It does not think it should pay like it is
Regulator TEQSA has approved the elevation of Avondale College of Higher Education to university college, the first institution to qualify as such under the Higher Education Provider Standards. (CMM September 2). The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency adds that the new UC has “realistic and achievable plans” to meet the criteria for a university in five years.
Avondale’s enterprise agreement has just been approved by the Fair Work Commission, but not without Deputy President Bull asking why some staff should be covered by the post-secondary educational services award rather the higher education industry general staff award. The post-secondary award rate is marginally (around $1.70 an hour for some levels) lower.
Avondale UC submitted, “the employer is not of university status, it provides VET teaching and qualifications, and it provides foundation studies programs in preparation for other higher education qualifications recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework.” The employer also submitted that it has previously used the post-secondary award for two other enterprise agreements which were approved by the commission.
FWC accepted this – so staff will have to wait and hope that university status is confirmed by the time the next EB is negotiated.
CMM put written questions to Avondale on the award, but the college, sorry university college, did not respond.