The University of Melbourne Collective Agreement 2010
Part F: Hours of Work and Workload Management
- The Workload Management Framework
- Workload review process—individual complaints
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Flexible working arrangements
- Meal and tea breaks
51. The Workload Management Framework
51.1 This Agreement establishes a Framework for the planning, allocation and management of staff workloads. This Workload Management Framework (WMF) applies to all staff.
51.2 The University will manage workloads in accordance with the following principles.
- Workloads will be allocated in a fair and equitable manner.
- Workloads will be allocated with regard to the University’s duty to care for, and protect the health and welfare of, including legislative occupational health and safety obligations, staff in relation to the performance of their duties.
- Each staff member is entitled to a reasonable workload. In particular, the allocation of work to a
staff member will
- be consistent with the staff member’s level of appointment, time fraction and stage of the staff member’s career and for professional staff, manageable within ordinary hours of work; and,
- recognise the importance of maintaining an appropriate balance between work and personal life.
- Consistent with operational requirements and at the staff member’s request, workloads may be subject to reasonable adjustment to address work/life balance.
- Supervisors and managers will endeavour to ensure that all staff have the necessary resources advice and support to adequately manage their workload.
- Planning for workloads will include collegial discussion and fair and proper consideration of workload implications.
- Staff members and supervisors should ensure that workloads are managed such that leave entitlements are taken in a timely manner to ensure adequate breaks from work.
51.3 Each Budget Division will develop, in consultation with the Heads of Department within the Budget Division, a workload model that reflects the specific work undertaken by that area. The workload model will be consistent with the principles in clause 51.2 and with University policy, as amended from time-to-time.
51.4 The University encourages regular discussion between staff and supervisors regarding workload and priorities. As a minimum, workloads will form part of the Performance Development Framework review and feedback discussions outlined in clause 62.
51.5 The University will ensure that supervisors are aware of their responsibilities in managing workloads and are aware of the workload management principles in this Agreement.
51.6 In relation to the management of academic workloads, the following guidelines will apply.
- At the University, “academic work” encompasses research, teaching, knowledge partnerships and leadership and service activities.
- Academic work is a combination of assigned tasks and “self-determined” work. Assigned tasks include teaching and preparation for teaching, assessment, supervision and the necessary administrative and knowledge partnership activities associated with teaching and research at the University. The remainder of an academic staff member’s working time is time in which the staff member conducts research or other scholarly activity as appropriate to their appointment to the University. While such work may be directed by the University, the staff member will determine how such work is performed (“self-determined” work).
- The University and its staff shall recognise 1725 hours per annum as the maximum annual allocated hours for a full time staff member.
- In accordance with clause 51.3, each academic Budget Division will develop its own academic discipline-specific workload model. The workload model will be developed in consultation with the academic cohort within that Budget Division. Each workload model will include a notional proportionate breakdown of the components of academic work as they apply to the particular discipline or Budget Division and may include an appropriate means of comparing allocated workloads.
- Prior to each teaching period, an academic staff member and their supervisor will discuss:
- the number of teaching contact hours per week required during that teaching period; and
- the proportion of research, teaching, knowledge partnership and/or leadership and service activities expected of the individual staff member within the Budget Division’s notional proportional allocations.
- An academic staff member may have one standard teaching period per calendar year free of teaching (other than post-graduate supervision), provided that the academic staff member uses that time for research relevant to the discipline area and that the operational requirements of the Budget Division can reasonably be met.
- For the purposes of this clause, “teaching period” is a defined period of time during which students may be enrolled and available for attendance at specified teaching and learning activities. A “standard teaching period” is limited to standard semesters (being the defined standard teaching periods, Semester 1 and Semester 2, of an academic year, approved by Academic Board annually) and summer term (being the formally approved six week teaching period and one week assessment period that takes place before Semester 1 commences).
52. Workload review process—individual complaints
52.1 When there is a change in circumstances which has led, or is likely to lead, to a demonstrable increase or decrease in the workload of a staff member (for example the employment of additional staff), that staff member’s workload should be reviewed as soon as possible by the supervisor.
52.2 Individual workload complaints should be discussed with the staff member’s supervisor or Head of Department and, if necessary, his or her Head of Budget Division.
52.3 If an individual workload complaint relating to research or teaching load is not resolved under clause 52.2, an academic staff member may make a written application to the Dean for a peer review. The Dean will assemble a panel of three academic peers, at least one of whom will be familiar with the staff member’s academic discipline or specific work area. The panel will investigate the complaint taking into account:
- the provisions of the Budget Division’s workload model;
- the staff member’s academic work obligations (including his or her agreed proportional allocations);
- the staff member’s individual circumstances (including, relevant applications, schedules or deadlines for research); and
- the operational requirements of the Budget Division (including, teaching timetables and the numbers of students enrolled in courses).
