Have you read that recently?‑‑‑Twice this morning.


Can I take you to paragraph 22?  I understand there's a minor formatting issue.  You wish to strike the A that appears between those two paragraphs 22 and 23?‑‑‑Yes.


With that change is your statement true and correct?‑‑‑It is.


I tender that statement.






***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                  XN MR PILL


MR PILL:  Prof Biggs, if you remain there.  Mr McAlpine might ask you some questions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MCALPINE                              [10.34 AM]


MR McALPINE:  Thank you, Prof Biggs.  My name is Ken McAlpine.  I'm appearing on behalf of the National Tertiary Education Union in these proceedings.  I'm going to ask you some questions about these proceedings.  Now, can I take you to paragraph 19 of your statement?‑‑‑Okay.


You refer there to excessive or unreasonable workloads and I was just wondering, in a general sense how would you - what measure would you use to determine whether a workload was excessive or unreasonable?‑‑‑I think that comes from really a collegiate conversation in the school.  So each of my schools, for example, is required to develop a workload model collegiately and on that basis obviously the head of school may come back and say, "Our workloads are excessive."  That may either require us to cut courses or programs or to employ more staff to try and reduce that excessive workload, or an individual staff member may say as a consequence of that discussion, "I think my workload is excessive," and we would look at that.


My question really went to not so much the process but what is the measure?  If I said my workload was unreasonable what would I be talking about?‑‑‑I think the first and most basic measure which is used by most academic staff is the actual allocated contributions, which is really the taught components of - largely speaking it's the teaching activities of any given unit.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  If an academic is saying it's excessive and they say, "No, I'm," you know, "working 110 per cent or 125 per cent," what's the difference between excess and unreasonable?‑‑‑That's a very difficult question to answer, if I may, and I don't wish to be evasive.


Well, it's your evidence?‑‑‑I think what I'm trying to - would say to you would be excessive is - the challenges - there are certain parts of workload that we can allocate very clearly, which are the teaching activities, governance and administrative activities to university.  The balance of workload is largely self‑directed, so people when they talk about excessive workload, in my experience, in the academic context, really talk about the allocation of teaching.  The amount of teaching I'm asking them to do is so large they don't feel they've got sufficient time left over to make the contributions in research.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


So at paragraph 19 of your witness statement are you talking about teaching load and not workload?‑‑‑Well, I would be talking about the total contribution, but the piece that we can allocate where people largely, in my experience amongst the academic staff, are very interested in whether they're getting excessively worked is the number of formal contributions we ask them to make in support of the student education aspects.


MR McALPINE:  But I put it to you that whether it's excessive or unreasonable, in the end what somebody is saying is that it requires too many hours to do this work.  Would that be fair?  That's what makes it unreasonable?‑‑‑In their opinion, yes, and that would be fair.


Yes, okay.  I'd like the witness to be shown an extract of the current enterprise agreement, if I may?‑‑‑Thank you.


Do you have that in front of you?‑‑‑Thank you.


Okay.  Can I take you to clause 59.2?  Now, the last sentence of that clause says the maximum number of hours which a full‑time academic can be required to work in a calendar year is 1725.  Now, in your faculty that's not applied or monitored by the introduction of time sheets, is it?‑‑‑No.


No, and in fact reading - that's in part because we know from - if I go over the page to clause 59.3, when we talk about 1725 hours the reference there is that the agreed method of calculating workloads represents a fair and accurate estimate of the average time that a staff member should take to perform that work at a professional standard and at a satisfactory level of performance.  So when we talk about 1725 hours we're not setting a clock running which means that an academic can say in the middle of October, "I've done my 1725 hours.  I'm off home."  We're not doing that, are we?‑‑‑Not normally, no.


And in fact that's never happened, has it?  It's not applied in that way?‑‑‑Not in my experience.


No.  What we're actually saying is that the workload - "The work requirements we're giving you should be able to be done in a professional standard in that sort of an envelope, 1725 hours"?‑‑‑That's the understanding.


Yes, and what you would expect an academic should be able to do to a professional standard in 1725 hours, the sort of things you might include within that bundle will vary between different disciplines?‑‑‑They will.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes, and they will also vary as between people who are teaching focused or research only or teaching and research.  Is that fair?‑‑‑That's fair.


Also what you would consider to be a reasonable work allocation would also vary from within a discipline.  It might vary from level to level as between - for example, the research outputs you might expect from a level B academic might be different from what you would expect from a level D academic.  Is that fair?‑‑‑I mean, this is where it starts to become much more interesting, because even within a discipline there are quite wide variations between what people do and what the expected norms are, if you like, amongst their peer group and what they  might self‑nominate as their expected outputs would be.  So it's not - unfortunately when you go to the research part of the equation what I expect to see or what they may even themselves expect to see of themselves is not as simple.  It's really not a simple thing where I can say a level D staff member should be producing more articles, for example, than a level B staff member.  Even within a discipline, dependent upon your specialisation, that can vary quite a lot.


But I suppose I'm asking in general terms that there could well be a variation in what expectations apply as between different disciplines - sorry, as between different classifications, I'm sorry?‑‑‑The major difference is how we expect their work to be received and their standing amongst their peers on a national or international basis.  It's really not a quantification in terms of numbers.


Now, you can comply with - or, sorry, I withdraw that.  So clause 59.3, part B, that I've just taken you to, again, that doesn't require the recording of time, does it?‑‑‑It doesn't require the absolute recording of time, no.


Why do you add the qualification "absolute"?‑‑‑Well, because I think in any workload model there is a very clear separation between teaching and administrative or governance activities which can be much more - can be allocated, in a sense, at the start of the year, and research which is largely measured on outcomes, which can take many years to reach fruition.  So they may appear in one given year but it may be the consequence of four or five years' activity.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes.  So in clause 59.5 can you just describe in general terms what the document - I assume it's a document, because it says it won't be changed - the guidelines for allocation of workload to academic staff.  What is that?  That's a reference to something.  Is it a document?‑‑‑Well, we do have at the university - we have been developing an academic workloads tool, for example, but the principles of that tool are essentially as I've described.  So there are activities one can define and allocate at the start of the year and then there are activities which are measured or recorded at their outcome or conclusion, and how you choose to measure each of those is largely where the debate is continuously amongst my staff and within each of the individual units as part of the collegiate discussions.


When you say "debate", those debates are - what sort of debates, I'm sorry.  What sort of debates?  Give me a typical debate that may occur?‑‑‑Well, a typical debate, for example, might be how long it takes to mark an exam paper.


Yes?‑‑‑And of course in the end one may choose a time for that, if you like, as part of discussion.  I guarantee you half the staff will be unhappy because it's not enough and the other half will be unhappy because it's too much.


Yes?‑‑‑So it's a number which is arrived at.  You'll notice in our policy it says that workload models will be discussed collegiately within the unit and that is what happens.  I can't honestly guarantee you everybody is absolutely happy with the outcome of those discussions but they are discussed openly amongst all the staff.


And people can have differences of opinion about those things?‑‑‑Of course, and I would ‑ ‑ ‑


Yes?‑‑‑It's a university, collegiate environment.  I would expect that.


But what you're trying to do there, in a sense, when you make those allocations, is you're trying to - well, it may not be your purpose, but in doing that you're complying with that sort of principle that it's an estimate of the average time that a staff member should take to perform that work.  Is that reasonable?‑‑‑I think for those activities of that type that's in the end a reasonable statement to come to.


So, for example - and I don't know the details of each faculty, of course, but even in relation to, for example, service on the academic board, that would be something that might come up in one of those discussions about how much time should be allocated to service on the academic board of the - it is called the academic board at the University of Queensland?‑‑‑We do have an academic board, yes.


Yes, so service on the academic board, and in fact two different members on the academic board might in fact spend considerably different amounts of time on that work?‑‑‑Yes, of course.  There are a 1000 papers to read and how much time one person takes to read those 1000 papers will be widely different for different members.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes, and some person might serve on some subcommittee or prepare a proposal for the board whereas another person might simply attend the meetings and assist in the decision‑making.  Is that right?‑‑‑Absolutely.


You mentioned the academic workloads tool.  Can I take ‑ ‑ ‑


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Are you going to mark this one for identification?







MR McALPINE:  Thank you?‑‑‑Thank you.


You're familiar with this document?‑‑‑I am.


It's the University of Queensland Academic Workloads Tool?‑‑‑It's a description of the tool, yes.


Yes, sorry.  It's a description of the tool, I'm sorry.  Can I have that marked?





MR McALPINE:  Thank you.  If I just take you to the second page of that.  I've just got a few questions about it.  On the second page in the third paragraph, the one that starts, "It should be noted," et cetera, so the last words of that are about what value should be placed on each activity.  Now, does that relate - that's a points value.  Is that correct?‑‑‑Well, the tool will calculate a points value.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes?‑‑‑The schools and units have the ability to adjust the weighting of how those points are calculated, so that gives a unit the opportunity to increase or decrease the value of a given activity, whether that's - or a given outcome.  So if it's a publication in one unit that may be worth more points than in another unit.  So, yes, it's essentially - the points are added up and a description of the total points, if you like, earned by an academic, whatever that means, is given.


Okay, and is there a set number of total points that correspond to a full‑time workload?‑‑‑No.


So the value that should be placed on each activity, if I said - if you were sitting on the academic board and I were running a first year undergraduate unit and it was decided that your allocation was - the value was twice as much as mine, for example, that would be - going back to our earlier discussion, that would be an assumption that on average - that that was the ratio about how much time was going to take, how much time was involved?‑‑‑If you came up with that answer, yes, that would be one person's view of how much time was involved.


Yes, and who decides - the head of the relevant school or academic unit is - after a collegial discussion, in the end the head of the relevant academic unit takes responsibility for those weightings?‑‑‑Ultimately, yes, after the discussion.


If I take you to the third page of the document, at paragraph 5 it says that, "Workload metrics will be based on objective evidence drawn from authoritative university systems."  Can I ask what those authoritative university systems are?‑‑‑Yes.  They'll be things like eSpace, which is where we capture our publications.  So that draws down on Thomson Reuters index, Google Scholar, to collect information about each staff member.  So as far as is possible with some of those things we try to use authoritative tools which are already capturing that information rather than requiring or needing a staff member to upload that information themselves.  They of course have the opportunity to review that information and point out errors or anomalies or things that may have been missed in that electronic capture system.


So, for example, looking at publications, which you've just mentioned, there are various weightings given to different categories of publications.  Is that correct?‑‑‑Yes, but that would be decided in a discipline basis and that would be decided collegiately, and that's back to my earlier point.


Yes?‑‑‑So the reason you can't allocate hours to the points is in one discipline they might be working on a scale that goes from zero to 5000 points, a different discipline might be working on a scale that goes from zero to 1200 points, because they've weighted it differently, because it's a comparative tool for use inside the discipline.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes, but it's also a way of achieving compliance with the provisions of the enterprise agreement, isn't it?‑‑‑Yes, I would suppose that's the main purpose for the tool.


Can I just take you now to page 10 of that document and firstly, just to assist the Commission, to create a full picture, there's a sentence halfway down there which says, "Teaching scholarship publications must be nominated and approved by your workloads administrator to count towards your workload."  How are teaching scholarship publications different from say other publications?‑‑‑I think it's simply - I don't know the exact detail, but my assumption would be these would be publications that perhaps weren't captured by the electronic mechanisms of capture.  So this is again a chance for a staff member to say, "Well, hold on a minute, the tools you're using are not capturing all of the activities that I'm engaged in."


Yes, and is a teaching scholarship publication, for example - and I'm asking because I don't know - a teaching scholarship publication, might that include like a text book, for example, that isn't an academic publication in the conventional sense?‑‑‑It may.  It might include a conference presentation, for example, that hasn't been captured through the electronic mechanisms.


Okay, thank you.  Looking at the rest of that page there, a certain number - with the qualifications you said about it's about a research record, with that qualification the publications within a work unit are translated into a certain number of points.  Is that correct?‑‑‑Using this tool, yes.


Yes, and if I could just take - no, I don't need to ask you that.  Now, the University of Queensland is notable, is it not, for - I think it has the highest proportion of research only academic staff in Australian universities.  Is that correct?‑‑‑Certainly in the G8, that's correct.


Yes.  It's a very strong research university?‑‑‑We believe so.


It's probably fair to say that you have - even by comparison with another university that gets similar levels of research funding, you have separated the workforce to a greater extent than some others, in the sense of having more research only staff than other universities do?‑‑‑That would have been the case up until about 12 months ago.  We have actually changed the descriptions now to research focused and teaching focused, and that is essentially because we don't expect someone working in the university to not engage with students and student education even if their primary purpose is research.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


But you do still - there are plenty of centres where people are not teaching, aren't there?  There's plenty of research ‑ ‑ ‑?‑‑‑There are post‑doctoral researchers across the campus, including in my faculty, who don't necessarily contribute to the teaching.


And there are people employed on grants, on research grants?‑‑‑There are people employed on research grants, but some of those do teach and some don't.


Yes, okay.  So I suppose I'm looking at the category when your university reports to the Department of Education and statistics.  I think it's more than 40 per cent of your staff are classified as, in their typology, research only.  That's correct, isn't it?‑‑‑I believe that would be about right, yes.


So when you're looking at a research only staff member who doesn't teach, how do you decide that their workload allocation is reasonable given the provisions of your enterprise agreement?  They don't do any teaching so how do you decide that their workload allocation fits within that envelope of whatever it was, 1725 hours?‑‑‑So their contributions, of course, would be measured by outcomes primarily, whether they're papers, whether that's supervision of students, PhD students, for example.


Yes?‑‑‑So their contributions are measured really by the outcomes that are delivered as a consequence of their work, and that really is a conversation that that individual staff member has with their supervisor through the annual appraisal process and that process would, I guess, in a consultative way between those two people decide whether their contributions are appropriate or not.  Now, if the staff member believes they're being unfairly treated, of course, we have a grievance policy they can go through, and in my role occasionally I have to deal with grievances of that type, but not very often.


There is, just to paint the complete picture, and I know it's something university managements are concerned about, as well as the union, there is a concern sometimes that academics are appointed as research only staff but are given a type of workload that means that they actually themselves can't general research outcomes.  That's sometimes a concern, isn't it, particularly say at level A, that they're employed on a research team and they can't necessarily produce their own research outputs.  Is that a fair concern that sometimes exists?‑‑‑I think you'd have to elaborate a little more.  I'm not sure I fully understand.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Okay.  No, it probably doesn't - well, no, some - if we take a research fellow at level D, they're most likely going to be in - or, sorry, they're typically going to be in charge of a research project which might employ five or six more junior researchers and in a sense the work of those junior researchers contribute to their research output?‑‑‑Yes, but in disciplines that I manage the researchers themselves at level A would be named on the papers, often the first‑named author and often contributing more than 50 per cent of that article.  I myself have run large groups and have been a 10, 15 per cent contributor in recent years.  The majority of the work is done and accredited to the junior author at level A.  If that wasn't happening I would certainly expect that staff member to raise a grievance with me and I would certainly expect to have to deal with that, because that's an unethical approach to research.


Yes.  Sorry, all I was trying to establish is that concern exists, for example, about - when you've got senior and junior staff together there can be a concern about what is the allocation of the output between those people?‑‑‑As a supervisor I have a duty of care to all staff who work for me and the staff who work for me, I would expect them to have a duty of care for all the staff that work for them, and if there is unethical behaviour then I expect to hear about it and deal with it appropriately.


Okay, thank you.  So I put it to you you've got a pretty extensive and impressive structure for monitoring and allocating workload at the University of Queensland?‑‑‑I believe we have appropriate processes, procedures, to allow us to allocate those - this is the important point, to allocate the parts of the workload at the start of the year that I can reasonably allocate and to record the outcomes from those other parts of the work which are not so easily allocated.


