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Fair Work Act 2009�������������������������������������� 1056634




AM2014/196; AM2014/197

s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards


Four yearly review of modern awards - Part-time employment and Casual employment - model clause


Higher Education Industry-Academic Staff-Award 2010

Educational Services (Post- Secondary Education) Award 2010


Higher Education (General Staff) Award 2010


10.00 AM, MONDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2018


THE ASSOCIATE:  Mr McIver, Mr Pill, Mr Clarke, Mr Cupido, Ms Gayle and Ms Pugsley, the Deputy President has joined the call.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Good morning everybody.  Can you hear me clearly?




SPEAKER:  Yes, thank you.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everyone.  The first thing I should indicate is this morning's conference is being recorded so I might ask each of you to just state your name for the purposes of the record.  Perhaps if I might start with the NTEU representatives.


MS L GAYLE:  Linda Gayle.




MR W CUPIDO:  Wayne Cupido.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Welcome, Mr Cupido.  The AEU representative.


MR M McIVER:  Michael McIver.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Welcome, Mr McIver.  The ACTU representative.


MR T CLARKE:  Trevor Clarke.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Hello, Mr Clarke, and for Group of Eight universities?


MR S PILL:  Stuart Pill.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Welcome, Mr Pill.  And finally for AHEIA.


MS C PUGSLEY:  Cathy Pugsley.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Welcome, Ms Pugsley.  Thank you everyone.  The context of this morning's conference follows on from correspondence from Ms Kenna from NTEU requesting that issues relating to the inclusion of or variation of casual conversion clauses in the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010, Higher Education (General Staff) and (Academic Staff) Awards 2010 be considered.  So in the first instance I might throw to you Ms Gayle and I assume you're going to be the spokesperson for the NTEU in respect of anything you might want to say around the correspondence.


MS GAYLE:  Thank you, Your Honour.  We don't have much to add to the correspondence.  I think the correspondence from Ms Kenna speaks for itself.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  All right.  Anything you wish to say either Mr Clarke or Mr McIver?


MR McIVER:  No thanks, Mr Deputy President.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  All right, thanks, Mr McIver.  Mr Clarke?


MR CLARKE:  The joint submission that we put in really relates only to post-secondary education award and what we've tried to do there is sort of have a stab at two versions of the clause.  One cover the teachers and the issue of sessional employment and the other to deal with the rest of the workforce.  So, you know, we've had a go at that but happy to sort of you know work through the issues.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  All right.  Mr Pill, in respect of - do you appear in respect of just the higher education awards and I'm assuming you're appearing from Group of Eight universities?


MR PILL:  I'm appearing for the Group of Eight universities


and continue to appear in relation to the two higher education awards and there are some things that I did wish to raise about the correspondence if I may Deputy President.




MR PILL:  Thank you.  I'll start with the general staff award.  My clients have very significant concerns and we say that there are very significant difficulties both with the outcome sought and the process or approach now sought to be adopted by the NTEU.  The NTEU correspondence seeks to present this as some form of oversight, is the word used, and that the Commission should somehow just now adopt a different conversion clause in the general staff - I'm sorry, the Higher Education (General Staff) Award than was previously the case.  Now, it's not an oversight.


Having now traversed back through this matter Deputy President there is an application that was made by the ACTU to vary the Higher Education (General Staff) Award to include a deeming conversion mechanism.  The ACTU claim was made back in November 2014, there was a variation proposed that was filed, it was affirmed by the ACTU and the NTEU on in July 2015.


That application and the general issue of conversion was the subject of, as you are fully aware Deputy President, a very lengthy proceeding.  There was evidence put and my client's submitted that there was already a casual conversion clause dealing comprehensively with casual conversion in the general staff award.  There were submissions and evidence about that having been inserted by a previous Full Bench of the AIRC,  that it was tailored to the circumstances of the particular industry.  There was evidence led both by the NTEU and by my clients and also the AHEIA about the operation of that clause and from my client's part the absence of disputes and problem, and there were detailed submissions made about that.


