15. Casual employment

15.1  The University acknowledges the contribution that casual professional staff and sessional academic staff make to the success of the University.

15.2  Where practical, casual and sessional staff will be provided with reasonable access, commensurate with available resources, to University facilities to enable them to perform University work. These include access to the library, email and internet, a working space, and out-of-hours access to the office as appropriate.

15.3  The University agrees to work with nominated union and staff representatives to develop guidelines on sessional staff rates to assist in achieving a more consistent approach to the application of sessional staff salary rates across the University.

15.4  The University supports assisting suitability qualified casual and sessional staff to obtain either part time or full time employment within the University where suitable vacancies arise. Existing casual and sessional staff employed at the time of advertisement of a vacancy in the University will be eligible to apply for such vacancies. Due consideration of the contribution and experience of suitably qualified casual and sessional staff will be given by selection panels when assessing applications for such ongoing full time and part time positions.

15.5  A casual appointment is one where the employee is not appointed on an ongoing basis and is normally required to work an irregular pattern of hours on an intermittent or irregular basis.

15.6  An essential feature of casual appointments is that there is no expectation of continuity of employment and the appointment may be terminated in accordance with clause 55.6 (General notice period).

15.7  A casual staff member will be paid a casual loading of 25% in lieu of all paid leave entitlements, including long service leave.

Employment conditions for sessional academic staff

15.8  The University supports the reasonable inclusion of sessional academic staff in the relevant activities of the University in terms of attending staff meetings and other related academic activities. If attendance at staff meetings and other related academic activities is required the staff member will be paid the hourly rate specified in S2.12 (Other required Academic activity) for such attendance.

15.9  Casual academic staff employed for lecturing, demonstrating and tutoring will:

  • not be responsible for the engagement of other staff;
  • not be required to engage in research duties (for the purpose of this clause preparation for teaching and course/subject development is not regarded as research);
  • only be involved in administration to the extent that is necessary to support their primary teaching related function;
  • not be responsible for the supervision of other staff;
  • not have sole academic or decision making responsibility for the development of an on-line teaching and learning course; and
  • be paid at the rates specified in Schedule 2 (Sessional academic staff salary rates) of this Agreement, which include the loading specified in clause 15.7.

15.10  A casual/sessional academic staff member will not normally be engaged by the University for teaching activities (e.g. lectures, tutorials or demonstrations, including preparation, assessment and marking time) for more than 20 hours per week.

Eligibility for casual sessional staff conversion

15.11  The University supports a reduction in the number of academic sessional positions in order to allow academic sessional staff members who wish to pursue an academic career to seek and obtain a non-casual appointment in a fixed term, continuing (contingent funded) or continuing position. The University undertakes to develop a range of succession planning options for existing academic sessional staff to achieve this goal by providing that:

  • A casual sessional academic staff member will be eligible to have their employment converted to a non-casual appointment if the staff member has been employed on a regular and systematic basis in the same or similar classified position in the same (or a similar) academic organisational unit or equivalent during the preceding 12 months provided that it is reasonably likely that the employment will be ongoing.
  • Existing sessional staff who are also undertaking PhD studies at the University will be given priority for an appointment and where possible will be provided with an opportunity to gain lecturing and research experience and skills.
  • Sessional staff who have expressed an interest in an ongoing academic career will be considered for appointment to a non-casual vacancy prior to the University seeking external applications.

15.12 During the course of the Agreement the parties will explore opportunities to improve future employment prospects for casual sessional academic staff.

Employment conditions for casual professional staff

15.13  A casual, professional staff member may be appointed where the work involves an irregular pattern of hours or is on an intermittent or irregular basis.

15.14.  A casual professional staff member may be appointed where the work involves a regular pattern of hours or is on a regular basis where:

  1. the appointment is to replace a continuing, continuing (contingent funded) or fixed term staff member who is absent from work, in which case the duration of the appointment must not exceed the period of such absence; or
  2. the appointment is to fill a vacancy during a selection process; or
  3. (c) the duration of the appointment is for less than 6 months; or
  4. (d) the number of regular hours per fortnight is less than 14.

15.15. The minimum engagement for a casual, professional staff member is 3 hours except as follows:

Type of staff member Minimum engagement per day
Security officers, building/maintenance workers, tradespersons (other than electricians) grounds/garden workers, pastoral and farm workers 1 Hour
Scribes/note takers, attendants/employees in residential colleges or Halls of Residence
Nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers or nursing consultants
A staff member who has another primary occupation with another employer or the University

15.16  A staff member who is a student (including a postgraduate student), and who is expected to attend the University on the day in question in his or her capacity as a student shall have a minimum engagement of 1 hour.

