RMIT University Academic and Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2014

16. Workloads

16.1 Workload Principles Applying to Academic and Professional Staff


Workloads will be realistic, reasonable, transparent and manageable.


Full time workloads can be achieved in the equivalent of a 36-hour week over 46 weeks a year (52 weeks of the year, less authorised leave and University holidays). This amounts to 1656 hours.


Staff will not be required to work excessive or unreasonable hours.


Work allocation for a staff member will be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the staff member in accordance with the provisions of this clause.


Staff and managers must participate in a professional and cooperative way in the workloads allocation and workplanning processes.


For Professional Staff, hours of work are subject to the provisions of clause 63.


Staff are able to raise and have properly considered legitimate issues relating to their work allocation.

16.2 Academic Workload Framework


This sub-clause does not apply to professional staff or casual academic staff.


Within the annual 1656 hours, the University will ensure that:

a) academic staff members will normally have a minimum of 30% of their workload each year in which to undertake a combination of research, scholarship and professional activities resulting in outcomes that are specified in their approved workplan. This is equivalent to 14 weeks a year for a full-time workload.

b) academic staff members will normally not be required to:

i. teach in more than 24 weeks over a 12-month period, unless either:

a) it is agreed by the employee; or

b) it has been directed by the manager in the case where the employee did not substantially achieve the outcomes agreed in their previous year's workplan.

ii. teach more than four consecutive hours without a break.

c) academic staff members will not be required to:

i. coordinate more than three courses per semester.

ii. commence teaching within ten hours of the conclusion of a teaching session, or other directed duties, conducted on the previous day.

d) class size for tutorials, seminars and laboratory groups will be reasonable taking into account such factors as the nature of the activity, safety requirements, and availability of teaching facilities.

e) level A academic staff will not have sole responsibility for the design and delivery of courses.

16.3 Academic Workload Model Committees


This sub-clause does not apply to professional staff or casual academic staff.


An Academic Workload Model Committee, which includes relevant academic managers and elected staff representatives, will be established to oversee the timely development of an Academic Workload Model in each school or discipline area, which must be consistent with this Agreement.


The process of developing these models will ensure that:

(a) Relevant documentation is open to scrutiny and discussion and review by all affected staff.

(b) An Academic Workload Model is in place by the end of November in the preceding year.

(c) Copies of each Academic Workload Model will be readily available to staff affected.


The University will ensure that academic managers and supervisors are aware of the requirements in relation to managing and allocating workloads and that academic staff are advised of the work allocation provisions of this Agreement.

16.4 Academic Workload Models


This sub-clause does not apply to professional staff and casual academic staff.


Relevant managers in consultation with staff will ensure that each particular school or discipline area has a published Academic Workload Model reflecting the requirements of this clause.

The academic employee’s workload will be established in accordance with the appropriate Academic Workload Model.


The Academic Workload Model will conform with the Academic Workload Framework provisions of this clause and will require supervisors to:

(a) ensure that academic staff members have sufficient and reasonable time to perform their allocated activities, whether in:

i. Teaching and teaching related activities;

ii. Research, scholarship and professional activities; and

iii. Leadership and administration.


The Academic Workload Model will:

(a) be clear and transparent.

(b) be based on a fair estimate of the required time to perform teaching and teaching related tasks at a professional standard.

(c) address the following teaching-related elements where relevant:

i. preparation of teaching materials for face-to-face, online and other modes of delivery;

ii. unit and course development, including online, off-campus and offshore learning materials;

iii. Delivery of lectures, tutorials, lectorials and studio sessions in face-to-face, online and other modes;

iv. Delivery of laboratory classes, practicums, studio, performance and clinical sessions;

v. Community-based teaching;

vi. Supervision of honours and post-graduate projects;

vii. Supervision of undergraduate coursework projects;

viii. Preparing, marking, moderation of student assessment, including the preparation of marking schemes, marking guides or rubrics;

ix. Student consultation related to learning by whatever mode;

x. Course and program coordination and administration, including active participation in Course Assessment Committees, Course Management Teams and Program Assessment Boards, as required;

xi. Program and course development, student placements, field work and educational study tours;

xii. Professional development activities relevant to teaching;

xiii. Any other duties which manifestly constitute teaching or teaching-related activities.

(d) enables the allocation of teaching and teaching-related duties such that the academic employee’s research targets specified in their approved workplan can be achieved in the hours of work specified at clause 16.1.2. The individual’s research targets will be informed by factors including but not limited to:

i. the academic employee’s previous three years research output.

ii. the need for early career academic staff to establish an appropriate research record.


Academic Expectations and Development version 2, 8 March 2013 or any replacement will be used to guide workplanning discussions. No expectations in this or other similar documents will be used as default targets imposed without discussion. Supervisors are expected to exercise judgement about individual research expectations and to take experience and discipline-specific differences into account when discussing annual targets and professional development requirements.


An academic employee who is enrolled for a research higher degree in a field associated with their work will be allocated, within their workplan, a proportion of time to undertake such studies, provided that their research higher degree supervisor certifies that adequate progress has been made.

16.5 Individual Workplans for Academic and Professional Staff


This sub-clause does not apply to casual staff.


Each employee’s workload will be reflected in an annual workplan which will take into account factors including but not limited to:

(a) The work plan of the employee’s work unit, and reasonable expectations of the employee’s contribution to that plan.

(b) The identification of professional developmental needs which may be required to assist in the employee’s individual contribution to the work group’s performance plan, and which facilitates the employee’s career development consistent with the needs of the employee’s work group and/or the University.

(c) The employee’s position classification standard and/or position description.

(d) The working hours specified in this agreement.

(e) The employee’s leave plans.

(f) The University's commitment to providing opportunities for staff to work in a family friendly environment and balance work-life commitments.

(g) Any responsibilities undertaken by the employee and sanctioned by the University such as duties associated with an elected representative role eg. on College or University-wide committees or approved volunteer activities eg. First Aid Officer, Health and Safety Representative or Fire Warden.

(h) For academic staff, the Academic Workload Model.


Performance reviews are an associated process designed to ensure alignment of work outcomes with workplace planning and wider University objectives, which must be based on a reasonable allocation of work to staff.


Academic staff employed in a research position in accordance with sub clause 11.1.2 k) may undertake activities other than research subject to the provisions of the project funding arrangements and agreement with their supervisor.

16.6 Workload Dispute Resolution Process


Where staff are concerned that there is inconsistency between the principles outlined in this clause and their individual workload or the relevant Academic Workload Model, they may pursue this concern either individually or through their representative, by:

a) raising the issue with the relevant manager.

b) where appropriate, referring concerns to the relevant Executive Director or Pro Vice-Chancellor.

c) where the issue remains unresolved, referring the matter to the Agreement Implementation Monitoring Committee for recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or nominee for decision.

d) where the employee is unsatisfied with the resolution reached by the processes referred to above the employee may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission for resolution.


A dispute arising solely or partially under this clause may not be resolved by way of clause 22 of the Agreement until the parties have first attempted to resolve the dispute by using steps a) to c) of this sub-clause.

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