Now this issue has already been determined by the Full Bench the Full Bench has determined not to vary the general staff award. It rejected the ACTU/NTEU claim.  The Full Bench determined only to apply the model conversion clause in awards that have (indistinct) and determined not to apply the model conversion clause in the higher education award.


Now the higher education award - sorry, general staff award is not unique in that respect.  There were 22 other awards that also had some form of conversion mechanism and the Bench determined not to vary those awards.  So in those circumstances we're not sure why we're here talking about the general staff award.  There is no proper basis for what is essentially a change in departure from what the Full Bench determined.


Now to further underscore that when the Full Bench in the ACTU common claim issued its decision back on 5 July 2017 it also issued directions which provided the capacity to make further submissions and to do that within a timeframe that was, I think, August and that occurred.  What we're now being confronted with here today, none of that was raised at that point in time.


That's what we wanted to raise about the general staff award.  I'm not sure whether it's actually - I appreciate the conference has been listed but I'm not sure whether it's being entertained.  If it is possibly going to be entertained then we would seek the opportunity to properly address the Commission potentially by way of submissions. We shouldn't have to, with respect, but to address the Commission as to why it should not now be dealt with in the manner in which the NTEU now seeks to revisit the issue.


In relation to the academic staff award.  Similar but slightly different issues arise.  What the NTEU now present is inconsistent with the position of the ACTU and the NTEU up to this point in time and I briefly explain that.  In the ACTU application that was made back in 2014 it was specifically stated that a variation was not sought to the Higher Education Academic Staff Award and has identified that the NTEU may pursue a separate claim.


Now there was then a filing by the NTEU on 2 March 2015 of a submission in the form of a letter indicating that it was seeking a clause for conversion of academic work, as opposed to an academic employee.  You might recall Deputy President, I appreciate you span both the ACTU Full Bench - - -


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  In the higher ed one.


MR PILL:  Led by Hatcher VP and sat on the higher education Full Bench led by Catanzariti VP.  Johns C issued directions in the higher education stream including for the parties to confirm any matters that were the subject of proposals.  That led to the NTEU filing an application for a particular form of conversion mechanism in September and October 2015.  So the NTEU has pursued or identified a separate application with different content and did so in the higher education matter 2015/6.


What the NTEU indicated, relevantly a number of things, that that claim and that variation would be addressed after the ACTU casual Full Bench's determination and that was that was articulated both verbally before the Bench and also in submissions.  Now as recently as - in its submissions in 2017 it indicated that that variation that it was seeking which is quite different to what it's seeking, the NTEU indicated that it had not withdrawn that.  It also indicated that it didn't pursue academic conversion in the context of the common claims matter because of the distinct character of academic casual work made the award unsuited to the common claims approach on the subject and it restated that the matter would await the outcome of the common claims matter.


We also raised this with the education - higher education Full Bench and Catanzariti VP as part of that process indicated that that application by the NTEU to convert a certain amount of sessional work wouldn't be decided until a proper application with evidence was made following any outcome in the ACTU common claim Full Bench.


So up until receiving the correspondence from the NTEU that was the situation that, that it was specifically the case that the academic award was not being dealt with, was not part of the ACTU common claim.  It was certainly not any part of that proceeding or process.  There was no evidence specifically about the academic award or any submissions made about that and there's recognition by the NTEU that there are some particular features of academic employment and sessional employment in higher education that meant that it was not suited to being dealt with as part of the common claim.


So for all those reasons, Deputy President, it raises a very real issue as to whether the Commission is now in a position to consider this correspondence by the NTEU, whether the NTEU - there's only one variation application that's on foot which is the matter before the higher education (indistinct) for a particular form of conversion of academic work.  It's unclear to us whether the NTEU are now saying that they're abandoning that variation and we submit that it should be both clarified and then the issue of whether this piece of correspondence and the sort of attempt after four or five years to now adopt the outcome of the ACTU claim which was not in respect of this award should be entertained by the Commission.