When you talk about the outcomes, do you say an individual staff member has a discussion with their supervisor about their outcomes?‑‑‑Typically we have an annual appraisal process.  I line manage certain staff, they line manage other staff.  It cascades down.  We would expect to have a conversation about their contribution to the university as a whole, not just for that one single year but over the last three or four years.


Yes, but would there be any prospective suggestions, goals, about what sort of outcomes should be being achieved?‑‑‑So each staff member is required to say what they believe they want to achieve over the next 12 to 36 months and that forms part of the conversation.  So the appraisal is really - there's a backwards looking half, which is, "Well, what have we been up to?  What have we achieved?  What are the barriers that you faced in getting where you've got to?  What do you want to do going forwards?  How does that link to your personal goals?  How does that link to the school, faculty, university strategy?"

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Okay.  Looking at that document that we looked at, the university, it seems, would have invested a reasonable amount of effort in trying to make sure that that tool and the related metrics operate fairly and reasonably and are able to be used?‑‑‑That's the interesting part.  So the tool's not yet adopted by all the schools, and one of the reasons, of course, it's not adopted is the moment you expose something like this to an academic cohort they immediately find all the things that I recorded in there or they would think personally are recorded incorrectly.  Well, you haven't captured the 30 minutes I spend every day doing this activity so   it's still an ongoing point of debate so that we can make sure that the data that is being reported from the tool is as reliable as you can reasonably expect, given the challenges of the diverse nature of our work.


Okay.  But I'm going to put it to you that what you're seeking to develop here is a reasonably fair and rigorous method for allocating workloads and relating them to the time required within reach organisational unit?‑‑‑I think what we're seeking to do is give us a tool which would allow us, for example, looking at research outcomes, to understand the amount of   the volume of outcomes that a given individual has been contributing to over a period.  Simultaneously we're looking to provide a framework for reporting the actual allocations that that staff member has from duties such as teaching, such as administration and governance, and marry those two up in some kind of picture that any staff member can   that the body of staff members can look at and say, well, is it fair, for example, that   and this is a debate that always   is it fair that this person is producing five times as many research outcomes as this person but they've got the same notional teaching allocation this year?


Yes?‑‑‑And that's the discussion point you expect each collegiate unit to have, to come to a position as a group about what's the fairest way of ensuring that people are not being asked to do too much inside that group.


And there's a problem   I'm not saying it's a problem with your system, I'm just saying that conceptually there's a problem because if I say that   or if it's decided within my academic unit, for example, if I were an academic that we want people to have this number of high degree research students and we say, okay, well, the requirement is this, but I'm doing more than that out of my own choice, then sometimes that won't be captured and I won't necessarily receive a reduction in my teaching load just because I've decided to take on an extra couple of students, is that right?‑‑‑Well, I think any tool like this is the   it's the starting point for a conversation.  So I have concerns when people   as a senior manager I have concerns when people have too many PhD students.


Yes?‑‑‑Because I don't believe they can supervise them with the level of depth and duty of care that I would like to see.  So if I see someone having too many PhD students there's a conversation for us to have around, well, how can we actually share some of that load with other staff members and spread that load out, which is better for the student, as well as for the staff member.  But it's a starting point for a conversation.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes, but you're   for example, neither the university or its staff have any concerns, for example, if people exceed expected research outputs.  If people produce lots and lots of papers, that's not a problem, is it?‑‑‑Again, it might be if those papers aren't very good quality.


Yes?‑‑‑So one shouldn't confuse quantity with quality.


No?‑‑‑I'm not interested in people writing hundreds of papers a year that are low quality.  I'd much rather they write two or three that gain large numbers of citations and are noticed by their international peer group.


But provided they're maintaining the quality, let's put that assumption in, provided they're maintaining the quality there's no problem if people exceed what might be considered the norms, if they're more productive and they're contributing more in research outputs, that's not a problem, is it?‑‑‑Well, sure.  The nature of any average is that some will be above and some will be below, and that's the nature of any forum of work unit that you care to think about.  Some people will be producing more aspects of one part of the role than others might be.


I'm just going to move to another topic now.  Information technology devices, it'd be fair to say most academic staff and some general staff use them from   use their home computers in the normal course of their duties?‑‑‑I don't require them to do that but I would suppose that a large number of them do, based on the time of day that I receive emails from some staff.


And them doing so though, contributes to the efficient forms of work.  For example, if they need to have a conference with international colleagues in a different time zone that would be an important facility for them to have, wouldn't it?‑‑‑Yes, and they enjoy that freedom to be able to do those sorts of activities.


So how may   I think they're called "professional staff" at the University of Queensland, how many professional staff do you have in your faculty, approximately?‑‑‑Approximately 300, 350.


350, is that an FTE figure or a - - -?‑‑‑I think that is about 300.


Yes.  So that's a significant part of your workforce?‑‑‑It is, yes.


So those staff report mainly to managers who, in turn, report to you or?‑‑‑Well, we have a faculty executive manager.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes?‑‑‑She reports to me and there's a cascade of reporting from her down through the professional staff structure.


Okay.  So if a staff member is working authorised additional hours at the University of Queensland, depending on their classification, they're entitled to paid overtime or time off in lieu, or if they're in more senior positions they're entitled to time off in lieu, is that correct?‑‑‑I think typically on the professional staff side that'd be correct.


Yes.  And so if a staff member is working those additional hours, that work and the working at that time needs to be authorised, doesn't it?‑‑‑Yes, so normally that would come through the management structure and if necessary, up to the faculty Executive Manager who would make a decision about whether that work was required or not required.


And just to be clear, it's not just the work, it's the fact for example, that it's going to be done on Sunday, that it needs to be authorised?‑‑‑Yes, well if we have something like an open day or something.




And if somebody was working   if somebody was working, for example, on Sunday on some significant piece of work, and they didn't claim overtime and a manager knew about that, what do you think their responsibilities would be, the manager's responsibility?‑‑‑Well, I would suppose the manager's responsibility would be to advise the staff member that they are entitled to overtime and should claim it.


Yes, but what if they had done the work and it wasn't authorised that it be done on Sunday?‑‑‑Well, there are some serious management issues then that need to be addressed and that's why   there's occupational health and safety issues and a variety of other issues so   if it's unauthorised work, I'd want to understand clearly why the staff member felt they needed to come in on a Sunday and do this unauthorised work.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                     XXN MR MCALPINE


Yes.  And it'd be a reasonable thing to have essentially a policy that said either if people were going to work on Sunday, assuming that's not part of their normal roster, if people are going to work on Sunday they should either get the time authorised or they shouldn't be doing it, is that fair?‑‑‑Of course it would depend on the grade level they're employed on but for lower grade staff, and that is HEW7 and below, I believe that any work they were looking to do outside of normal work hours would absolutely need to be authorised by a manager.


Yes, and if it's not authorised it shouldn't be being done, should it?‑‑‑It shouldn't be being done outside of hours, absolutely.


Yes, sorry.  I shouldn't be being done outside of hours, that's correct, and - - -?‑‑‑If it's unauthorised by their line manager.


Yes.  Yes.  In your experience, and if you don't know that's fine but in your experience are average teaching contact hours at the group of eight institutions lower than at other Australian universities?‑‑‑I wouldn't be able to answer that question.


Okay.  No further questions.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PILL                                                   [11.14 AM]


MR PILL:  Thank you.  Prof Biggs, you were asked a number of questions obviously about academic workloads, and also asked questions about research outputs and about allocations.  At the University of Queensland, under your systems and processes do you allocate research activities?‑‑‑No.


And so by what process does the staff member determine or know what research activities they'll be undertaking?‑‑‑Largely the staff member self directs the research activity but the appraisal process with their line manager which is held each year gives an opportunity for a conversation about what activities they're going to do, whether those activities are reasonable, whether those activities are tackling the needs of the unit, the faculty, the university.


And that prospective discussion about future research activities, over what timeframe is that discussed?‑‑‑Well, obviously there's the, what might you be doing in the next year, or what's coming to fruition in the next year, but there will also be that opportunity to talk more about the three to five year timeline and what I might be working on which will build up over a longer time period because some of the activities we want staff to engage in certainly take more than 12 months to come to fruition.


And do you equate research outputs with time at the University of Queensland?‑‑‑No.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


And why is that?‑‑‑I think, for many reasons.  What we are looking for staff to do in that time period they have available to do what we loosely call "research", is incredibly varied.  I have staff who are developing intellectual property, I have staff who are writing publications, I have staff who are writing books, I have staff who are doing exhibitions, I have staff who are working closely on industrially related research with an industry partner, so there's such a variety of work it's impossible to pin that down to a simple given activity.  And allied to that, the amount of time that any individual puts into an activity is largely self-directed.  So one of the biggest challenges I see for junior staff, as a senior staff member who's mentored large numbers of staff, is helping them learn when good enough is good enough on an activity that they're involved in, when they've reached that professional standard.  A lot of staff, academic staff are perfectionists, so on the law of diminishing returns they spend a heck of a lot of time doing work that's not adding any real value to what they do and we've got to help them come back from that so that they can get the best value out of their time, but that's part of the training and mentoring process that any staff member has to go through.  So the amount of time different people put into different activities is widely varied.


Now you were asked a number of questions about this document, the University of Queensland, or UQ academic workplace tool.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  For the record, you mean that as MFI27, so - - -


MR PILL:  Thank you, Vice President.  Now does the University and indeed, your schools, have a work allocation model?‑‑‑Each of the schools is required to have a work allocation model, which they do.


Yes, and is this document the work allocation model?‑‑‑Not for all the schools.  I believe the School of Architecture uses a variant of this tool but the other schools, I believe, are using their own tools at the moment because they don't have full faith in the data that's produced from this tool at present and they're not required by the university   they're required to have a tool - - -


Yes?‑‑‑Which is agreed by all of the staff.


Yes?‑‑‑They're not required to use this tool.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Yes.  Now you were asked a number of questions about points and you were asked whether there was a set number of points that correspond to a full time workload and you said no.  So can I ask you to turn to page 17 and we see it's got a staff report and an overall summary.  Can you explain to the Commission what the purpose of the points are under this tool in relation to a staff member?‑‑‑I think the   and we have to separate, I think, the points which are aligned with allocated tasks which are given at the start of the year and the points which accrue as a consequence of research outcomes which are averaged over three years, I believe, in this tool.  The purpose, I think, is to, on some senses on the   if we look at the research outcomes activity it's in some senses to provide a bit of a consolidated picture, staff member by staff member, of what they've done with the time available to do research that they have.  That's all it is really and it does depend   and I can guarantee you every academic unit I've ever worked in, this would simply be the starting point for an argument between staff about the relative value of each activity and whether any tool can actually capture that.  So really, one can only use it as a starting point for a conversation with a staff member about their contributions.  You can't use it for anything else.


Yes.  And do the points equate to time?‑‑‑No.


Now you've mentioned a couple of times, the allocated activities.  When you've used that term both in response to Mr McAlpine and my questions, what do you mean by the "allocated activities"?‑‑‑Well, I think it's reasonable   I mean, there are clearly absolute hours one can allocated.  "I want you to do 22 one hour lectures".


Yes?‑‑‑That's an absolute allocation of time that's not open for debate.


So a lecture is an allocated activity?‑‑‑That's a clear allocated activity.


What are the other allocated activities?‑‑‑So a clear allocated activity might be a tutorial, a laboratory class, any real hour where I'm required to be standing either in front of or working with groups of students, is an indisputable allocation of real time.  Now even then when we're on the teaching side, then we'll have some additional hours which we're allocated for each lecture, as preparation for that lecture.  We'll have some notional allocation of time to allow for marking assignments, all of those types of activity, but that's still a   that's not an absolute time per staff member because, I think as Mr McAlpine pointed out, you know, that it will take one staff member twice as long to mark an assignment as it takes a different staff member, so we come up with some average number which gives us the points that you see before you in terms of the points you receive for participating in teaching activity.


Are there activities that you do not include, or are not included when you use the term, "allocated activity"?‑‑‑I'm sorry, I don't quite understand.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Well, do you include research in allocated activity when you're - - -?‑‑‑No, because   so I think the   all the universities that I've ever worked in, all of the units I've ever worked in, we look to allocate those parts of the activity which are non-negotiable because students turn up every year, they expect to be taught, the courses need to be taught, they need to be examined, they need to go through the practical classes.  Those things are allocated at the start of the year so that I know which courses I'm teaching, the days I'm teaching, the hours that I'm expected to be present in the university to provide those activities.


Yes?‑‑‑That's the allocation, and then I may also allocate things like director of teaching, or director or research inside the school, which will come with an expected workload which might be .2 of the FTE as agreed inside that unit for that role.  Those things are allocated.  That leads me to some position where I've allocated perhaps .5 of an FTE.  The residual .5 of an FTE for that staff member, we would expect them to use in productive self-directed research.


And that productive self-directed research, how is that determined?‑‑‑That's determined through a process of appraisal and an intelligent conversation between that staff member and their supervisor about their plans, what they're working on.  So to give you an example, I think it says in my statement, in one year I published two papers, in another year I published 12.


Yes?‑‑‑That's a wide variation.  Why might you see that wide variation?  Because it depends on how many students I've got working with me, whether their work is coming to fruition or not.  In one year we might be working on the research which is going to come out in two years down the track.  So it's impossible to say each year I've got to see three publications, or each year I've got to see four.  One has to have an intelligent conversation with an intelligent staff member about, well, what have you been doing, where is that leading to, how will we see that come to fruition in the fullness of time, and what will the benefits be both for you personally and the university of the work you've been putting in?


Now there's been reference to research outputs.  What relationship in the University of Queensland is there between research outputs and time?‑‑‑There's no formal relationship that I'm aware of.


And what do you mean by that?‑‑‑Well, if one looks at this workload model, one allocates points for activities or outcomes, whether it's a PhD completion, that's a publication, that's a book - - -


Yes?‑‑‑Those points are determined by conversation inside that discipline unit, so they might say, well, for us, a book is 10 points and a paper is one point.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Yes?‑‑‑But another unit might say a book is a 100 points and a paper is one point.  But that will only be an average as agreed collegiately by that group, which means that the picture that you receive is an average, in a sense, picture of the outcomes that have accrued as a consequence of the work you've done in that self-directed time that you have available


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Sorry, just for my own part then, Professor, why couldn't that process equally apply to the NTEU claim for ascertaining hours?  I mean, if you're applying it every day in this way with flexibility and collegiately, why couldn't that be applied to the NTEU claim?‑‑‑I think the challenge we have is the relationship between real time which is taken, so when we measure these research outcomes we're not describing the actual amount of time that a staff member puts in on that activity and that widely varies, which   so one staff member may produce 30 papers of relatively low quality and get a certain number of points for those on an average allocation process.  Another staff member might produce just one paper but that paper is so seminal in the field it changes the way we understand our own existence, for example.  How do I allocate time for that in a comparative and proportionate way?  That research outcome is so valuable to me, I don't know the exact number of hours that person put into it.  We're trying to say 30 times X is equivalent to one times X is a meaningless approach in such a rich and nuanced area as research.


Thank you.


MR PILL:  Perhaps to follow on, when you've been talking about the number of publications are you talking about looking at it prospectively or at the University of Queensland are you looking at from the point of view of what they've actually produced in the preceding year?‑‑‑So if you look at this model, and this is always   this is consistent around the world with workload models and this is the problem, there's a separation between allocation which are those day to day tasks largely associated with students and governance of the institution - - -


Yes?‑‑‑And then there's some attempt to measure outcomes from research.  So that research in this   the points that are accrued here for research, come from a backward looking position of what's gone on in the last three years.  The points for teaching come from a forward looking projection of what I'm going to ask you to do for the next 12 months.  In those formal responsibilities we have to deliver education to students.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Sorry, I come back to why can't that be applied to the NTEU model?‑‑‑I'm sorry, I don't understand.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Well, you understand what the clause is that the NTEU is seeking and you   do you understand that?‑‑‑Yes.