15.17  Without limiting the scope of this clause, for the purpose of this clause a student will be taken as being expected to attend on any Monday to Friday during the main teaching weeks of the University, other than public holidays.

15.18  In order to meet his or her personal circumstances, a casual staff member may request, and his or her supervisor may agree to an engagement for less than the minimum specified in clause 15.14 (Minimum engagement).

Eligibility for casual professional staff conversion

15.19  A casual, professional staff member will be eligible to apply to have their employment converted to a non-casual appointment if, at or after 30 June 2004, the staff member has been employed on a regular and systematic basis in the same or a similar and identically classified position in the same department (or equivalent), either:

  1. over the immediately preceding period of 12 months and in those immediately preceding twelve months the average weekly hours worked (b)  equalled at least 50% of the ordinary weekly hours that would have been worked by an equivalent full time employee; or
  2. over the immediately preceding period of at least 24 months.

15.20  For the purposes of this provision, occasional and short-term work performed by the staff member in another classification, job or organisational area (or equivalent) shall not:

  1. effect the employee's eligibility for conversion;
  2. be included in determining whether the employee meets or does not meet the eligibility requirements.

15.21  An employee must not be engaged and re-engaged nor have his or her hours reduced in order to avoid any obligation under this provision.

Procedure for casual professional staff conversion to non-casual employment

15.22 The University must not, unreasonably, refuse an application for conversion to non-casual employment. However, it may refuse an application on reasonable grounds. Reasonable grounds include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. the staff member is not eligible to apply for conversion;
  2. the staff member was employed pursuant to clause 14.12 (Employment conditions for casual professional staff);
  3. the staff member is a student, or has recently been a student, other than where his or her status as a student is irrelevant to his or her engagement and the work required;
  4. the staff member is a genuine retiree;
  5. the staff member is performing work which will either cease to be required or will be performed by a non-casual employee, within 26 weeks (from the date of application);
  6. the staff member has a primary occupation with the University or elsewhere, either as an employee or as a self-employed person;
  7. the staff member does not meet the essential requirements of the position; or
  8. the work is ad hoc, intermittent, unpredictable or involves hours that are irregular.

15.23  Whether there are reasonable grounds to refuse conversion will depend upon the entirety of the circumstances in the particular case.

15.24   Subject to clause 15.24 (below) and clauses 15.19 - 15.21 (Eligibility for casual professional staff conversion), casual employment may be converted:

  1. to a continuing or continuing (contingent funded) appointment or to a fixed-term appointment; and
  2. on a full time basis or a part time basis.

15.25  The non-casual appointment will, subject to due consideration of the University's operational requirements and the desirability of offering the staff member work which is regular and continuous, be as consistent as is reasonably practicable with the pattern of work undertaken by the staff member during his or her casual appointment.

15.26  Subject to this clause, the staff member's casual service will not count as service for the purpose of determining or calculating any entitlements except that casual service will be counted for the purpose of determining eligibility for unpaid parental leave in accordance with clause 38 (Parental leave).

Procedures for casual professional staff conversion

15.27  Subject to clauses 15.18 - 15.20 (Eligibility for casual professional staff conversion), the staff member may apply to the University for conversion of his or her casual appointment to a continuing, continuing (contingent funded) or fixed term appointment. The staff member's application for conversion must be in writing. The University must decide to either:

  1. accept the application and offer the staff member a non-casual appointment; or
  2. reject the application.

15.28  The offer of conversion will constitute an offer of a contract of employment and will be consistent with clause 16 (Contracts of employment other than senior management contracts). If the University rejects the application, it must provide the staff member with written reasons for rejecting it.

15.29  A staff member whose application for conversion has been rejected may seek a review of the decision under clause 78 (Review of decisions) within 10 working days of the written notification of rejection.

15.30  A staff member whose application for conversion is rejected is not entitled to apply again within 12 months if:

  1. the staff member has not sought a review of the decision within 10 working days of notification of the rejection of the application for conversion; or,
  2. following the processes provided for in clause 78 (Review of decisions), the decision has been upheld.

15.31  A staff member may apply again within 12 months if the initial rejection was solely based upon the ground set out in clause 15.22 (e) (above), and that ground ceases to apply.

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