Those are matters that I wish to raise, Deputy President.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you Mr Paul.  Ms Pugsley, anything you wish to say?


MS PUGSLEY:  Only that I concur with what has been put and have nothing further to add.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Ms Pugsley.  Ms Gayle, anything you wish to say in respect of the issues raised by Mr Pill and also supported by Ms Pugsley?


MS GAYLE:  Yes, Your Honour.  In relation to the - there are three awards before us, obviously the higher education employers have spoken only with respect to the two higher education awards and I'll go to those first.  In relation to - and there are two general issues raised in our correspondence; one relates of course to the minimum call out time and the other relates to the conversion provision.


In relation to the minimum call out time we note that that has been applied to the academic award and that it has not been applied to the general staff award. The general staff award does have within it existing minimum call out provisions which are more favourable in the sense that there is a three hour minimum call out provision for most employees.  But there is a group of employees covered by the general staff award who have under that award a one hour minimum call out.  Our proposition is simply in relation to that that that one hour should be lifted to two for consistency with other industries.  We say that there was nothing presented in the proceedings in relation to the conversion claim that was that was pursued by the NTEU during the casuals proceedings that would mitigate against having the same principles for call out apply to that award.  So that is one issue which we say stands alone.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Is that the sole issue in respect of the general staff award, Ms Gayle?


MS GAYLE:  No it's not.  We have we have put forward the proposition in Ms Kenna's letter that that there should also be further consideration of the conversion provision in the general staff award and noting that the current conversion provision - sorry, starting from the beginning, the NTEU did seek a deeming arrangement (indistinct) broader claim.  So this award was not included in the ACTU's claim for the conversion provision that successful.


Nevertheless the deeming provision that (indistinct) was not successful and as a result of that process - sorry, can you hear me over the background noise?


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  I can, I'm not quite sure what the interference is but I can but it's sort of - it's a little bit awkward at times, Ms Gayle, but that's all right.  How was it for everybody else.


SPEAKER:  We can manage, Your Honour.


SPEAKER:  (Indistinct).


SPEAKER:  Yes, we can manage.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  All right, thank you.  Please continue, Ms Gayle.


MS GAYLE:  Thank you.  The simple proposition that we're putting in relation to the conversion provision for the general staff award is that in that the application that was made with respect to that award was unsuccessful, that the Commission has not addressed the question of whether the general standards for conversion provisions that are reflected in the test case decision are appropriate also for this industry.  That is simply the question that we have put forward to be answered.


In relation to the academic staff award Mr Pill's history of the NTEU's claim through the award review process is correct.  The NTEU's claim for conversion in relation to casual (indistinct) - the casual employment area of the academic staff award is a claim for conversion of work rather than a conversion of employees per se.  We say that there are specific characteristics of the work and the way that it is organised in this industry.  The NTEU has consistently put that claim throughout the award review process but acknowledged that given that it will involve a significant amount of evidence and consideration of principle that it was appropriate to wait until the decision came down in the general case in relation to casual conversion.


If the Full Bench had in its wisdom deemed that there should be no award conversion provision then we did not intend to use the Commission's time and our own time and Mr Pill and Ms Pugsley's time with running a case specifically in relation to that award.  However, that's not the case.  The Commission has decided that it is appropriate that awards contain conversion provisions in relation to casual employment and in that context we are acting on the approach that we flagged throughout the other proceedings that we did intend to come back to the Commission and ask that specific consideration be given to the academic award.  To be clear, the NTEU's intention is to pursue the form of conversion provision that we flagged in the award proceedings.


The ultimate position, I should say, is that if the Commission is not minded to take a more unique approach in relation to that award then we would say that the common award provision should be the default.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Ms Gayle, just a couple of questions, and I'll start off with your academic staff award.  One of the issues that Mr Pill raised is whether with regard to the history, whether the claim - and I think Mr Pill described it as sort of dating back to 2014/2015 or the application in respect of the variation, whether that remains and I presume it doesn't, but whether in terms of what is now being sought has been beyond the general characterisation of seeking to apply the model clause to the award whether it's been sort of specified with a bit more clarity.  If not what sort of timeframe might it take for that to be the case?