And you've given some evidence about   you say it's unworkable.  Why can't the measures that are already in place in universities to measure workload and assess and monitor workload, be equally applied to the NTEU clause that's being sought?‑‑‑To doing that you would have an absolute and accurate way of allocating the points for research outcomes against the points you give for the actual hours delivered in teaching.  And that doesn't exist in this model and it doesn't exist in any model, anywhere in the world, because I might say it's 10 points for a publication.  That publication may have taken me 10 weeks to write.  That's 10 points.


Yes?‑‑‑It might have taken someone else one week to write.  They're still getting 10 points.  The teaching, I absolutely do 22 hours of face to face contact in that lecture course, I absolutely do 22 hours of tutorials.  I can allocate two or three hours of preparation for each of those activities as a reasonable number.  Most staff don't argue with that because that's well defined input.  When you switch over to the research side you're trying to measure   you're trying to put an input number on an output.


MR PILL:  Perhaps, just to pick that one up, when we've been talking about the points under this tool for research and the evidence you've just given is you're actually looking at, well, what have you published, is there any attempt to estimate the time that will be taken in relation to the activities for the next year?  Is that the function of the point?‑‑‑Only insofar as in an intelligent conversation with an intelligent member of staff you might say, I think you're being a little over-ambitious at what you think you can achieve in the next 12 months, do you really believe that's all achievable?  And they will, nine times out of ten, I guarantee you, argue very strongly that yes, yes, I can achieve all that.  But it's a manager's responsibility, I think, to bring their experience to bear.  I have a wide experience of how much effort is required to do a grant, how much effort is required to build an industrial consortium.  When looking at what someone's telling me, you know, my role is to intelligently engage with that and say, do you really think that's all achievable, or frequently we look and say, well, should we be allocating you some professional support to help you achieve all of those things and even more?  So it's a two way conversation and it's not neatly encapsulated in some simple measureable number.


So I just want to be clear I've understood.  Is any part of your workload allocation process and the tool, do you seek to equate a research outcome with hours of time, in terms of a prospective allocation?‑‑‑Not in terms of any real hours, no.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Okay.  Now have you still got the enterprise agreement extract, you were taken to that?‑‑‑Yes.


I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about (d) and (e), so 59.3, and (d) is, "Allocating an appropriate balance across teaching related duties including RSD supervision, scholarship and research and engagement for each individual staff member".  And then at (e) it talks about things that need to be in reasonable consideration.  Can you tell the Commission about how the university applies that clause as part of its process?‑‑‑Well, again, the normal process would be the head of school in consultation with the school executive will make an initial allocation of teaching duties and governance duties.  They would be then circulated to all staff for review and comment and probably an open staff meeting would be held to discuss whether that was fair and balanced.  Individual staff, of course, have the opportunity to come and talk to the head of school and raise concerns they have about their own allocation but in essence what we're doing again is allocating those parts of the academic workload which can be reasonably allocated for the next 12 months.


What are they?‑‑‑Largely teaching and governance.


All right.  And to the extent that you're not talking about those, we're into the realms of research outputs, are research outputs a proxy for time?‑‑‑For the reasons I've already mentioned I don't believe they are.


There was also some discussion about quality.  Can you explain to the Commission, in terms of quality of research outputs, what's being referred to there in terms of publications?‑‑‑Yes.  So we would largely measure quality in terms of the standing of the journal you've got the work into.  So some journals have much higher rejection rates than others.


Yes?‑‑‑And then also the number of citations that that paper is receiving which in a sense is a measure of how your international peer group value the work


And what's the relationship between quality in research expectations and hours of work?‑‑‑None.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


Perhaps you can expand on that answer?‑‑‑Well, you know, quality in a sense is self-evident but it   I could do   it's back to how long is a piece of string, I suppose.  I don't wish to be facetious, but how long does it take me to write an article will depend partly on me as a person, partly on my own efficiency and my own understanding of when that article is ready to be submitted, how much review   how much revision it takes after refereeing, so we try to call this an unique event which has a different time input.  Whether it's a quality article will be judged by my peers once it's out in the open literature.


In your faculty have there been workload disputes?‑‑‑There are disputes about workload, yes.  Individual staff members have the capability to raise concerns about the workload they've been allocated.  We have a grievance process that can be followed if necessary.  In the first instance one expects them to be raised with the head of school and we'd expect the head of school to look professionally at that and take a judgment on whether the staff member has a valid case or not.


Yes?‑‑‑And if the staff member is not happy with the outcome of that, of course they can go through a grievance process, which we would expect them to do.  And the outcome of that, of course, is dependent on a wide variety of issues, that each case would be unique so - - -


But in terms of the ones that you've had, how have they been resolved?‑‑‑As far as is possible we try to resolve them amicably with discussion with individual staff members and helping staff members understand the relative   I mean, one of the reasons a tool is useful in a sense of the type we see here with a distribution of outputs is many staff don't really have an accurate picture of what their colleagues are doing so they have a viewpoint that their workload is somehow skewed compared to everybody else's and I've heard those statements many times, "I work much harder than my colleagues".  And I say, "Well, how do you know that?"


That's not confined to academia?‑‑‑How do you know that?  And, you know, by having some kind of tool, at least as a starting point for a conversation around, well, here's the allocations we've given to all of your colleagues and they  you know, if they're broadly equivalent we're asking that staff member to think about, well, are you really   are you really being allocated more work than your colleagues.


Yes?‑‑‑And so far as is possible we try to resolve amicably.


Yes?‑‑‑If that can't be the case then we have to fall back on the actual allocations of teaching and these comparative measures of the outcomes of different staff to see whether we ourselves are confident that we've been as fair as it reasonable.


And have you been able to resolve the grievances or matters that you've   - -?‑‑‑Yes, largely we have never had any   in my time, at least, as Executive Dean, we've not had any serious issues.

***        SIMON RICHARD BIGGS                                                                                                                RXN MR PILL


And can I just pick up one last point here, back at page 17 of 18 of the tool, and in the middle of that page there's what's called a bar graph and it says, "School overview, places (indistinct) overall points within the school, rollover to see overall points but no names or dimensions breakdowns".  Does that show the comparative points across each of the staff within a particular school?  Is that what that's showing?‑‑‑That's what that would show, using the points that the staff have agreed are reasonable for the different contributions.  But I think the way the tools are largely used is perhaps more relevant, shown overleaf, which is the teaching dimension, which again is the thing that staff are most concerned about because the reason is, these are the hours and days that you absolutely have to be somewhere to deliver an activity.  There's no self-directed flexibility about the hours I need you to teach, the days I need you to be there.


So Prof Biggs, this enables me in a broad sense to look comparatively across my school and see whether I'm somewhere in the middle or at the end.  Does it enable me to determine 17.25 hours?‑‑‑No.


No further questions, Commissioner.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [11.40 AM]


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  The Commission will adjourn until 12 o'clock.

SHORT ADJOURNMENT                                                                  [11.40 AM]

RESUMED                                                                                             [12.08 PM]




MS PUGSLEY:  Your Honour, I would like to call Prof Andrew Vann.

<ANDREW MICHAEL VANN, AFFIRMED                                   [12.11 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS PUGSLEY                             [12.11 PM]


MS PUGSLEY:  Good afternoon, Prof Vann, can you hear me in Melbourne?‑‑‑Yes, very well, thank you.


Thank you.  For the record, could you please restate your name and give your work address?‑‑‑Yes, Prof Andrew Vann, and the work address is Charles Sturt University where my office is Panorama Avenue, Bathurst.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                       XN MS PUGSLEY


And you are the Vice Chancellor of Charles Sturt University?‑‑‑Yes, I am.


And have you prepared a statement in these proceedings?‑‑‑I've submitted an evidence statement.


Do you have a copy of that with you?‑‑‑I do, yes.


Have you read it recently?‑‑‑Yes, I have.


Do you have any corrections to make to it?‑‑‑No.


Do you now say that its contents are true and correct?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


We tender the statement of Prof Andrew Vann.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Yes, I think that's AHEIA10   nine.  Nine.



MS PUGSLEY:  Prof Vann, Ms Gale from the NTEU will have some questions for you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS GALE                                          [12.11 PM]


MS GALE:  Prof Van, can you hear me clearly?‑‑‑Yes, I can, thank you.


Okay.  I'm not sure if you can see me.  I'm right up the back of the room from where you're viewing but we'll go with audio - - -?‑‑‑I think I saw you waving.


And hope that works.  Do you accept that the staffing statistics published by the Federal Department of Education and Training with respect to Charles Sturt University are reasonably accurate?‑‑‑Yes, we had an issue with the casual staff reporting one or two years ago but apart from that, yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


An issue with the casual staff reporting, did you say?‑‑‑I believe there was an error in the casual staff reporting two years ago which was subsequently corrected so I think the record is right now.


Okay.  Are you able to tell the Commission how many of your staff work part time?‑‑‑I don't have those stats in front of me.  We are relatively lightly casualised compared to the rest of the sector though, I believe.


Sorry, no, the question was part time, fractional?‑‑‑Fractional, I'm sorry, I don't have those figures accurately.


Okay.  Do you know how many non-casual staff the university employs?‑‑‑The total staff head count is about 3000.


About 3000.  And what proportion of those would be academic or general staff?‑‑‑I think we have about a thousand academic staff and something like 2000 general staff but I would usually refer to the statistics on that, so forgive me if those aren't exactly accurate.


Now you're the president of the AHEIA, is that right?‑‑‑That's correct, of the executive committee.


Can you tell us what role you had, if any, in the development of the AHEIA's applications in this award review process?‑‑‑only an oversight from the strategic perspective, if you like, in terms of what the Association is doing.


Did you and your committee sign off on the form of the variations that the AHEIA are seeking in these proceedings?‑‑‑On my recollection, no.  The committee provides strategic advice to the executive director but doesn't sign off those things.


Okay.  Are you aware of the AHEIA's proposal to introduce a new category into the award for the use of fixed term contracts?‑‑‑In general terms, yes but if you're going to ask me specific details I may not have those.


Okay.  So are you aware that the provision that the AHEIA is seeking in relation to a new fixed term category would allow the use of fixed term contracts where there's uncertainty of future workforce requirements arising from major organisational change or a formal review of a work area?‑‑‑Yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Are you aware that it seeks the capacity to use fixed term contracts where work activity is being introduced or discontinued?‑‑‑Yes, that's sounds right.


And are you aware that they're seeking that capacity to use fixed term contract employment to cater for a sudden and unanticipated increase or decrease in student enrolments?‑‑‑Yes, that also sounds correct, yes.


So it's all bundled into one proposed clause but it actually covers a number of different circumstances, doesn't it?‑‑‑Yes, I think that would be fair, yes.


Can I ask you first about those last two circumstances, "To cater for a sudden and unanticipated in student enrolments", or "To cater for a sudden and unanticipated decrease in student enrolments".  Student enrolments go up and down all the time, don't they?‑‑‑Yes, they tend to be variable, yes.


Yes, and generally enrolments are handled through a fairly structured process whereby students put in an application for enrolment, those are either accepted or rejected, there's a second round process, the university usually knows before the beginning of the academic year how many students it has in each subject, doesn't it?‑‑‑Well, no, because I think you need to draw the distinction between admissions and enrolments and so students   we are fairly certain about who we've made offers to in the universities.  The question of who accepts and who actually enrols is becoming much more uncertain, post the demand driven system so I think we are experiencing at Charles Sturt University and I think other universities, have had a similar experience as being that there's much less certainty about who will actually show up in classes.  So there is uncertainty between making an offer, between the acceptance by the student, between the student actually enrolling in the subject, and even in the days before the demand driven system, because we have a very modular system in Australia there would be quite a bit of uncertainty about how many students would actually enrol in each subject because students make individual decisions about managing their workload so there is quite a bit of uncertainty about who shows up in a particular   well, now in a particular course but also, even more so in subjects.


So that level of uncertainty, you say, is actually very widespread and pretty much constant?‑‑‑It has increased over recent times, yes.


So in fact if this provision were introduced the university would be able to use fixed term contracts in pretty much every circumstance, wouldn't it, anything to do with teaching?‑‑‑Well, there are degrees of uncertainty.


Yes, there are?‑‑‑So   yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Sorry, so?‑‑‑Well, I mean for example, one of our biggest risks as a university at the moment and in common with other universities, would be government policy and depending on what government decides to do and is able to legislate in relation to university funding, there are some potential significant shocks.  We've seen, for instance, the increased intervention at state level, particularly in New South Wales, around things like teacher education which can lead to short term changes in enrolments.  So there are differences between disciplines, specifically, if you take the case of Charles Sturt University for example, the vet program that we have is limited essentially by placements and it's highly selective, so we would be reasonably certain about the (indistinct) program.  If you were to take something like accounting being studied by distance, there would be much more uncertainty so I think there is a spread of uncertainty that varies on the circumstances.


Can I ask you to think about the part of the claim which deals with uncertainty as to future workforce requirements arising from a decision to undertake major organisational change.  Decisions to undertake major organisational change are fairly common in Australasian universities, aren't they?‑‑‑They're not   well, various kinds of change are being pursued in Australian universities as they adapt to changing circumstances, yes.


Yes.  And a provision that allows the use of a fixed term contract in any circumstance where there's uncertainty as to future workforce requirements arising from such changes is very broad in its scope, isn't it?‑‑‑Well, I think as per my previous answer those are judgments that would be have to be made in a particular context.  So there is a spread of uncertainty depending on what exact circumstances are being faced by a university and what external things are happening.


But the claim that your organisation is perusing doesn't deal with a spread of uncertainty, does it, it deals with any uncertainty at all.  There's no level of seriousness of that uncertainty required by the provision  you're pursuing, is there?‑‑‑I don't actually have that in front of me so I can't look at the words.  I'm sort of   I'm relying on what you read out to me.


Okay?‑‑‑I don't know what more I can add than what I've already said, really.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Okay, perhaps we'll move on from that.  Is it true that the student/staff ratio at Charles Sturt has increased fairly dramatically in the last 20 years?‑‑‑There has been an increasing trend in staff/student ratios in most Australian universities over the last couple of decades, as funding has shifted and as different decisions have been made, and these figures are sometimes distorted by things like students being taught at partner sites, so depending on what is included in the numerator and the denominator you can get varying figures. And one of the things about the CSU, for instance, is that programs we've had like the policing program where there is joint teaching with the police, it can depend on who's actually included in the definition, how those ratios come out so I think they have to be approached with some caution.


Would you be able to give a figure, either exact or an estimate as to the ratio between students and teaching staff at Charles Sturt University this year?‑‑‑I don't have that exact figure in front of me, no.


Or last year?‑‑‑I don't carry those figures in my head, I'm sorry.


Okay.  The Australian Vice Chancellors Committee as it was then called reported that the student/staff ratio at Charles Sturt between 1993 and 2002, increased from 17.8 to 33.4.  Has there been any significant decline in the student to teaching staff ratio since 2002?‑‑‑Well, as I said, I'm being cautious given I'm under oath but I thought our staff/student ratio was in the 20's, and as I said before I am aware that the staff/student ratios that were previously reported were affected by the people that were included as teaching staff or not, and much of that was to do with partners.  I recall that there was a similar situation with Central Queensland University in relation to their partnership with CMS when I worked there, so there have been ongoing debates about the validity of those measures and I would be cautious about saying definitive things without the opportunity to have the numbers in front of me and being able to refer to the statistics.


