Did you know? Explainer on Overtime and Workload at CIT

AEU ACT Industrial Officer, Garrett Purtill, explains how the current CIT Enterprise Agreement helps address workload issues faced by members at CIT.

AEU members at CIT have long lamented that workload is their number one burden and this issue featured heavily in negotiation of the current CIT Enterprise Agreement. At the bargaining table, we succeeded in convincing CIT that overtime had to be addressed and that teacher workload had to be re-assessed. There are now a number of provisions in the Agreement that it’s useful to be aware of. 


Teacher overtime is now limited to 20 hours per calendar year (down from 70 hours) unless the Chief Executive has given prior approval.

A major purpose in lowering the limit is to remind us all that ‘the purpose of overtime is…to deal with short-term and unforeseen demands’ (Clause 22.1), not to become a routine response to on-going resource shortages.

But it doesn’t end there. Where (approved) overtime exceeds the 20 hour limit, it will prompt a review (which is triggered to by request for approval) to determine what action should follow. The point of this clause is to keep everybody honest. Unapproved overtime is a donation to the employer.

In 2014, overtime nearly halved (compared with 2013, 2012 & 2011) in advance of the commencement of the decrease in overtime from 70 to 20 hours.

Reducing workload

The second string of the attack on workload has just begun with an assessment of whether teachers should be performing 15 tasks explicitly listed in the current Agreement. The 15 items were identified by teachers in focus groups held in October 2013 as tasks they did not consider to be either teaching load or ancillary to teaching load.

At clause 25.5 the current Agreement reads:

In acknowledgement of the CIT Teacher Workload Focus Groups conducted in 2013, CIT agrees to commence examining, within 12 months from the commencement of this Agreement, whether or not the below tasks should be dealt with by teaching staff:

  • Following up non fee paying students
  • Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Collecting & analysing student
  • Feedback
  • Marketing
  • Curriculum development
  • Enrolment
  • Purchasing
  • Maintenance
  • Organising industry placements
  • Risk management
  • Credit transfers
  • Teacher contracts
  • Updating training plans
  • Set up & disassembling
  • Technology interfacing

This assessment is a joint exercise between CIT HR & AEU members and will be completed by the end of 2015 for implementation at the commencement of the 2016 teaching year.

Working contribution forms

Both overtime and workload are held together by ‘working contribution’ which appears at clause 19 of the current Agreement. Working contribution is the addition of:

  • teaching load (as described at clause 20.2– approximately 20hours)
  • plus preparation & planning work ancillary to teaching load (as described at clause 20.4  - approximately 10 hours)
  • plus non-teaching time of 6.75hours

This adds up to a total working contribution of 36.75 paid hours per week.

As is now familiar, at the beginning of each semester teachers sit down with your Head of Departments and sign off on a working contribution form. This form identifies ordinary hours, reductions (for recognition of coordination time), professional learning and overtime (both actual & potential) and can prevent a lot of argument later.

Where to from here

To the extent that overtime is worked, it will trigger a review by Human Resources to ensure it is meeting a short term and unforeseen demands (rather than being produced by a sub-optimal allocation of resources).

The workload review will determine how the teacher identified non-teaching tasks will be done and by who in 2016.

Working contribution is the sum of teacher hours of work. Like anything else, paper trail is everything. If you need support in regard to a meeting around your working contribution form, contact the AEU office on 6272 7900 or at   

Find out more

More detail on all of these topics can be found in the:

ACT Public Sector Canberra Institute Of Technology (Teaching Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2013 - 2017

See particularly Clause 19 ‘Working contribution and overtime’ (p.22); Clause 22 ‘Overtime’ (p.27) ; and Clause 25 ‘Managing teacher time and workloads’ (p.30).

Log in to update your membership details and access member­only news and information