MS GAYLE:  I suppose the first response to that is that there, in our view, has been some clarity provided in relation to that claim but we do think that there are characteristics specific to academic employment which merit consideration of an industry specific approach.  We also think that the best approach to that would be for the parties to confer and discuss the extent to which there may be any capacity for common ground in relation to narrowing any case that that was brought to the Commission for consideration.  If the general characteristics of the employment and if we can develop an agreed fact statement about some of those characteristics and the way that they might intersect with appropriate conversion provisions then that would significantly reduce the burden on all parties and on the Commission in terms of addressing this specific award.  So we would want to see some time for those discussions to occur and we would then seek a further conference to discuss in light of whether we've managed to narrow the area of differences between the parties or not to discuss what appropriate directions might be from there.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  And in respect of the general staff award one of the points that Mr Pill made is that the issue in respect of casual conversion has by and large been determined by the Full Bench that was dealing with the issue in of casual and part time employment and resulted in the model clause.  What do you say about that?


MS GAYLE:  I'm sorry, Your Honour, there was a bit of interference there and I actually did not hear your voice.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  What is the NTEU's response to the proposition put by Mr Pill that the issue of casual conversion has been determined by the casual and part time Full Bench that was headed by Hatcher, in in respect of the general staff award?


MS GAYLE:  The NTEU acknowledges that the general staff award itself has been considered with respect to the particular application that was made for that award which application was unsuccessful.  We also acknowledge that the Full Bench decision does specify that the outcome applies to those awards which do not have a conversion provision in them.  So we understand that that's the framework within which our proposal must be considered.  Our proposal is simply that to the extent that the existing conversion provision is less favourable to employees than that established in the test case, that the existing award should be reviewed and brought up to the test case standard.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  In respect of the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award, unfortunately don't have any representatives on behalf of employers that might be covered by that award.  Is there anything although you might say Ms Gayle or Mr McIver, you might say around that particular award and what the situation is or what (indistinct)?


MS PUGSLEY:  Your Honour, it's Cathy Pugsley here if I may.  About 19 of our members directly employ staff who either ELICOS teachers or TAFE teachers.  None of them - to the best of our knowledge none of them are award dependent.  However, the post-secondary award is the safety net award for those staff.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  In that case Ms Pugsley, perhaps I should ask you in the first instance whether those of your members that are covered by or that might come within the coverage of that award, whether there's anything you might wish to say on their behalf in respect of that particular award?


MS PUGSLEY:  Thank you, Your Honour, and I do note that as the employers of staff who'd be covered by those awards we are very much in the minority and as you've noted there is no other representation from the TAFE industry or the private ELICOS college industry.  The fact that there has been this oversight that's only very recently been identified means that there was no opportunity for the parties to put evidence in the common proceedings about the post-secondary award.  As has been identified in the joint submission there are specific characteristics in relation to academic teachers and the nature of their work which would mean that it would not be appropriate to utilize the model clause - the model casual conversion clause for purposes of academic teachers.


We appreciate what's been put forward by the ACTU and the joint union with regard to an attempt to modify the clause to take account of the characteristic pertaining to sessional teaching in the award.  There is also an interesting or unusual definition at clause 10.3B of part time employment for teachers which recognises, as the sessional nature of work, that part time employment can indeed be part year employment.


So while we recognize that an attempt has been made to tailor the model clause in our view, the employers would nevertheless need some time to properly address what's been put and properly address the specific characteristics of the nature of workers, academic teachers.  That will require certainly some discussion and perhaps even some evidence given that there wasn't the opportunity to provide evidence during the proceedings as the award wasn't included at that time.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Ms Pugsley, and sorry I just wasn't aware that you also had members that sort of fell into the space covered by that particular award.  Ms Gayle,  Mr McIver, is there anything you might say in respect of the views of other employers that would be covered by that particular award?  Ms Gayle, I will throw to you in the first instance perhaps.