But your sense, without being definitive, is that the ratio at the moment is somewhere in the 20's?‑‑‑Yes, and also that the apparent increase that you quoted was perhaps a function of the measurement method and who was included rather than being a substantive indication of the shift in staff/student ratios.


Okay, than you.  At paragraph 4 of your statement you say that there's also been a change in the composition of the student population?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes.  Now is it fair to say that that's brought with it a need for more student support services?‑‑‑I think that's a reasonable statement, yes.


Yes, more pastoral care work done by academic staff?‑‑‑Not necessarily done by academic staff but there has been an increase in support as we've brought people in   well, a broader spectrum of people into universities.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Okay.  And more attention to teaching and learning methods?‑‑‑I think the professionalism in relation to teaching and learning has increased quite substantially in the sector over the time that I've worked in universities, yes.


Is it fair to say that the average teaching workload for academic staff has also increased over that period?‑‑‑It would probably depend on the discipline to some extent.


But looking at the academic workforce as a whole, do you think there's more teaching done per academic now than there was 20 years ago?‑‑‑I think it would depend on the discipline.  So for instance, in engineering there were traditionally very high teaching   high contact hours and high teaching workloads, for example.


You've told us that the number of students has increased drastically.  I think you say the sector has doubled in size?‑‑‑That's right.


The academic workforce hasn't doubled in size, has it?‑‑‑Well, some parts of it have.  So the teaching and research workload   from the figures I've seen, the teaching and research academics have not increased by that level, they've increased, depending on where you take the baseline, around something like 10 per cent.  The number of casual staff has about doubled, the number of research only staff has about doubled, and the number of teaching only staff has about doubled.  So I think what we've actually seen is more specialisation in the sector over the last 20 years.  And that's where it's a bit difficult to say for individual academics what's happened to workloads because roles have specialised more.  It would depend   I mean, you know, given we've doubled the number of research only staff for those people, the teaching workload has gone down manifestly.


So are you saying the teaching workload for teaching only staff, on average amongst that group, has gone down?‑‑‑No, research only staff.


Research only staff, yes?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes.  Because they're not doing any at all.


And you also say that research productivity has tripled.  How do you say that research productivity is measured?‑‑‑That's based on looking at HERTZE(?) points per academic staff member.


So that HERTZE points are a measure of output, is that right?‑‑‑They're one measure of output, yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


So you're saying that productivity for research is measured


by output per staff member?‑‑‑It's one measure of research productivity.  It's not the only measure but it's one measure.  And I think much of that increase in productivity in that case has been driven by technology because, you know, when I did my PhD it took some months to do a literature search, whereas now it's something that you can accomplish from your desktop in about 20 seconds, so some of that is technology driven and that's apparently flattened out over the last, probably five, six years.


Okay.  I think we may have some disagreement between management and the union about a 20 second estimate for a literature search but we'll leave - - -?‑‑‑No, I just mean   I don't - - -


No, no, I understand your point?‑‑‑I   yes, I mean, the actual execution of the search now is something that can be done very rapidly.


Indeed?‑‑‑It's not to say that there's - - -


It doesn't require hours and hours in the library?‑‑‑Yes.




Okay.  Now we've been talking a bit about the increase in teaching only staff.  It's the case that a fair proportion of teaching only staff in universities are employed as casuals, isn't' it?‑‑‑It's true that the number of casual staff has grown substantially.  As I said, it seems to have about doubled over 20 years, yes.


And it's been suggested that the majority of undergraduate teaching is now done by casuals, would you agree with that view?‑‑‑I would agree that it has been suggested.  I haven't verified those figures myself, and I think it's been pointed out that those figures can be done more than one way, but that is a number that's mentioned quite regularly.  I wouldn't vouch for its accuracy, myself.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Now at the end of paragraph 4 you look back to the 1950's and '60's and say that being an academic in the '50's and '60's could be quite a leisurely life.  Are you saying then that it is no longer a leisurely life?‑‑‑No, I don't think it is a leisurely life and as I mentioned in the statement, my sense is that productivity expectations have increased in all sections of society over the last   well, over my lifetime and   but of course, I wasn't an academic in either the 1950's or the '60's but when you read what is written about the nature of academic work now and the contrasts that are often drawn, I think are back to a much smaller system and I guess the point I was trying to make is that expectations have changed in higher education but I think that they've changed for the whole of society.


You've talked about a number of different factors that have  affected the composition of the academic workforce, the composition of the university workforce as a whole, funding pressures, changes in student composition, changes in technology.  Do you think that with all of those changes you've described over the last 20 years that there's been an increase or a decline, or have we just held steady in relation to the quality of education that's delivered to students?‑‑‑Look, I actually think the quality of education that's delivered to students is probably higher than it has ever been, particularly given we are now educating a much broader spectrum of people than we were.  So you know, professionalization of teaching and learning and being more reflective of that pedagogy and having lecturers who are better trained doesn't necessarily mean there's more work.  It might just mean that people are working more efficiently than they used to be.


Okay.  Now a number of sector-wide surveys of university professional staff about their hours of work show that many of those staff report occasionally or regularly working longer than standard hours, and that's not really a surprise, is it?‑‑‑For professional staff?


Yes?‑‑‑Well, no.  I mean, all of our enterprise agreements generally contain facilities for working longer in the standard week.  It's an expected part of operations so - - -


Yes.  Those surveys also show that many university professional staff report that some of that additional time is not paid for as overtime, nor counted towards a compensatory system such as time off in lieu or flex time.  Do you accept that that phenomenon occurs in this industry, that people work extra hours but it's not compensated for?‑‑‑Well, I know that particularly surveys that have been sponsored by the NTEU have pointed to that.  We have enterprise agreements and it depends on the level of the staff, of course, because at the more senior levels   more senior HEW levels, there is an expectation that people will work longer than a standard week and that they're being compensated for that as part of the overall package, so   some people in universities will work longer than standard hours and they may not claim   in some cases they're not legible to claim overtime payments. In some cases they may choose not to.  So it is possible that that happens and as you say, certainly there have been reports from various surveys that that is what people say is happening.


Now when you say more senior HEW levels, what levels are you talking about?‑‑‑Well, level 10's, for instance, in our agreement.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


When you say, for instance, is that the list or do you mean other levels, as well?‑‑‑From my memory it's 10 and 9 in our agreement but once again I don't have the agreement in front of me and I don't hold all of these definitions in my head, all of the time so if you   you know, if you want a definitive   our enterprise agreement is a public document.  It's - - -


Okay, so leaving aside staff at that level, or those levels, do you think that there are other staff at Charles Sturt University at lower classification levels who do additional hours of work but neither claim overtime nor get toil or flex time for it?‑‑‑Well, it's a bit of a hypothetical question.  I guess what I can say is that the voice survey that we ran last year, there was a significant shift in perceptions of workload and staff reported that they were more satisfied with their workload in the last survey than they had been in the previous one we ran two years before.


So what were the figures previously and last time?‑‑‑Well, once again, my apologies but I don't carry all of those numbers in my head all the time.


A ballpark would be fine?‑‑‑Sorry?


A ballpark figure would be fine?‑‑‑I think it was a few per cent improvement in (indistinct) but I - - -


From what to what?‑‑‑Well, I'm sorry, I   I don't - - -


Okay.  I'm asking - - -?‑‑‑I'm only able - - -


Is it from a level where half the staff are satisfied with their workload levels up to, perhaps, you know, 55 per cent, or are we talking 95 to 98?


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Ms Gale, I think - - -?‑‑‑Look, it's   I'm not sure exactly what the relevance is to your previous question but it's   and I can't answer it definitively.  I'm sorry, I can't give you those exact figures and I'm not sure what the relevance is to the line of questioning you were following before but - - -

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  Do you accept that there are sometimes interpersonal factors in a local work area or perhaps even a shared concern about budget pressures which discourage people from applying for overtime payment or toil?‑‑‑I'm not sure how to answer the question because if you're asking me, is that a theoretical thing that could occur in an organisation, yes it could.  That's why I guess I'm trying to draw the link between that and the staff survey we had because I suppose that could occur.  If you're asking me if I believe that it's a regular issue that we face at Charles Sturt University, I don't believe it is but - - -


So what proactive steps does Charles Sturt take to make sure that people are either claiming overtime or receiving their time off in lieu or flex time?‑‑‑We do our best, as I'm sure all universities do, to make sure people are aware of the provisions of the enterprise agreement.  We spend a lot of time training our managers to understand that and to attend appropriately to things like workload allocation.  We have an extensive budgetary system, of course, which allows us to make decisions about where effort gets directed, so I think as with any large organisation we have a budgetary system, we have a system of management, we have an enterprise agreement that people are expected to comply with and we certainly reinforce the message that we   you know, we've put a lot of effort into wellness at Charles Sturt University.  So we pursue quite a number of strategies to ensure that people are, you know, well briefed, that they understand their entitlements and that they can take appropriate action if they feel that they are   you know, if they have issues with their workload.


Can you give us any examples of the things that you to do   those efforts that you take, just, you know, the practicalities of that?  What does it involve doing?‑‑‑Well, there are various   as I said, we've had a very strong focus on wellness.  It was one of the issues that was raised in the previous work survey at Charles Sturt Universities.  There was a particular emphasis from HR on initiatives around wellness.  We've run wellness expo's around the university, encouraging people to be mindful of self-care, but in common rule(?) institutions we seek to ensure that our managers and our staff are appropriately trained and understand the provisions of the enterprise agreement.


Turning to sessional academics, there's been evidence in these proceedings, again based on surveys of sessional academics, that somewhere around 17 or 18 per cent of casual academics have jobs in other industries or in professions, for example, have their main job outside the university.  Would that be about right for Charles Sturt, do you think?‑‑‑No, I think our proportion would be much higher than that but - - -


Why would that be?‑‑‑Well, because we employ   I guess because of our history and because of our focus particularly on workplace learning and practice based courses, I think we have traditionally   and it's often common in regional areas, for instance, to use people from local accounting firms to teach and for courses.  I spoke, for instance, to the chair of the business chamber in Bathurst who's lecturing in project management for us, so there are a number of people who take that on.  They do get paid for it but I think they also enjoy it. Well, he's told me he did.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Of course.  Yes.  Okay, so you say that it's the combination of being a regional institution and having a significant proportion of professional courses that means you have more casual staff than average who would have some other outside employment?‑‑‑Yes, I believe so.  Yes.  I believe so but I don't have good stats on that, I have to say.


No, okay.  Yes.  Now the casual rates of pay are based on assumptions, aren't they, about how much time is involved, on average perhaps, in delivering particular elements of the casual work?‑‑‑They're based on a model, yes.


Yes, so they're not actually paid for the time that they work, they're paid for an assumption about how much time they're likely to work, is that the case?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes?‑‑‑Yes, that's reasonable, yes.


Yes.  Do you, or does Charles Sturt have any data about the actual hours worked by casual academic staff?‑‑‑Not to my knowledge.


No, okay.  Is it fair to say that many casual academics are not casuals in the sense that would be understood in the broader workforce, but that they're actually engaged for a session of teaching that could run over a period of weeks, that's known in advance, and where they know in advance what hours of work they're going to be paid for?‑‑‑Well, the sense in which casual is often used in universities is, particularly in relation to academic staff, is that they are being employed to teach a semester's worth of subjects, yes.


Yes, and that's why we have the word, "sessional", as well as "academic", kicking around in the industry?‑‑‑Yes.


Yes.  And many of them are not casual in the sense that they're employed to do peripheral work.  Many of them do work that the institution needs done, semester after semester, don't they, in terms of delivering teaching to students?‑‑‑Some of them do, yes.


Yes, and some of them are employed semester after semester, aren't they?‑‑‑Some of them are, yes.


Yes.  Do you know what proportion of Charles Sturt's sessional staff would have been employed for more than one semester?‑‑‑No, I don't.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


We've also had data about the proportion of sessional academic staff who work at more than one university.  Is it a fair assumption that that would be lower than average at Charles Sturt because in any of the places you operate there is no other university in town?‑‑‑Well, yes and no because we also employ sessional staff from, let's say, Sydney, to teach into our distance programs and they may actually have a substantive job at another university and be teaching for us casually on the side, so I would guess that that was the case but I wouldn't be absolutely sure.


Okay.  Now sessional staff are expected to maintain their currency and their discipline, aren't they?‑‑‑Well, they are expected to have discipline currency, yes.


Well, I'm suggesting - - -?‑‑‑So the - - -


I suppose I'm asking, it's not just that they're expected to turn up at the beginning of semester with discipline currency, you would expect them to maintain their discipline currency during semester, wouldn't you?‑‑‑Yes, and if they're working as professionals we'd expect that that's something that would happen in any case but I mean, discipline currency, depending on which discipline you're in, doesn't necessarily evaporate over a space of about 12 weeks.  Some disciplines move very quickly but others don't.  The tax law is often mentioned as an area where things can change quite rapidly but   for example, if I was to - - -


And I might suggest, industrial law?‑‑‑It could be, yes.  But if I was teaching solid mechanics, as I used to, and if I was teaching that casually, you know, that hasn't changed much for 150 years, probably.


And casual academic rates are by and large, drawn on an average, aren't they, they're not discipline specific in the sense that no-one says, well, preparing a lecture in history takes longer than preparing a lecture in solid mechanics, for example?‑‑‑That's my understanding, yes.


So it's industry wide averages, we're talking about?‑‑‑Pretty much, yes.


Can the witness be shown the Charles Sturt University code of conduct document?‑‑‑Thank you.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Ms Gale, we are going to have to adjourn at one o'clock precisely because there's a matter on at one o'clock, too.  Just so you know.  The witness may have to come back after lunch.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  Do you have that document?‑‑‑I do, yes.  Yes.


Yes, and do you recognise that as the code of conduct for CSU?‑‑‑Yes, that looks right, yes.


And that code of conduct applies to sessional staff, as well as ongoing employees?‑‑‑Yes.


Could that be marked please?





MS GALE:  Thank you.  Now thinking about the work that sessional academics do to maintain their discipline currency, at paragraph 8 of your witness statement am I right in understanding your evidence there that you say that work is already paid for as part of the associated working time element of a lecture or tutorial payment?‑‑‑Yes, so as we discussed there is a notional set of hours, if you like, that are allocated for casual tasks but they cover a number of things, including discipline currency.


I'd suggest they actually only cover preparation and student consultation, and the actual delivery?‑‑‑Well, those are the things that are explicitly mentioned, I think, but - - -


Can the witness be shown the extract from the Charles Sturt University enterprise agreement?‑‑‑Thank you.  Prof Vann, this document is simply some extracts from the whole agreement, the whole agreement is not there?‑‑‑Right.


But if I can take you to the page that's numbered 45 which is two leafs from the back of the document?‑‑‑Yes.


Do you see there the casual academic rates salary?‑‑‑Yes, yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


And at the bottom of the page there, at point 5, it says "The base rate is multiplied by the amount of preparation and associated working time for the particular activity", and then the formulas are there, a basic lecture, one hour of delivery and two hours associated working time, and so on.  Over the page, the different sorts of lecture and then tutorials, do you see that?‑‑‑I do, yes.  Yes.


Those are the assumptions of associated time that you're talking about?‑‑‑Yes.


Okay?‑‑‑In relation to your previous question, for example, if I were lecturing solid mechanics and if there'd been a recent bridge collapse, let's say what I would be doing in terms of preparing a lecture would be to go and dig up the information on that and present that as part of the lecture that I gave to students, to illustrate the theoretical concepts.