The peer review panel will provide a recommendation to the Dean regarding the complaint and the Dean may take whatever action he or she considers appropriate.
52.4 Should the above processes fail to resolve such matters, a staff member may access the Review of Actions provisions outlined in Part N of this Agreement.
53. Monitoring and evaluation
53.1 The Workload Advisory Committee (WAC) will meet at least four times a year to monitor workload regulation and provide a central point of reference for advice on the development of Budget Division workload models.
53.2 The WAC will consist of
- three representatives nominated by the University, of which at least one shall be an academic and one a professional staff member;
- three Union representatives, of which at least one shall be an academic and one a professional staff member; and
- a Chair, elected by the above members of the WAC from three nominees of the University’s Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Committee.
53.3 The role of the WAC will be to:
- monitor the application of the WMF to work practices and policies;
- research, review and promulgate workload management best practice;
- upon invitation by a Budget Division, advise on the development of a workload model in accordance with clause 51.3; and
- upon the request of an investigator who is investigating an action under the Review of Actions provisions in Part N, advise on workload management issues to facilitate resolution of a workload matter.
53.4 The Workloads Advisory Committee will implement mechanisms to monitor and review workload management practices, including but not limited to Student Staff Ratios (SSRs), and will use this information to develop strategies to assist in the management of workloads.
Student Staff Ratios (SSRs)
53.5 The University will use its best endeavours to ensure that the University-wide SSR reported in the University’s Annual Report 2008 is maintained, and will reduce that ratio wherever possible. Further, the University will use its best endeavours to ensure that SSRs by University disciplinary cluster are maintained at the levels as derived from the DEEWR Student and Staff Collections for 2008 for the University, and will reduce those ratios wherever possible.
53.6 Where the University-wide SSR or the SSR targets in any University disciplinary cluster are not maintained, the parties will act in accordance with clause 51 (Workload Management Framework) to ameliorate increased demands on staff time. If SSRs again increase in subsequent years, the parties will take further ameliorative action to address any additional demands on staff time. The sources of the data for assessing compliance with this clause will be the University’s Annual Report and the University disciplinary cluster data that is to be reported annually to Council.
53.7 On 30 June each year, the University will provide the University-wide SSR and the SSR data by University disciplinary cluster to the WAC. The WAC will monitor these SSRs on an annual basis, identify any University disciplinary cluster in which SSRs have increased and any increase in the University-wide SSR and report to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee as a first step.
53.8 For the purposes of clause 53.5 to 53.7, a “University disciplinary cluster” is a cluster of like academic disciplines. The “disciplinary clusters” at the University are (i) Humanities & Social Sciences, (ii) Science, Engineering & Environment and (iii) Clinical Sciences.
54. Flexible working arrangements
54.1 In recognition of the importance of flexible work practices and work/life balance, subject to the approval of their supervisor, staff will have access to flexible working arrangements which may include, but are not limited to:
- the Reduced Working Weeks Scheme in clause 54.3;
- flexible working hours;
- part-time work;
- job-sharing arrangements;
- home-based work in accordance with University policy; and
- such other initiatives as introduced by the University from time to time.
54.2 Except as provided in clause 54.4, the duration of a flexible work arrangement will be as agreed between the staff member and his or her supervisor, subject to operational requirements.
Reduced Working Weeks Scheme
54.3 The Reduced Working Weeks Scheme is available to all full-time and part-time, continuing and fixed term staff who wish to extend their leave options for personal and/or family responsibility reasons. A staff member may apply to reduce his or her current working year by multiples of two weeks up to eight weeks (pro-rata for part time staff), with salary proportionately reduced to fund an increase in additional paid leave over a 52 week period. The self-funded leave models available to a staff member, with agreement from his or her supervisor and subject to operational requirements, are as follows:
|Annual leave||Weeks utilised for Life Balance Leave||Total absence in weeks|
|44 week year||4||8||12|
|46 week year||4||6||10|
|48 week year||4||4||8|
|50 week year||4||2||6|
54.4 Participation in the Reduced Working Weeks Scheme is for a period of one year. Participation each year will be the subject of a separate application and approval process.
54.5 The University will, in any work area where a staff member is participating in the Reduced Working Week Schemes, take reasonable steps to limit the impact on the workloads of other staff by utilising backfill or other appropriate actions.
55. Meal and tea breaks
55.1 No staff member will be required to work more than five hours continuously without a meal break of at least half an hour.
55.2 Morning and afternoon tea breaks each of 10 minutes’ duration (to count as time worked) will be allowed under arrangements acceptable to the University. In order to maximise operational and personal flexibility, local work areas may agree to vary the timing of meal and tea breaks.