MS GAYLE:  Thank you Your Honour we co-authored and adopt the joint submission.  We think that that submission sets the issues out very well.  We hear what Ms Pugsley says in terms of requesting more time to be able to consider those issues.  Again we would hope that this is an area where we may be able to find an agreed position or at the very least significantly narrow the gap between the parties in relation to the form of any draft award.  We say that it's in this case clear that the Full Bench decision ought to apply.  There was no deliberate exclusion of this award.  It was not involved in any other applications, it was not involved in any caveats in relation to existing proceedings.


So we would we would seek that again that some directions may be sent out in terms of the parties conferring leading to a further conference to seek directions for proceedings if needed.  We hope in relation to this award that there is a real prospect of a consent position.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you Ms Gayle.  Mr McIver, anything you wish to say?


MR McIVER:  No thanks, Mr Deputy President, other than we rely on the submissions that have been filed and agree with the approach that Ms Gayle has proposed.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Mr Clarke anything you wish to say on this particular award?


MR CLARKE:  No, that all sounds reasonable, yes.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thanks, Mr Clarke.  Going back to the higher education awards Mr Pill, Ms Pugsley, anything you wish to say in response to what Ms Gayle had to say around both of those awards and perhaps in the first instance let's focus on the academic staff award.


MR PILL:  Thank you, Deputy President, yes I do, perhaps more in relation to the general staff award but perhaps in relation to the academic staff award, what Ms Gayle has put, the intention on the NTEU's part, to pursue the application that they made in the higher education stream, if I can put it that way.  There is an articulation of that claim in a couple of their documents that are filed with the Commission, most recently their final submissions in reply dated the 24 March 2017.


As I understand it Ms Gayle has suggested that there should be some discussion about exactly what's being pursued and about whether there's any common ground.  I don't have formal instructions about that but I don't have any in principle objection to that and obviously it has some history going back several years now so important that we do understand exactly what is being pursued. That's all I really wanted to say about the academic staff award.


I do have a few things to say about the general staff award.  Firstly just this question of minimum engagement.  I wasn't aware, first of all, that that was even part of what was being discussed today, it's certainly not referenced in the NTEU letter of the 21 September 2018.  To the extent that the issue of minimum engagement in the higher education general staff award is being raised again. It has been the subject of further written submissions including a detailed written submission that we filed on the 13 September 2018.


Now that submission was filed in the context of the casuals Full Bench settling final determinations and the determinations included the academic staff award.  That was consistent with the casual Full Bench decision back in 2017 FWCFB 3541.  It was also consistent with the second casual Full Bench decision in 2018 FWCFB 4695.  So the substance of that was to identify that the academic staff award - the provisional view was it be varied to include a minimum engagement of two hours for casual academic staff and there were submissions made about that.


There was no matter involving the higher education general staff award that was the subject of a draft determination to vary it to two hours.  There's very good reason for that because the issue was determined to finality by the casuals Full Bench, both the first decision and the second decision.  Our submission sets out the specific consideration that was given by those Full Benches.


I won't repeat everything that's in that written submission, Deputy President, but what it demonstrates is, this is an attempt to - without an appeal or without a further application - to essentially go back and change the outcome of the Full Bench determinations that have already been made and that includes very specifically consideration of whether this approach of three hours with certain exceptions for example for students at the university should be maintained and the Full Bench determined that it would.


So our submission identifies that there is no matter for the Commission to admit the NTEU's further request to now somehow revisit all of that and change what had already been determined by the Full Bench through a process of settling draft determinations should be entertained.  So from my client's perspective those determinations have now been issued.  The NTEU even though it didn't have a proper basis to do so it raised again this question of varying the general staff award minimum engagement and the Full Bench has chosen not to revisit that and chosen not to issue a further determination.  So with respect to this conference I don't even see it as a matter, in my submission, that's even before the Commission at all.  But to the extent that it is we would rely upon our submission of 13 September.