Certainly there may well be developments in a discipline which are specifically relevant to a particular lecture or tutorial, and informing yourself about those developments could be considered part of preparation for that lecture or tutorial, is that right, but that - - -?‑‑‑Well, and more broadly.  I mean, if I were planning a lecture series I would be hopefully not leaving it till delivering the individual lecture but you would be thinking about where there's concepts at play, so, you know, certainly if you really want to make your teaching interesting it's really good to be able to refer to something that's come up in the week but you would also plan, I would think, around things that had happened in the last 12 to 18 months as examples to draw on, so in my view, at least, discipline currency would be something that you would be freshening up as part of lecture preparation, as much as anything else.


And it might involve freshening up your currency on matters that actually weren't directly relevant to the particular curriculum but which might come up in the course of your discussions with students, for example?‑‑‑Yes, you might do but as I said, I think the expectation, both for staff who are employed fully as academics and for casuals is that they are already active in the discipline and therefore would be likely to have an interest in their discipline, irrespective of whether they're being paid to deliver lectures or not.  I mean, most people who are academics, you know, are kind of intrinsically motivated to take an interest in areas.  That's usually, as in my own case, why they went into them.


Indeed.  Could that document be marked please?




***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  Thank you.  I'm about to move onto a new topic, your Honour, is now a convenient time?


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  I think we'll take the adjournment until one(sic) o'clock.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                          [12.50 PM]

LUNCHEON ADJOURNMENT                                                         [12.50 PM]

RESUMED                                                                                               [2.11 PM]

<ANDREW MICHAEL VANN, RECALLED                                    [2.11 PM]





MS GALE:  Thank you, your Honour.


Prof Vann?‑‑‑Hello.


Before we broke we were talking about sessional academics.  Now, I'd like you to ask you to think about all academic staff, not just sessionals, but including sessionals.  And I put to the proposition that it's actually inherent in the nature of academic work but it's not all performed at the University.  Do you agree with that proposition?‑‑‑That it is inherent in that nature of academic work that is not all performed at the University.


Not all performed on campus?‑‑‑Not all performed on campus.  That would be true for many academics I think.  Not necessarily all, but - - -


I guess the point being that if you're saying that it's necessarily entailed in academic work that some of must not be performed on campus.  I'm not sure I would go that far.


Okay.  Well I'm suggesting that it's necessarily entailed in academic work that it will not all be performed on campus.  Academics tend to attend conferences?‑‑‑Okay, I see what you are getting at.


To undertake field research.  To take students into workplace settings.  They do a number of things that aren't done at their work station, don't they?‑‑‑Many academics do, yes.  I guess - sorry, it would not necessarily be the case for every academic, but I see your point in the conferences and so on.  Yes, that's true.  Yes.

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And many academics would regularly perform work in the evenings or on weekends?‑‑‑I think that would be the case, yes.


But time for quiet contemplation isn't always available on campus.  It might be easier found in another setting?‑‑‑that can be the case.  Sometimes it can be very effectively found on campus.  I used to like the library, myself.


And the university provides it academic employees with the capacity to remotely access a whole range of university systems, doesn't it?‑‑‑Typically yet.


And it's not uncommon, for example, for accessing online the assignments that have submitted, that marking would be done from home?‑‑‑That can be the case, yes.


People can generally access the library from outside the campus?‑‑‑Yes.


And not just academic staff, but some professional staff would be able to access things like committee papers from outside the campus?‑‑‑Typically you would be able to access most things from outside the campus if you chose to do so, yes.


And does Charles Sturt use online tools like Blackboard or Moodle to facilitate students engaging with their studies form off campus?‑‑‑Blackboard.


Blackboard, yes.  And one of the features of that system is that students can send in queries and request at just about any time of day or night, isn't it?‑‑‑Yes, that's true.


It doesn't, of course, mean that they have to be answered when they are sent in, but if an academic thinks in their professional discretion that it's appropriate to respond to such a query out of hours, you wouldn't second guess their professional judgment, would you?‑‑‑No, we usually wouldn't.


And you certainly wouldn't suggest that academics ought to come into campus to do that work in the evening or on a weekend if they felt it was appropriate that it be done at that time?‑‑‑No.


They could work from home?‑‑‑No, we wouldn't enforce that they came to campus to do that.  We have certainly sought to encourage some academics to come to campus sometimes, because - - -

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Occasionally seeing a face is a good thing, even in a distance education environment?‑‑‑Yes.


So if an academic has a great idea, perhaps a breakthrough in their research project while they're at home, perhaps even mowing the lawn.  You don't suggest they need to come into campus before they would commit it to writing?‑‑‑No.


It would still be part of their work if they dashed into the house, hopefully turn the lawnmower off and wrote that down straight away?‑‑‑Yes, typically academics value their flexibility vary greatly.


Yes, and Charles Sturts also provides an extensive array of distance education programs, doesn't it?‑‑‑Yes.


And that includes internationally as well as around Australia?‑‑‑Distance end less so.  Most of our distance education students are in Australia.


Okay.  And that works well, because you have got an academic cohort who are willing to engage with students across multiple time zones?‑‑‑Well, as I said, we have relatively few international students studying via distance.  We have some, but the predominant - most of the distance students are inside Australia.


Okay.  And most of that is on the eastern seaboard?‑‑‑More so, yes.  There are a number spread across the country, but mostly it's New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.


So you say that flexibility to do their work when it suits them, either on or off campus is an important part of the value of academic work?‑‑‑Yes, I believe it is.  That tends to be what we hear from academics.  That would be consistent with my experience when I was working as an academic.  Academics are not fond of control.


Indeed, but presumably there are some attendance obligations in relation to students or meetings or supervision of other staff that you do occasionally like to see them on campus?‑‑‑Yes.  Well, there are.  Yes, obviously if there are scheduled face-to-face classes that are given, certainly we would expect people to participate in things like examiner's meetings, school board meetings, school meetings and those kinds of things.

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So we have been talking about academics and the way academic work is often performed away from campus.  Turning to think about professional staff, obviously, the extent of off-campus work for professional staff would not be the same as for academics, and some professional staff roles would be done entirely on campus.  But it is true, isn't it, that there are a number of professional staff roles where there is regular or occasional need to work from off‑campus?‑‑‑Yes, there are.  I have worked in professional staff roles myself and certainly would have expected to do some things as a senior manager off campus as well as on campus.


Perhaps other jobs like jobs in marketing or promotions or industry liaison?‑‑‑Could be.


At less senior levels would take people off campus?‑‑‑Yes, could be.


And there are a number of professional staff roles where there's either a regular or an occasional need to check emails after hours, aren't there?‑‑‑Depending on the role, yes, and depending on the expectations.


Yes, and sometimes to respond to urgent matters?‑‑‑Yes, depending on who it is.


Yes.  Now, for those categories of professional staff that do have a need to check their work from outside the campus or carry out work off campus, carrying out work online from home is actually part of the normal performance of the job, isn't it?‑‑‑Well, as I said, it depends.  It depends on the role.  In some cases it is.  For example, if I think back to my time working in IT, there were systems admin people who would be expected to be able to connect if necessary.  Typically the executive officers I have worked with in senior executive roles would be available to some extent out of hours if absolutely needed.


Yes. And the flexibility that the technology introduces of being able to do that online without having to come in is actually an advantage for the university as well as for those staff, isn't it?‑‑‑It can be.  It doesn't always feel that way, but it can be.

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And as mobile technologies become more widely available, it's more common for professional staff as well as academics to do some work from home out of hours, to check their emails, deal with a couple of urgent things and that sort of stuff?‑‑‑Well, as I said, it depends on the role and certainly my practice has been to try and minimise the amount of time that you call on people out of hours.  So I mean, a vice chancellor's role is a fairly exceptional role in universities, but I kind of jealously guard the time out of hours to be able to process work without interruptions and I've tried to do the same thing for my close staff, which is that you try to interfere into their lives as little as possible.  I mean, there are occasions where people are called impromptu, but I think - I am not sure it's necessarily good practice for people to think that they have to be on 24/7.


Indeed.  Now there are some jobs and I think you've mentioned IT service roles where they do have to be on call 24/7 or at least be rostered on for availability?‑‑‑Yes.  Be rostered, yes.


But leaving aside those sort of roles, it wouldn't be usual practice for the University to direct its professional staff or indeed it's academic staff that they are required to use those mobile connections or facilities.  It's just a practice that's developed.


Yes, I think that's correct.  I think we would not normally be directing people, except - unless it was made explicit.  I mean, for instance there are people who are emergency contacts in relation to natural disasters or critical events on campus may be required to be available by phone, for example, but generally speaking, there is not an expectation that everybody in the University would be contactable all the time.


Now, presumably, where there is a formal obligation for people to be contactable, the University takes some measures to ensure that they have the appropriate connections, a mobile phone, or other facility provided to them.  Would that be right?‑‑‑Well, again, it depends, but typically - and this may be a little bit out of date, but if I refer back to my experience when I was working in IT in Central Queensland University, for instance, there were two or three systems administrators who were responsible for the critical IT systems.  They would be assigned a work mobile phone, so that they could be contactable when they were scheduled to be contactable and in those days, there were - you know, there was a time when there were specific allowances for people to have home internet.  I think that's moved on given that most professional people would be expected to be connected anyway, as part of their ordinary lives.  So I think expectations have changed since the introduction of the Internet, really.  You know, when I first arrived in Australia 20 years ago it was exceptional for anybody to have an Internet connection at all and obviously now so much of our lives is bound up in mobile technology on the internet, but it's more or less an expectation of a functioning adult that they are online.

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So now it's the University's expectation that, basically, the employees will provide that connection themselves?‑‑‑Well, in most cases.  So just as an example, when I first arrived at Charles Sturt University there w was still an allowance available for the members of the senior executive to have an Internet connection, which I think it fallen into - you know, it had been honoured more in the breach than in the observance and that's now been removed as a policy.  So it is an indication of the changing expectations, I think.  But I believe that our practice is that if we expect people to be available for contact, they would have a work mobile phone, which would have associated data coverage.


Okay.  Does Charles start university collect any data about the actual hours worked by academic staff?‑‑‑Not to my knowledge.


Does it collect any data about the actual hours worked by part-time academic staff?‑‑‑Not to my knowledge.


So when an academic staff member is working part time, employed as a fractional employee, whether that's a new appointment or a variation in their existing appointment, what metrics or assumptions are brought to bear to work out what fraction they will be employed at?‑‑‑So, I'm somewhat removed from the daily practice of this, but as I understand it, it's mediated through the academic workloads mechanisms and whatever the fraction of employment is, the workload that is assigned to the academic would be appropriate to that fraction.


Okay?‑‑‑And conversely, I guess, in discussions of either employing someone part-time or varying someone's contract to go from full-time to part-time, the reference would be to the relevant school's workload policy in considering that.


Okay.  And that would be a fraction across all aspects of that person's workload allocation?‑‑‑Well, there's obviously some flexibility in our enterprise agreement around what portions of time are devoted to various thing and they vary by staff member, by semester.  So you wouldn't necessarily - you wouldn't necessarily pro rata a standard down.  There might be some discussion about, you know, the proportions changing somewhat, but broadly speaking, yes.


Well, perhaps if we had a look at the academic workload clause that's in the document that the excerpts from the enterprise agreement, which has been marked MFI29, I think the workloads clause is at page 22 and it is clause 30?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, you were talking about flexibility under the agreement for different proportions of teaching, research and other things.  That is set out, really, at clauses 30.9 through to 30.15, isn't it, that there are different models there for proportions of teaching, research and shall we call it administration?  I think you will see there at 30.93 it's administration, management, leadership, professionally‑related engagement and with the disciplines, the professions and the community.  So let's just call that admin for the purpose of this discussion, though obviously it is administration and service, perhaps?‑‑‑Yes, okay.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Okay.  So at clause 30.9 you see the teaching and research academic and it talks about a ratio there that teaching and teaching-related activities will be a maximum of 60 per cent.  Research and creative activity, a minimum of 30 per cent and the admin and service or engagement section, a minimum of 10 per cent.  So there's maximums and minimums there and you're saying that through individual discussion with a supervisor perhaps, those people can negotiate above and below - above the minimum and below the maximum.


Yes.  So yes.  I mean, typically the way this works and as I said, it's on some way back from the day-to-day practice on this, but reflecting back on when I was in school, there are a certain amount of tasks that need to be done for the effective functioning of the school in terms of committee membership, leadership roles.  Obviously, there is an amount of teaching that needs to be done that's linked to the subjects that are being offered through the school.  Those need to be distributed through the academic staff, so that you can fit within the requirements of the EA and so that you can get everything you need to get done.


So those need to be distributed.  They will be distributed.  Hopefully relatively, fairly, according to clause 30.4?‑‑‑Yes.


And once those allocations are made then there's room for a bit of negotiation around the edges of those and around what the impact of that is on other parts of the workload.  Is that right?‑‑‑Yes, that's correct.  And, I mean, if changes are happening; you know, if you are introducing new programs or, as we mentioned earlier, if there are substantial increases or decreases in student load, there may be different negotiations to be done, but often it's a tweaking from one year to the next of workload allocation.


Now, am I right in assuming that where there is a maximum of 60, a minimum of 30 and a minimum of 10, that if one of those goes up or down, the objective is to still come out with a load of 100 per cent?‑‑‑Yes.  That's the objective, yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Okay.  That's as a percentage of the working time that will be devoted to those activities.  Is that right?‑‑‑Well, broadly speaking, but I think it tends to be fuzzier than that in that, you know, teaching is usually the thing that is most closely managed.  Often administration - you know, the way I often put it is that there is basically a market price for the work inside - that's done inside a department and for example, I'll just go back to thing from my own professional experience, but you know, for example, running the second year surveying camp in a civil engineering department attracted a relatively high workload, because it was something that nobody really wanted to do, whereas supervising a PhD student was kind of discounted in terms of workload model, because it was something that everybody did want to do, because it was intrinsically rewarding and also it was it was probably seen to be - you know, for better or worse at that time it seemed to count more towards your career aspirations.  So it is - one of the difficulties about academic workload management is that it is not really a time allocation.  It's kind of a market price for the things that academics are willing to spend their time doing, and this goes back to the very - you know, the flexible nature of academic work, the high degree of autonomy that academics expect to have in terms of determining their own workload.


Well, you've said that.  Can I ask you to look at clause 30.9(i)?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, there is a very specific time allocation there, isn't there?  1035 hours per annum?‑‑‑Yes, there is.


For teaching and teaching -related activities.  Now, is it fair to say that it's unlikely that any particular academic allocated 60 per cent for teaching, would teach exactly - or teach and do , teaching -related duties for exactly 1035 hours?‑‑‑I think that is correct.  As I said, they are kind of notional hours, a bit like the discussion we had about casual academics and to be honest, I believe the reason that explicit hours figures have showed up in enterprise agreements has been the inclusion of the 40 hours within the modern award and the insistence of the NTEU in particular that explicit hours figures were introduced to enterprise agreements.  So I don't personally feel that that has been very helpful.  When I was in school, there was a point system.  It seemed to work very well.  There was - you know, it wasn't - no-one pretended that they were hours, but there was agreement about the relative kind of price, if you like, of academic time and that was seen to be a fair mechanism within the discipline.  So in discussions I've had at my previous university, actually I think after the hours were introduced into enterprise agreements and probably the round before this or the round before that, one of the heads of faculty talked about "hour-oids".  You know, they are not actually hours, they are notional hours or fictional hours which are done to manage workload allocation, but no-one believes that they are - that you would pull up stumps at the end of 1035 hours or that that's a crisp definition of how many hours are expected to be involved.  It's rough.  It varies by discipline.  It varies by subjects you teach and, as I've said, academics by and large, I think the thing that they would hate more than anything would be to be asked to fill in a time sheet.


Well, I think we are on common ground there?‑‑‑Good.


So the teaching and related duties is allocated according to an allocation of hours, but in practice, you are saying that that it's actually based on - in the same way as casual academic work is allocated, it's based on an estimated average time for that - those particular bundle of duties?‑‑‑Yes.  Something like that.

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And that average will be inaccurate in most specific instances as averages tend to be?‑‑‑Yes, as averages have to be, I think.  But yes, it's an indicative figure and it's not very productive to argue about whether it should be 1035 or 1040, or 1038.


And if a workload model has worked out, for example, that each lecture will be allocated three hours within the model, then it's going to be the case, isn't it, that even one academic might spend more than three hours on one lecture and less than three hours on the next.  You can't say, "This academic takes this long and that academic takes that long."  It is very much dependent on the specific activity that they are doing at that time?‑‑‑Yes.  It tends to be highly variable and, as I mentioned before, certainly my experience as an academic in terms of preparing lectures was that there is a certain amount of time that you have to invest in about how the whole course plays out.  There will be ups and downs in terms of materials you might have to prepare or source.  So it is pretty variable.  That's where I say, I think most workload allocations have operated as what is seen to be a fair figure to the assembled community and that's usually at the school level.  It can be at the faculty level sometimes, but it has tended in the past to be more at the school level.


And what is a fair figure is affected by discipline factors.  So that is why it's better done close to the chalk face?‑‑‑Yes, I think so.


Yes.  So if the collegially developed model in my school allows, let's say, two hours marking time per student and I decide to add in an extra piece of continuous assessment to my unit and I end up, as a result, spending more time marking than two hours per student, I can't then turn around and say, "I need to be given less admin work," or to have my research expectations lightened as a result, can I?‑‑‑No, and I would also qualify that by saying that I think there - going back to what we talked about in terms of the more professional approach to learning and teaching, there is a greater expectation that things are specified ahead of time so that it is clear to the students and for the academic staff, and that should also assist heads of schools to manage workload and make sure that people aren't, you know, over-assessing and increasing their own workload or students' workload unnecessarily.


And if I am a remarkably productive worker and get through my marking faster than the average that's been allowed for in the model, I don't run the risk of having my workload topped up with extra teaching duties, so that I can reach my 1035 hours, do I?‑‑‑No.  Not on my understanding.

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And if I am teaching Industrial Law and they rewrite the whole  Workplace Relations Act mid-semester, I'm probably going to have to do a lot more work to get on top of that change in my discipline area, than the person office next to me who teaches trusts and successions, when nothing has happened in 20 years.  Now, that sort of variation in terms of the - you talked about it earlier in comparing, I think, solid something - I've lost it.  But there are quite distinct variations and that can be from one year to the next in the same discipline area, can't it, about how much work is required to be done for discipline currency?‑‑‑Yes.  Roughly speaking, yes.  I mean, I think it's always an interesting question that if a discipline is changing very rapidly and law and tax are the areas that I have had quoted to me in the past as areas that change quite rapidly as a reason for putting off finalising assessments.  I think you have to ask whether you should be teaching students the law as it is at that moment in time, or the ability to interpret the law as it changes, but that's by the by perhaps.  But, yes, there are variances.


Okay.  And the fact that workload models are developed at collegial level and emerge from collegial discussions means that they can take account of those sorts of discipline factors?‑‑‑Ideally, yes.


So thinking now about research, is it fair to describe the current system as follows:  in the workload model you allocate a percentage of the annual time that will be spent or is available for research activity.  So if you've got a 30 per cent allocation for research activity, you would expect that you would have your other load organised such that you would have at least 517 hours available for research activity.  Is that right?‑‑‑That's the theory, yes.


Okay.  And then someone, whether it is institution-wide or whether it is in a discussion with my supervisor or whether it's according to faculty metrics, someone sets some expectations for research outputs over a period of time that might be expressed as an average number of outputs per year, or an average number of outputs over three years or five years are likely to be identified for someone at my classification level in my discipline area.  Is that right?‑‑‑Yes.  Well, typically, yes.  I mean there are some - so in our case, for example, we have some broad expectations of research activity, but it usually has to be interrogated both in the light of personal circumstances and in the light of discipline.  So, you know, for example, typically the creative arts have a problem that their outputs are not necessarily recognised as HERTZE outputs, so you usually had to make some allowances for discipline differences and there are, you know, very different volumes of publication that come out of different disciplines, so it is very contextual and, again, that is why I think these things are best managed at the school level where you can get some reasonable view onto a cognate group of people.


And those expectations are not set on the basis of any micro-measurement of the time to be spent by particular academic on a particular research activity, are they?‑‑‑No.

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No.  They are set on the basis that the expectation is reasonable, considering what the average research productivity is that could be expected of academics at that level and that discipline, with those particular factors applying?‑‑‑Broadly speaking, yes.


Yes.  Are similar approach is then taken to admin and engagement allocations?  Like, the admin - you said that there might be some specific tasks that have to be done for the department or the faculty?‑‑‑Yes.


Particular positions on committees that have to be filled, et cetera, and then in terms of someone's professional engagement or community engagement it would be more akin to the research, a discussion with their supervisor about what their expectations are for that year or that two years and then they've got an allocation within their time that they can spend on that activity.  Is that a fair summary?‑‑‑It sounds about right, yes.  I mean, usually there are a number of roles that absolutely need to be filled on behalf of the school which would have a specific allocation.  Look, it's some time since I've had my hands in the details are workload allocation mechanisms as such, but if - you mentioned, for instance, professional placement.  When I was working in an engineering school, there was an expectation that some part of the load was engaging with industry placement supervisors and visiting students in industry placements.  So there are a number of ways that can be done, but yes.


Okay.  Not contract of employment at Charles Sturt University for academic staff don't specify working hours, do they?‑‑‑I don't believe so.


And they don't put any upper limit on the amount of work that an academic can be required to do?‑‑‑No.  As we said before, the expectation around academic roles has been one of flexibility and professional autonomy.


At Charles Sturt, do academic staff receive any additional payments if they work - if they take on extra workload?‑‑‑Not normally.  We do have an outside professional activities policy.  So if they were doing some consultancy on the side, they may be able to get additional payments, but probably not from the University, but you know, in the course of their employment.  So, for instance, I did various consultancy jobs when I was an academic - it's a long time ago now.  I mean, you know, a lecturing academic - which there was a split between what the individual got to keep on what the Department got.


Okay?‑‑‑And the same would go with IP.  So if someone has an invention that's commercialised, there would be payments there that would come through the university.

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So that is not related to how long it might take them to develop that?‑‑‑It's not an overtime payment.  No.


Okay.  Now, you have given some evidence about what's changed in the last 20 years and I just want to put a few propositions to you.  Do you agree that the following things have changed in relation to academic work, particularly since 1991; the introduction of compulsory student evaluations and their use for performance assessment?‑‑‑Well, I joined academia in 1990 when they existed in the UK, so I wouldn't necessarily say that's something new since 1991, but I didn't come to Australia until 1996.  So I don't know if that's new in the last 20 years.  It's not to me.


Would you accept that in that 20-year period, they have moved from being something which is confidential to the academic to being something which is used in performance assessment?‑‑‑Well, what I would say is that there is more general usage of that, so I perhaps grew up unusually in an academic sense in that my original department in Bristol, because it did work around earthquake qualification, was heavily into quality assurance from a formal point of view, so had peer-review and student evaluation as relatively public things even then.  But it has become - I mean, for institutions.  There has been an increasing focus on things like the course experience questionnaire and - so there is an assumption that that has a more important part in assessing institutional performance than it used to.


Okay.  There has been an increase in the requirements for reporting and accountability measures?‑‑‑Yes, I think that's fair.  I mean, universities are being held more accountable.  We are a larger sector.  We consume more public funding than we use to, so we are being held more accountable and that's getting through to staff.  But I think as we talked about before lunch, all industries have become more scrutinised and more accountable than they were some decades back.


There has been an increase in research expectations, both on the institutions and on individual academics?‑‑‑Yes.  I think that is probably fair to say, yes.


That there has been an increase in the formal requirement to articulate learning outcomes and curriculum objectives?‑‑‑Yes, I think that's fair to say.


And that there has been an expansion of the use of annual performance reviews?‑‑‑Across institutions, yes.  As I said, it was my experience as an academic in the early nineties that that was part of standard practice, but perhaps that wasn't the case everywhere.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Now turning to some questions about academic promotion, is it correct that at Charles Sturt University there is no system to find out whether your academic staff are correctly classified?‑‑‑Sorry, can you just say that again?


Okay.  Do you have any system - as the management of the institution, is there any system to check that your academic staff are correctly classified?‑‑‑Well, I am not sure - - -


For example, on appointment?‑‑‑Okay.  So my answer to that would be - because I'm just debating the premise of the question - academics are eligible to apply for promotion if they feel they are eligible to apply for promotion.  So the normal way that an academic would get - would make that case would be to submit a promotions application.  People do usually or not infrequently bargain about level on the way into institutions and similar judgments I made there about the credibility or otherwise of candidates as you appoint them through which you would usually reference the classification - the level standards as part of that.


Okay.  Now, you have referred to the academic promotion system.  At Charles Sturt University is that system based on academic merit?‑‑‑Well, effectively yes.  I mean, it is based on a promotions policy and all the documentation that goes behind that , in terms of what the expectations at various levels are, and how people adduce evidence that they are meeting those expectations.


Do you say that it is a rigorous system?‑‑‑I think it is pretty rigorous.  It's as rigorous as any I've seen

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Do you believe that it operates fairly?‑‑‑Yes, for the most part in that I would say - so I don't personally chair the promotions committee at Charles Sturt University.  I did do that at my former university.  I thought it was fair.  People who didn't get promoted usually didn't think it was fair.  Some of them did and sometimes people who did get promoted didn't think it was fair.  But what I would say in relation to the fairness comment is the promotions procedures are an opportunity for people to show themselves off to best effect.  If people do not do that, they may well not get promoted and they may perceive that to be unfair, but that's - it's as fair as a system can be which relies on the judgement of peers to assess people's merits.  I think it's a fair system.  The outcomes may be occasionally criticised as unfair by those who are either successful or unsuccessful, but it's as fair as it can be, I think.  Because going back to the question you asked before which was to reassure ourselves that staff are correctly classified, we do not undertake a review process outside of the promotions process to see whether we think people are working at the right level, although, in performance discussions heads of schools should be Matthew sure, certainly, that staff who are working at more senior levels are performing as they should and also should be identifying that if people are operating at above the level that they are currently appointed at, that they apply for promotion.


Okay.  Can the witness please be shown the document "Academic staff promotion policy"?‑‑‑Thank you very much.


Now, you may have two promotion policies in front of you.  This is the one with the crest at the top?‑‑‑There should only be one.


Now, is this the current academic staff promotion policy from Charles Sturt?‑‑‑Well, it looks like it in that it looks like what's in the policy, but it doesn't have an approval date on it.  So it looks right, but I couldn't swear to it without comparing it myself to our policy library, but I can't see that it isn't.


Okay.  Would it help if I tell you that it was downloaded from your policy library two days ago?‑‑‑Yes, that helps and I need to follow up as to why there is in an approval date on it.


Yes.  Could I have that marked for identification?





MS GALE:  Now, can take you to page 3, section 3, Policy?‑‑‑Yes.


And at the bottom of that there is a section called "Eligibility", and that runs over onto page 4.  Now, am I right in saying that the vast majority of academic staff at Charles Sturt are eligible for - to apply for promotion and that the exception may be - exceptions are found at paragraph 11 and 12.  And at paragraph 11, it refers to academic staff whose employment is externally funded, and at paragraph 12, to joint appointments with government departments and in both those cases there is some eligibility, but it is conditional.  Is that correct?‑‑‑That appears to be correct, yes.  And that would make sense, yes.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


Just focusing on paragraph 11, and academic staff whose employment is externally funded, now that doesn't just mean research funding, does it?‑‑‑No, I wouldn't think so.  I might have to check the legal definition of that, but if you mean by research, for example, that they were on an ARC contract or something like that, but it's as written.  I think the intention of it is that if there is an external grant which somebody has been employed on which has a fixed pool that you can't accidentally end up blowing the budget on that, because of promotion.  That is the way I interpret that.


Even if that academic is actually working at a higher level?‑‑‑Well, going back to the discussion that we had about appointment and also constructing grants, usually when you are putting these things together, you have a pretty good idea of the level of work you are going to require from someone to discharge the functions of the grant.  So I think the expectation would be that you don't get that badly wrong and you don't accidentally employee a professor at the level A, or something.


And what if you do?  What if someone makes an error there and they do appoint someone at level A when, in fact, the work - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Just before you continue this?  Is this part of the claim or are you just asking general questions now?  Because I can't follow where this fits in with the claim, this particular line of questioning.


MS GALE:  Well, the claim goes to - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Because this is about promotion funding for people who are externally funded.  Where is that in the claim before us, just to remind me.


MS GALE:  Yes, certainly.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  I mean, if we look at exhibit B, it might help if you can just identify which part - was claim this line of questioning goes to.


MS GALE:  Yes, okay.  It goes to part C and particularly the NTEU's proposal for provision that the prohibition on the MSALs being used as a basis for claims for reclassification be limited to those circumstances where the employer operates a bona fide academic promotion system, based on academic merit, which is broadly consistent with the MSALs, to which the employee has access.


So this goes to the fact that there are employees who do not have access - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Because they are externally funded, so they are not part of the - they may be there for a particular fixed term.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  Yes.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Because I'm just - I am reflecting there has been a recent dispute before me where somebody was limited - not for promotion purposes, but limited really, because once the funding dried up, the funding dried up for that position.


MS GALE:  Yes.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  And is that where you say this claim should go to?  That these people are on those sort of - can only do that work in the funding environment is picked up by your claim.  Is that what you are saying?  Because it doesn't - that doesn't really come to me in the way that clause is proposed.


MS GALE:  The claim is that academic staff who do not have access to promotion should have some mechanism available to ensure that they are being paid the rate of pay.  That is appropriate to their work value level.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Well, that's a bit different to where this question is going.  This is - this clause on one view is a person who is externally funded, which is the sort of example I had before me in a dispute, where the academic knew that they were only there for that period when they were funded, so that was the position.  When that funding went - when that grant went - they'd have to look for another job somewhere else.


MS GALE:  Indeed.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  So it's got nothing to do with promotion.  How does that - this line of questioning go to promotion?


MS GALE:  It has nothing to do with longevity of employment.  It has to do with whether that employment - and if you refer back to the Charles Sturt promotion policy, for example, at paragraph 10, academic staff employed on the basis of a fixed term contract are eligible to apply for promotion at Charles Sturt University.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  But they're different to the externally funded - - -

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  And it makes clear that the non-renewable contract does not - promotion does not vary the length of the contract.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  And I am not focusing on fixed-term contracts.  It's the people who are externally funded, which is the dispute I dealt with, which are quite different.  And this is the clause you are cross-examining or examining on.


MS GALE:  Yes, it is, your Honour.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Okay, and you say that picked up by the variation you are seeking?


MS GALE:  Yes.  We say that the clause in relation to classification of academic staff applies to all academic staff, regardless of the source of funding.  The award applies to all academic staff, regardless of the source of funding and so does that clause of it.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Notwithstanding people who are in these positions have accepted their positions on the classification that they took their position in the first place.  You are now saying they should be allowed to be promoted, these limited externally-funded positions, which is again the dispute that I had before me.


MS GALE:  No.  We're not saying they should be able to be promoted, your Honour.  We are saying they should have access.  If the university chooses to exclude them from promotion, which many universities do, and that's the evidence before you - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Yes, and that's what this clause - - -


MS GALE:  Then we are saying that they should have access to an entirely different concept which is reclassification and that is a question of the work that they are doing.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  But their funding in those positions is based upon the classification they got the position in.  You say they should be reclassified while they are in that funded position.  It is a bit of a chicken‑and‑egg situation, because these very people are people that came in on a particular basis.  The funding was, "You are researcher 1" or whatever it is.  That's it.  There is no ability to move.