In relation to the issue of conversion (indistinct) identified some of the very real issues but it seemed to be being suggested that because the application, the specific variation that was sought was a deeming conversion rather than an election conversion that somehow the Full Bench didn't consider and determine whether to vary the Higher Education (General Staff) Award, now, that's not the case, it did determine which awards to vary and which ones not to vary.  Amongst the 22 that it determined not to vary it includes this particular award.  So we strongly submit that there's no proper basis on which to be entertaining a further process at this point in time.


If that was to be contemplated then we would seek the opportunity to put in submissions as to why that shouldn't be the case.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you Mr Pill.  Ms Pugsley anything you wish to say?


MS PUGSLEY:  No thank you, apart from that we concur and have nothing further to add.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  It just strikes me that in respect of the two awards; the Educational services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010 and also the Higher Education Academic Award 2010, the proposition put by Ms Gayle, and I don't get a sense that it's opposed by either the Group of Eight or AHEIA in respect of the higher education award and AHEIA, to the extent that it has members in respect of the educational services award, that for want of a better description the Commission issue some directions requiring the parties to confer around what the NTEU is proposing in respect of those awards to get a sense of to what, if any, extent there might be scope for agreement and that the matter be listed for perhaps not to characterize it as a report back conference at some future stage to see where it might need to go to from there.


So I just pause there, in respect of those two awards am I reading the tea leaves correctly?


MS GAYLE:  You certainly read our tea leaves, Your Honour.


MR PILL:  Yes, it's Stuart Pill, I think that's a fair reading of the tea leaves, Deputy President.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Ms Pugsley, you agree?


MS PUGSLEY:  We do, thank you.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  In respect of the general staff award it strikes me there's a more threshold question as to whether the issue that has been raised by the employer representatives is whether the issue has been determined by the Full Bench.  I think in the first instance what I think would be necessary is to have the conversation with Hatcher VP around what's emerged from today's conference around that particular award and perhaps come back to the parties in due course as to how we might proceed on that one noting Mr Pill's view that were the Bench of the mind to entertain the issues canvassed by the NTEU that in respect of those that he represents he would want the opportunity to put further submissions on the question as to whether these issues have been determined.  I'm assuming that Ms Pugsley would, given her concurrence with Mr Pill's comments, would also appreciate that opportunity.  So I think that will probably take some time but I can come back to the parties once I've had the opportunity speaking around that issue with the Vice President and go from there.


So again is that a fair reading of what's emerged from this morning's conference?


MR PILL  Deputy President, Stuart Pill here.  I think yes with this additional, I guess, point of emphasis that the process that the Commission has undertaken in relation to the determination of applications for variations, in relation to some of the subject matter that the NTEU are raised, if not all of it, has been determined to finality.  That's stark in relation to the - we haven't gone back through all of the processes but in addition to what the Full Bench and determinations say there's been various directions issued with dates some 12 plus months ago about enabling these matters to be finalized.


This is in substance the next go round and to seek the Commission to issue a determination contrary to its previous determinations.  I just raise that in the context that my clients continue to have to come before the Commission, with respect, and deal with matters that have already been dealt with and the Commission itself has made clear that the next review of these awards is not currently being contemplated and would only occur at a future date after a period of finalization of the current four yearly review.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  I hear what you're saying Mr Pill and I think - I just would appreciate the opportunity of conferring with the Vice President in terms of how he might wish to proceed on this matter.  I mean if the Commission is of a view that it's willing to entertain the NTEU's propositions then you clearly need - would appreciate the opportunity of putting further submissions on that particular issue and conversely if the Commission was of a view that these issues had been determined I would imagine that the NTEU would want the opportunity of putting submissions to convince the Commission otherwise.  Am I correct in that regard, Ms Gayle?