MS GALE:  Well, your Honour, with respect - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  That's the argument that you say - if that's in your claim, then proceed, because it just wasn't apparent to the Bench at the moment how it fits in, because this was probably one of the first witnesses who has been asked about that sort of clause.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  And just for my benefit, is the line of questioning going to - I mean, you asked the witness about whether or not academic promotion was based on merit.  My recollection of this evidence was that it broadly is.


MS GALE:  Yes.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  So is it said that the Charles Sturt University Academic staff promotion policy is one that doesn't satisfy the criteria that you are talking about.




COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Then why are we asking questions about it?


MS GALE:  Because if you look at the union's claim, Commissioner, you will see that we are proposing that those staff which have access to a bona fide academic promotion system - - -


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  And do you say that academics at Charles Sturt University have access to a bona fide academic promotion system based on academic merit, which is broadly consistent with the MSAL.


MS GALE:  We say that most academics at Charles Sturt University - the overwhelming majority of academics at Charles Sturt University have access to that system, but on the face of it, of the policy, there are some academics who do not and those academics are left in a position where they can be offered employment at a particular level and have no recourse - - -

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Well, why don't you just put that to the witness?  Just put that to the witness, "Isn't this the case?"  The witness says, "Yes."  Why are we having this line of questioning?  If that's the fact, just put that to the witness.


MS GALE:  Is it the case that externally-funded staff, academic staff at Charles Sturt University do not have access to move through the career path on the basis of promotion while employed at Charles Sturt University?‑‑‑Well, if the budget afforded the possibility to pay for their promotion, then yes it would, but otherwise not.  But to echo his Honour's comments from earlier on, these contracts are renegotiated, successful researchers are highly marketable commodities and often grants are written with them in mind, so they are often actually able to bargain themselves up between contracts.  So if - what you say is technically correct, but if the issue is whether the overall system is fair and affords opportunities for staff to be appropriately paid, I am still pretty comfortable that it does.


And you are talking there about establish researchers with a reputation and bargaining power and suggesting that the appropriate salary and classification level for those people is what they can negotiate on appointment?‑‑‑Yes, and so more junior staff - - -


Okay.  And can I ask you about a research assistant employed on a - on someone else's research grant?  They don't really have much bargaining power, do they?‑‑‑That's where I started my career and your bargaining power is limited, but if you're successful, as I was, you are able to win a full-time lectureship and eventually become a vice chancellor if you are successful.


Yes.  And one last question in relation to clause 11, that clause applies to any person whose employment is externally funded, regardless of their duration of contract or duration of employment with the university, doesn't it?  Even an ongoing employee who is externally funded would fall under that clause?‑‑‑That's true, although we have very few people externally funded that would be ongoing, I think.  I'm trying to think of any.  I don't think we have any established chairs at the moment, for example.  We do have one, but that' s fixed term, I think.  Yes.


And can I just explain to the Bench that we provided MFI30, because the copy of the Charles Sturt promotion policy which is included in attachment A to exhibit G is an earlier document which is dated 2014 and the eligibility provisions in the earlier document are different.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  And what do you say about that?  What, is clause 11 new in this version and not in that version?

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


MS GALE:  Yes.


And there's nothing in your enterprise agreement, Prof Vann, that would restrict the capacity of the University to amend its promotion policy from time to time, is there?‑‑‑I don't believe so.


The Department of Education and Training Data tells us that about a quarter of Charles Sturt's non-casual staff are on fixed-term contracts.  Is there a typical duration for fixed-term contracts at Charles Sturt?‑‑‑I'm sure there would be a median and probably an average duration.  I wouldn't know what it is off the top of my head.  I could take a guess, but I'm not sure it would be very well informed.


So that's no, there is no typical duration.  Okay.


COMMISSIONER JOHNS:  Well, I don't think that's fair, in terms of the evidence that the witness gave.


MS GALE:  Okay.


Is it the case that quite a number of fixed-term contract staff at Charles Sturt would have their contracts renewed at the end of one contract and move on to a subsequent one?‑‑‑It would depend on the situation.  Some would have them renewed.  For instance, one of our issues at the moment is that we have a number of staff who are on fixed-term contracts as a result of HEP funding and, obviously, HEP funding is under threat, given the government changes, so there will be some there that will almost certainly not have their contracts renewed.


But there are some that do have their contracts renewed?‑‑‑There would be some, I'm sure.


Okay, and can you tell us - - -?‑‑‑I am, for instance.


Can you tell us whether at the end of the fixed term contract where there is a subsequent consecutive contract that's been offered, is it the university's practice to pay out accrued annual leave entitlements at the end of the contract or are they carried forward into the next contract?‑‑‑I don't know the answer to that question.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                            XXN MS GALE


You don't recall it from your own experience?‑‑‑Well, typically it depends, I would say, and in my case, leave is rolled forward, although my leave basically gets exhausted on an annual budget basis.  Long service leave is accrued, but it would depend on the individual circumstances and it might depend on the preferences of the individual.


No further questions. Thank you, Prof Vann.



RE-EXAMINATION BY MS PUGSLEY                                            [3.08 PM]


MS PUGSLEY:  I have a few questions arising from Ms Gale's questions, Prof Vann.  You were asked some questions about the AHEIA proposed clause in these proceedings with relation to a further category of fixed-term employment, and as President of the AHEIA, you weren't required to approve that, were you?‑‑‑I don't believe so, no.


Do you have MFI29 in front of you?  That is the extract from the enterprise agreement?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Can I take you to clause 21.5, which is on page 11?‑‑‑Yes.


Can you see, under categories of fixed-term employment, Roman vii and Roman ix, "New organisational area and disestablished organisational area"?


MS GALE:  Your Honour, I query whether this is - - -?‑‑‑Sorry, 21.5?




MS GALE:  Whether this is proper for re-examination?  We didn't go to these clauses in the agreement.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Well, except in this sense - keep in mind, this is a question that was a review, we are not being very strict about these things.


But just before you ask that question, there's one document floating around which is for Charles Sturt which was handed to us during the break.  It doesn't appear to have been tendered or marked.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                    RXN MS PUGSLEY


MS GALE:  No.  Sorry, your Honour.  That was a copy of some pages from attachment A to exhibit G, which was the earlier Charles Sturt policy.  I wasn't sure before we recommenced whether I would need to take the witness to that, and so I provided - - -




MS GALE:  You can ignore that.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  All right, we'll give you a bit of latitude but not too much, Ms Pugsley.


MS PUGSLEY:  Thank you, your Honour.  Prof Vann, have you found Roman 8 and Roman 9 on those pages?‑‑‑Is that under 21.6?


It's on page 11 and it's 21.6, commences on page 10, you're correct?‑‑‑Yes.  Yes, I have, yes.


If you don't know the answer to this be honest, but are you aware - - -


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  I hope the witness is honest in all - - -


MS PUGSLEY:  - - - that those two, (viii) and (ix), are not the categories that are currently in the fixed term categories in the modern awards?‑‑‑Yes, I think that's right, yes.


You were asked some questions about student numbers, do you know what EFTSL means?‑‑‑Yes, I do.


Can you tell the Bench what it is?‑‑‑Equivalent full-time student load.


And your workload models take EFTSL into account?‑‑‑Well, I believe our workload models vary by schools, so some of them may do.  I wouldn't know the detail of that, to be honest, but they may well do.  Sorry, just to qualify that question, in my experience when I was more heavily involved in these, for example, you would get a greater allocation of work to teacher subject to the hundred students than four.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                    RXN MS PUGSLEY


You were asked about the impact of technology and you talked about how it's quicker now to do certain work because you can do it online, as opposed to have to do a literature search in the library and so on.  In regard to your knowledge of research and carrying out research, are there other impacts of technology that make research quicker to carry out?‑‑‑Well, yes.  I mean, say, for example, almost nobody typed when I did my PhD.  I did but most people didn't, so there was a whole length of time involved in just producing manuscripts.  We've all become much more au fait with computers and typing now, so there are things like that where just the production is shorter than it was 20 or 30 years ago.


Does Charles Sturt University direct or require any academics to work from home?‑‑‑No, not to my knowledge.


Do academics have access to computers on campus?‑‑‑Usually they would, yes.


You gave some evidence about distance education and online education, are there private provider competitors, who are not universities, in this space with Charles Sturt University?‑‑‑Yes, there are.  Yes, there's quite a number.  The private providers have increased markedly over the last five years.


Would you know whether or not those providers are covered by the modern higher education awards?‑‑‑Well, I don't know in each individual case.  My understanding is that in many cases they weren't or weren't operating on the awards.


Why is it that Charles Sturt University doesn't collect hours for academic staff?‑‑‑Well, actually, reflecting on that, there have been instances, for example, like the Sustainable Research Excellence exercise that happened, five or six years ago, where there was a survey done of academic workloads to try and understand how much time was being spent on research.  But those tended to be one-off and there have been some activities of those costing exercises that have been done, for example, around the Lomax Smith Review of base funding, where there have been one-off exercises where some information was gathered through survey, but it's not something we've done as a management tool and the reason is academics hate it.  They really feel they're being micromanaged if you try to capture the hours in that level of detail, which is further to what I was saying earlier on.  The sense that this is something that's negotiated within a discipline is usually the way it's done and nobody believes that the hours are crisp.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                    RXN MS PUGSLEY


You were asked questions about allocating particular time, in workload models, to teaching and other activities.  When you think about research activities and research outputs, is there specific time allocated for those sorts of outputs in the say that time is allocated for face-to-face teaching?‑‑‑Well, research is a lot more unpredictable so you can't - as was being said before, you can have an expectation that a normally productive research academic would publish, let's say, two or three papers a year, depending on the discipline, but it's not a one-to-one cause and effect.  You can't say, "I'm going to spend 20 hours and I know I'll have a research at the end of it, or 200 hours and I know I'll have a research paper at the end of it."  Because sometimes you can churn out quite a number of papers, based on two years' worth of work and sometimes you could do a years' worth of work and not have much to show for it.  So it's quite lumpy, which is why you usually have to look at multi-year averages and also you have to investigate, in more detail, what the individual circumstances are without excusing people entirely from producing anything, of course.


Now, the NTEU claim, in relation to academic hours, suggests an averaging approach for a competent academic by discipline and by level of appointment, you understand that to be the case?‑‑‑Yes.


What do you say about that approach, compared with allocating workload, having regard to the capabilities and competencies of each individual academic?‑‑‑I think it looks to me to be highly problematic and likely to end up with a lot of disputes.  I just really see that the proposal opens the door to a lot of disputation and particularly once you start trying to think about potential bans of overtime for extra hours.  I think it would be really very highly problematic and it just, to me, is not a good fit at all with the culture of academic work and the expectations of academic practice, as an autonomous professional.


Thank you, no further questions.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Thank you, you're excused.  We'll take a short adjournment.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                            [3.17 PM]

SHORT ADJOURNMENT                                                                    [3.17 PM]

RESUMED                                                                                               [3.36 PM]




MS PUGSLEY:  I call Prof Peter Coaldrake.


THE ASSOCIATE:  Please state your full name and address.

***        ANDREW MICHAEL VANN                                                                                                    RXN MS PUGSLEY


MR COALDRAKE:  Owen Peter Coaldrake (address supplied).

<OWEN PETER COALDRAKE, SWORN                                         [3.37 PM]

EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MS PUGSLEY                               [3.37 PM]


MS PUGSLEY:  Good afternoon, Prof Coaldrake, can you hear me in Melbourne?‑‑‑I can, thank you very much.


For the record, can you restate your name and business address?‑‑‑Owen Peter Coaldrake, my business address is the Chancery, QUT, Brisbane.


Are you the vice chancellor of Queensland University of Technology?‑‑‑I am.


Have you prepared a statement in these proceedings?‑‑‑I have.


Do you have a copy of that statement in front of you?‑‑‑I think it's the document I've just been given.  Yes, I do.


Can I ask you to turn to the second page, and paragraph 3, where you refer to your publication Raising The Stakes.  Has the 2016 edition now been published, or is it still in press?‑‑‑It has.  No, it has, a couple of months ago.


Thank you.  So with that revision do you now say the statement is true and correct?‑‑‑Yes.


I tender the statement of Prof Peter Coaldrake.





MS PUGSLEY:  Thank you.  Now, Prof Coaldrake, Mr McAlpine, from the NTEU will have some questions for you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MCALPINE                                 [3.38 PM]

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                                   XN MS PUGSLEY

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


MR McALPINE:  Thank you, Prof Coaldrake, can you hear me?‑‑‑Yes, I can.


My name is Ken McAlpine, I'm representing the National Tertiary Education Union in these proceedings.  QUT has a policy, is that correct, of conducting rolling reviews of organisational areas, is that correct?‑‑‑Yes, we've had that for quite a long time.


How does that work?‑‑‑Every organisational area will come around for its review around five or six years.  Sometimes it might be seven, sometimes it's just on five.  In other words, there's an expectation that every five or six years each area will be reviewed, which means that there'll tend to be one faculty and one division reviewed every year, give or take.


Thank you.  How is that review set in motion?


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Are you hearing this clearly?  We're getting feedback through the microphone?‑‑‑If you're directing the question, your Honour, to me, I am.


Yes, are you hearing Mr McAlpine clearly?‑‑‑Yes, I am, thank you.


We're getting feedback for some reason.  We just might take a moment to see whether we can get rid of that.  You might like to try again, Mr McAlpine, and see how we go.


MR McALPINE:  Thank you.  How are those reviews set in motion?‑‑‑There is a broad schedule and people, therefore, know what reviews are likely to occur.  The governing council is aware of those.  The reviews are chaired by a member of the governing body.  They typically are comprised mainly of external members, usually one internal person as well, and they tend to go for two or three days, sometimes four, two or three days of hearing, as it were, and are preceded by a lengthy period of submissions prior to them occurring.


So they're, in a sense - there'd be a series of hearings but, for example, the call for submissions would, in a sense, mark the commencement of the review?‑‑‑Yes, it would and the terms of reference are made plain at the time, the areas of likely emphasis are made plain, so they're not vanilla.  They'll be tailored to the circumstances of the organisational unit being reviewed.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


They could, in the case of an academic unit, they could go to questions of course offerings?‑‑‑They do, but I'd have to say that course offerings can be - courses are broad things.  Units within courses, they certainly don't go to units, but they would look at the character of the courses that are being offered by the faculty, whether the faculty was thinking about future opportunities, whether there were issues with demand or graduate outcomes, or whatever.  The purpose of the reviews are really part of keeping the organisation fresh and thinking about the opportunities for the future, as well as the achievements to date.


Could they look at things like the school structure or the organisational structure within, say, a faculty?‑‑‑They can, but we tend not to encourage them to do so because if you're not careful every review will feel an obligation to recognise or to recommend new structures.  So sometimes they will, but I tend, in my submissions to them, I tend to say, "Well, think about the organisational consequences of what you're recommending rather than to too early into whether we need a restructure."  So the answer is they do  and sometimes but not always.


The process of the review and the things that come out of that can have consequences for workforce requirements within the faculty?‑‑‑Yes, they do, at a broad level.  Yes, at a broad level.