MS GAYLE:  You maybe may be, Your Honour.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  May be, all right.  Well, I just think there's probably a bit of internal deliberation that I need to have with the Vice President before coming back to the parties with a view as to the Commission's thinking on I think the threshold issue of whether these issues have been determined and whether it's willing to entertain or not any further consideration of these issues in respect of the general staff award and I'd endeavour to do that over the course of - I'll say a week but it might pan out to be a couple of weeks but I'd do that by way of correspondence, email correspondence the first time then we can see where we go to from there.


Coming back to the academic staff award and also the post-secondary award.  Do the parties have any views as to what would be a reasonable time frame in terms of the parties conferring on the issues associated with each of those awards?  Ms Gayle, I'll throw to you in the first instance.


MS GAYLE:  Yes, the issues particularly in relation to the academic award are not straightforward and we suggest that that probably six to eight weeks would be appropriate.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Mr Pill - sorry I'll just interrupt. Sorry.  Anything else you wanted to say, Ms Gayle?


MS GAYLE:  I was going to say, I think many of the issues in relation to educational services are simpler but there are more employers involved and do probably the same time line that would be appropriate.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Mr Pill, do you have any views as to the time frame that's proposed there?


MR PILL:  No. Nothing further, Deputy President, no.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Ms Pugsley, in respect of both, does the time frame sound reasonable from your perspective?


MS PUGSLEY:  It does, thank you.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  So, if we're talking eight weeks we're probably pretty close to perhaps a report back late December or - - -


MS GAYLE:  At the Commission Christmas party perhaps.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  I might not be at the Melbourne Christmas party, Ms Gayle, and given that most of the parties are Melbourne based I'm not sure that that will happen but I suppose the question is - and I assume that the early part of January is when many of us will be on leave.  I am hoping to be on leave in the second part of January, but whether you think there's some utility in a report back conference this side of Christmas or alternatively late January.


MS GAYLE:  The NTEU would be content with either, Your Honour.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Mr Pill, Ms Pugsley, any clear preference either way?


MS PUGSLEY:  No preference.


MR PILL:  Only self-interestedly, Deputy President, because I'm on leave from mid-December, so my preference in that context would be a January report back if that's possible.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  Well, I think in those in those circumstances probably what it might be - I think it's late January is firming as the favourite and that might just sort of perhaps - I'll give the parties until perhaps mid-January in terms of conferring around the issues and then look for a date very late January in terms of a report back conference and again we'll just do it by way of telephone if that's okay.  I'll come back to the parties over the next week or two once I've had that conversation with Hatcher VP in respect of the general staff award.


So I think that probably covers off the issues unless I've overlooked something or there's anything else that anyone wanted to raise.


MR CLARKE:  Mr Clarke here, whether it's, you know, our affiliates or Ms Pugsley, it's probably important that somebody bears in mind that we do, in relation to the post-secondary education award make some effort to engage the employer associations, which I don't personally know of, who might have coverage there. Just so that they do participate in the process to try and figure something out for that award, even though they are not here today.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  I think that's a very useful point or pertinent point, Mr Clarke.  Can I perhaps just ask and Ms Gayle and/or Mr McIver in conjunction with one another, can you just perhaps in respect of - advise my chambers just in terms of any other employer organizations or employers that you think need to be notified in respect of that particular award.  Just to make sure that they are advised of the directions and that we can cross-check with the Commission sort of list to make sure that we haven't overlooked anybody just to avoid a situation where we haven't got comprehensive employer representation in respect of that particular award.


MS GAYLE:  Certainly.


MR McIVER:  Yes, Deputy President.


THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT:  If you could do that sort of perhaps over the next three or four days - by the end of this week that'd be very very helpful, thank you.


I think that covers everything off, so we'll leave it there and enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of you week everybody.


SPEAKER:  Thank you.


SPEAKER:  Thank you, Deputy President.

ADJOURNED INDEFINITELY������������������������������������������������������� [10.52 AM]