So the outcomes of the review, without overstating it, that the outcomes of the review could lead to some uncertainty about future workforce requirements, for example, in the context of growth?‑‑‑Yes, that would be reasonable.  If you are reviewing a Faculty of Education and there's a view that there's an oversupply of, for example, primary teachers and under supply of STEM teachers in secondary, that sort of issue would appropriately emerge in the review findings and the review committee would really provide a recommendation which invited the university to consider the response to that, that would just be an example.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


Now, in your statement you give a summary - I think it's fair to call it a summary, a summary of some of the changes in the higher education sector, over the last 20 years.  What do you think that the implications have been for the work of academic staff in universities of those changes?‑‑‑I could perhaps make a couple of comments.  The first comment is that the distinctions between academic and professional staff work, and we call what used to be called the general staff professional staff, have done for a long time, the distinctions between academic and professional staff work are much more blurry, and perhaps appropriately so, as we move more into a digitally influenced environment.  I think that's particularly relevant around areas of pedagogic design, learner support, those sorts of areas.  The traditional role of the academic as the master, if I could use that term, as the master of their subject, with all knowledge derived from that lecturer, I think those days are long gone.  Students are certainly voting very much with their feet, physical and electronic, as to how they want to engage with universities and universities need to prepare and respond for those circumstances.  So the most obvious change, I think, has been in teaching and learning and the expectation of students, the opportunities of technology, the influence of competition and the environment.  That isn't the only answer.  I think that obviously we have a traditional academic model which many of us, probably me included, romanticise about the view that all academics do all things.  I don't think that's a reasonable characterisation of the situation now, but I think my recollection is correct, in just reflecting on those who were promoted this year at QUT to either professor or associate professor, I think only one of the successful candidates had the 40/40/20 profile, because candidates assign what their profile is, the weighting they give to their contribution to the university.  So I don't think there's any rocket science about that, I'm simply noting the variation that staff themselves will tend, in terms of promotions, which is a good place where they identify their achievements, will tend to weight themselves fairly spontaneously, and there are some frameworks in our place around that, to those purposes.


So would it be fair to say that the implications of the changes you've just mentioned is that perhaps academic work is less individualised now and more focused on working in teams or groups?‑‑‑I think it varies a lot.  There are still plenty of sole traders around, but in many disciplines I think people are more collaborative.  What I would - I think, in research, some disciplines, for a long time, have lent themselves to team-based work and different conventions around that.  But certainly, in teaching, team based approaches are - they work hand in hand.  Individuals make contributions, teams make contributions.  I think you can - you have to distinguish those things but I think both run alongside one another.  People are very different.


Would this be a fair statement?  With the dissolution of the binary system between colleges of advanced education and universities, in the late 80s and early 90s, the initial view was that all academics were going to become teaching and research academics and that there's been a retreat from that, to some extent, back towards more specialisation and focus, is that fair?‑‑‑I think there are two - it might, in part, be true, but I think there are two things here.  The first is the activities that academics perform, the second is the achievements against which they're being assessed.  They sometimes align and they sometimes don't.  I find the promotion hurdle an interesting one because people will understandably obsess about the requirements of promotion and sometimes you see promotion releases them and they're, in a sense, more spontaneous in where they want to make their contribution after they've been promoted.  I think the sign of a good promotion, whether it be at level C or level D or E is what happens after it, as much as what happens before it.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


So, nevertheless, you would agree that despite these changes, academic staff should not have unreasonable workload requirements imposed on them, do you think that's fair?‑‑‑I think people decide - I think people are individuals, academics are individuals, as you probably - you might be referring to this, I have a view that the academy is a vocation.  People will work according to what they want to do, where they want to excel, if someone has a view that - I think people who are very ambitious may impose significant disciplines on themselves in their expectations.  I would agree that it's always important to protect particularly lower level staff, inexperienced staff, from unreasonable conditions.  Our university has done a lot over the years, I think we were one of the earlier players to provide programs of support, for example, for our sessional staff, we've sought to professionalise the role of sessional staff.  We've seen it as a professional activity, not as an industrial sort of thing, because in a professional school, as the Americans call them, a place like QUT, the links to industry are very important.  The sessional staff, the contribution they make is very important to the professional nourishment of the organisation, it's not something that is prioritised in industrial terms.


I suppose what I'm getting at is two things, I'm talking about the non-casual staff and I'm talking about the specific workload requirements set by the employer.  You agree that those should be kept within reasonable bounds?‑‑‑Yes, I do.  I have to say that I've certainly been very resistant to overall university-wide workload formulas.  If you're not careful people spend all the time obsessing about the formulas and I think it's reasonable to have a framework, and we certainly have a framework, but I think you've got to understand that there are different norms and different contributions are going to be made by laboratory-based disciplines in the creative industries to people in law, or wherever it happens to be.  Some disciplines will wish to particularise those matters more than others, but I do come back to the view that people, for the most part, can determine - academics have an enormous privilege, they don't have assigned hours, they don't have assigned hours.  At its most liberal you can say they can come and go as they like, that is an enormous privilege which implies with it that there is a creative role in the academic work which isn't controlled by people coming in at seven and going home at three, or whatever it happens to be.


That's certainly true, but that does work in two directions, doesn't it?  That means, for example, it's not considered unreasonable that an academic might need to participate in an international Skype conference with colleagues in a discipline at 11 o'clock at night, that's considered a reasonable part of that two-way flexibility is that fair?‑‑‑Of course, and they mightn't come in to work until 12 o'clock the next day and that's part of the privilege, isn't it?


Now, in paragraph 14, can I take you to paragraph 14 in your statement?  You say there that universities now have clearer expectations about the outputs they except from academics.  Now, in relation - then - sorry:


In particular there is an increased expectation in relation to research outputs.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


At QUT how are those expectations expressed or described?‑‑‑I'm not sure that they're all articulated, but they would be expressed in the norms of a discipline.  An institution like ours does not do itself justice if it internally benchmarks its performance or its expectations.  I think it is best always to benchmark your performance against what's going on nationally, what's going on in your discipline nationally and internationally.  So I think you see that in the norms.  A person who is promoted to a professor at our place now would be performing at a higher level than they might have been performing five years ago.  You see this fairly starkly when people - it doesn't happen often, but the odd, sad case where someone applies for a promotion three times over five years and you find that on the third time they're further away from meeting the requirements than they were the first.  Our promotional panels always have external representatives on them, and that helps us, in terms of national and international norms and benchmarks.


So I'll return to the question, what I'm actually interested is you said there's increased expectations and there's clearer expectations.  What form might an expectation take, in relation to academics in a particular discipline?‑‑‑The quality of journals in which they're publishing, for example.


Yes.  The quality and number?‑‑‑More quality than number, but volume is always relevant, but I would always err on quality.


Yes, and, for example, successful grant receipts?‑‑‑External grants, whether in category 1, 2, 3 or 4, the so-called national competitive grants, of course that would be relevant.


QUT, say compared to its position 15 years ago, has significantly improved its position in that area, hasn't it?‑‑‑We have indeed.  We didn't have a research base 15 - well, we didn't have a research base 20 years ago, we have a significant research base now.  But it's not an across the board consistent one.


Then you say, further down in paragraph 14, you say:


However, in my view, a competent academic should be able to complete their work within an indicative average of five days per week, across 46 weeks per year.


Now, you also say that's set out in the academic workload allocation.  When you say that, are you saying then that there - is it fair to say that you're saying that the volume of work that they're given should be able to be done in that time?‑‑‑Yes, I guess that's what I'm saying.  I'm not sure whether I wrote it - I was looking at it in quite the detail - I was trying to convey a sense that people work 46 weeks a year, around about, and if they work hard five days a week on average over that time they should be able to do their jobs and there'd be something wrong if they couldn't.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


Okay.  So without labouring it, it's both a statement of what would be reasonable for the employer to give, but it's also a statement about the efficiency of the employee.  It's both, isn't it, really?  It's saying that the workload shouldn't exceed that and if a reasonable work load is given to an academic they should be able to do it in that sort of time?‑‑‑They should be able to do their work in five out of any given seven days.  But I can't think of many people who look at it like this.  I think people will work on the weekends, they might not work during the week, they'll have teaching loads that are uneven, they'll have oscillating patterns of research performance.  It's indicative, I think that was the word I used in that, "indicative" is about as good as I can go.


So there's been some discussion in the proceedings about regulating teaching workload, as opposed to regulating all workload.  Now, would it be fair to say that whether a teaching workload is excessive or reasonable has to be a function of what other requirements attach to the position, is that fair?‑‑‑Yes, I guess so.  I think that we ought to look at it, in terms of hopefully the effective performance management that is occurring between the staff member and the supervisor.  If a person is doing a heavy and an important teaching load and not contributing significantly to research, that is probably quite a reasonable thing.  If junior academic staff don't have time to pursue their research, because of their teaching burden, then I think that's a matter that needs to be dealt with in the performance process.  But I do ultimately think a lot of it depends on the relationships and the management between the supervisor, typically the head of school, and the academic.  It is very hard to make more sweeping generalisations because people are very different.  When I was a head of school many years ago we used to publish teaching loads or class loads.  I found this helpful because, on the cynical side, it ensured there were no phantom classes going on but on the constructive side, people could see the contribution that colleagues were making, they'd understand that X or Y was making a greater contribution in area A to area B and it built a bit of trust.  But I think that the performance management process is quite critical to that and if you link that to promotion hopefully you'd have a situation which was a link between the performance management outcome and the outcomes of the promotion process.


I just want to ask a more specific question, and I'll give you a scenario, based on my experience as a union official.  A union member comes to me and says that their workload is unreasonable because they are teaching 18 hours per week.  Now, my response to them is, "So what are your other duties?"  If I discover that they don't actually have any responsibilities, in relation to research, in other words, they don't have any performance expectations in relation to research, then I'm inclined to say to them, "Well, that's not necessarily an unreasonable workload."  Would you agree that you can't regulate workloads for teaching without knowing what the other responsibilities of the employee are?‑‑‑That's true.  You've got to understand the full picture.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


Thank you.  Now, just quickly, other than in relation to what's set out in the enterprise agreement, employees, academic employees don't have anything in their contracts about hours of work, do they?‑‑‑I don't believe so.  No, that's not right, sessional folk would, they'd have an expectation there, teaching for X, Y or Z and there'd probably be marking time, but for regular academics, no.


At QUT it's certainly the case, in relation to promotion, as far as I can see from reading your policies and elsewhere, that all academic staff, other than casual employees, have access to the promotion system, is that correct?‑‑‑I think that's true.  I think that's true.  I'd just check technically whether - I believe that's true.


It seems clear enough from your statement is that you agree that the best way of determining an employee's classification is through that promotion system?‑‑‑To be honest, Mr McAlpine, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the position classification standards.  And I don't mean to be disrespectful in that, but I hope I have a fair sense of what are the norms around what a lecturer typically will do, senior lecturer, and tend to be respectful of that.  You certainly expect the professoriate levels to show leadership, but I don't, myself, look closely at the position classification standards.


No, I wasn't looking at the position classification standards either, what I was putting to you, the best way for a university to decide the appropriate classification of an employee is through the promotion system?‑‑‑Yes.  You certainly get a good guide from promotion outcomes.  If people aren't applying for promotion I'm not sure it's quite the case but, certainly, the promotion process, which is peer based and quite intensive and these days, where there's much more information available, data information on both teaching and research, it's a good guide.


You've certainly said in your statement that if a university stopped offering promotion, right at the end of paragraph 22, you said:


If a university abandoned its promotion process it would lose talented staff to other institutions.


You would also agree that that wouldn't be fair either?‑‑‑Ig would not be a good idea.


Well, it wouldn't be fair to the academic staff, to abandon the promotion system, would it?‑‑‑No, it wouldn't be fair.  It's an incentive.  It's a vocation, people want to rise up in their fields.  If they don't have an opportunity in one place they'll go to another, or they might.

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                               XXN MR MCALPINE


Thank you.  Can I just go to paragraph 7 of your statement?‑‑‑Yes.


Now, the university and, to be fair, you're saying that the university employed 11,152 staff over the calendar year, 2015.  What you're saying there not all of those people would have been employed for the whole year, some of them would have been employed for bits and pieces, is that fair?‑‑‑Yes.  Three or four thousand-odd are full-time.  I think when I prepared that statement that count might have something to do with group certificates or something, because we have a huge number of people who work for short periods, both academic and professional.


Now, in relation to - it seemed to me your earlier evidence was consistent with the idea that the work of casual staff - sorry, I withdraw that.  If your FTE is 4800 and your total employment is 11,100 that supports the idea that a very large proportion, on a headcount base, of your staff are casual staff, is that correct?‑‑‑A very significant proportion.


Many of the academic casual staff are carrying out core ongoing functions of the institution, that's correct?‑‑‑That's true.


I did some basic arithmetic which suggested that - well, I'm telling you, I did arithmetic of dividing the FTE into the salary bill and I got $48,000, $48,960 I should say.  That figure is skewed, isn't it, because there'll be a very large number of casual employees with relatively low incomes, well below that figure, won't there?‑‑‑There will be a lot.  I'm happy to give an explanation for some of this, in a moment.


You might get an opportunity to do that.  So when we look at the FTE figure of 19 per cent casually, that would be higher for academic staff than for general staff?‑‑‑I don't know the answer.  I don't know whether it is or not.  I mean we will have a lot of people, other than full-time permanent people, on the professional staff side, but I don't know the answer precisely.


No further questions, your Honour.



RE-EXAMINATION BY MS PUGSLEY                                            [4.08 PM]

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                                 RXN MS PUGSLEY


MS PUGSLEY:  Prof Coaldrake, can I take you back to paragraph 7?  What was the explanation you wanted to give, in relation to casuals and FTE?‑‑‑A significant contribution to the university, and to our students, is through the sessional engagement of a lot of people.  I mean we badge ourselves as a university for the real world, and it's not meant to be some corny tagline, we actually - that's quite seriously embedded and we give a lot of encouragement to staff at our university, full-time staff having an engagement with industry and encouraging industry folk and professional staff to work.  So the most stark example would be creative industries where I think probably the highest proportion of our undergraduate teaching would occur in creative industries, but the creative industries are - that's how these industries - that's the employment basis of these industries.  So you get people, actors and drama people and other disciplines, who come in.  It's part of their life's work, it's quite normal for them to have this sort of engagement and, indeed, they probably get a lot of nourishment out of it.  So we really have never tried to - we've been always aware of the industrial concerns around sessional staff and the so-called casualization debate, but we've actually tried to supply good support to our sessional staff, we've sought to professionalise the involvement of our sessional staff and particularly give support, through professional training programs, for those staff who aspire to take on full-time jobs later in their careers.


In relation to performance measurement expectations, such as tier 1, 2 and 3 journals, and the number of publications over, say, three years, would the university quantify that in hours, in terms of its expectations of staff?‑‑‑No, I don't know that you could.  You tend to see things through achievement, not activity.


Within a discipline, when you're considering the research component of what academics do, do you, as the university, allocate particular activities of research to your staff?‑‑‑I think academic staff, at a junior level, will be guided by peers and mentors.  As they take on leadership roles themselves, so they'll more determine those things.  The university might have some broad parameters or broad priorities, where it's saying it wants to invest and encourage people in particular directions, but academics are not people who can be, as you will well know, not people who can be readily herded.  The creative base on the profession is important.


Thank you.  No further questions.


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Thank you, Prof Coaldrake, you're excused.

<THE WITNESS WITHDREW                                                            [4.11 PM]

***        OWEN PETER COALDRAKE                                                                                                 RXN MS PUGSLEY


VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI:  Just having a look at the timetable, what the Bench is minded to do in consideration overnight, is the dates of 2 and 3 November to be freed up for witnesses.  The other thing is, given that we are in a reflective matter, it seems, to the Bench, that we shouldn't be rushing through submissions and there may be a revised timetable where we have written submissions and either we hear the matter in December, speaking to the written submissions, or we contemplate a hearing early next year for the final submissions.  So we're in the parties hands about that, but you might want to give it some consideration between now and Friday as to how we should approach that, because we will be assisted by written submissions, in the event, and the timetable wouldn't currently accommodate some written submissions.  The Commission will adjourn until tomorrow.




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