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How to work in line with the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) in Australia

Find out what some of our Australian university customers are doing to work within the EBA as well as how they're incentivizing ambassadors.

Many of our Australian customers have to work within an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) - a form of collective bargaining, in which wages and working conditions are negotiated at the level of the individual organisations - when managing their ambassador programs.

We also regularly get asked for advice on working with an EBA and still incentivizing your ambassadors, particularly if they are looking to set up a new ambassador program.

So, with that in mind, we spoke with five TAP users/admins to see how they are working with an EBA and how they incentivize their ambassadors. The information in this article was canvassed by interviewing staff from five different universities in Australia. 

Managing ambassador pay and incentivisation

The majority of respondents told us they pay their ambassadors $30-35 per hour and offer their ambassadors the opportunity to work flexible hours. This rate of pay was certainly an incentive to students along with flexibility in working hours, making the ambassador role quite attractive and not only providing an employment opportunity but a flexible one, especially with Covid-19 still a very pressing issue with limited part time work opportunities for onshore international students.

So how do our customers go about managing their ambassadors’ hours?

All surveyed customers said they used the ambassador reporting feature in the admin dashboard, and, in addition, a few also had a supplementary method of recording hours using a spreadsheet. Most customers were also looking at automating this workflow with an HR system or software.

When asked about incentivization, this question had varying responses with some stating that paying their ambassadors more than $30 per hour was incentive enough, whilst other respondents were also including movie tickets or gift card vouchers as a monthly incentive for their top content creators or most engaged ambassadors. One university was paying their ambassadors solely with gift cards and not at an hourly rate, but is moving to a payment system shortly.

Almost all respondents said they would like to engage with their ambassadors more by having gatherings and or meetings with pizza or snacks, but, once again, Covid-19 was unfortunately a barrier for in-person meetings.

Working with an EBA

An EBA is a common part of working with ambassadors at Australian universities, with most EBAs stating students doing work for the university must be paid a minimum casual pay rate. The process of learning what and how an EBA works can be challenging for some admins, and many of our respondents were not sure about what the EBA was when they started.

So let's take a closer look at some top tips when working under an EBA; here’s what our respondents had to say:


Learn about your EBA

If you haven’t been given a full overview about the specifics including pay rates, minimum hours and working conditions, please check with your HR department and request information and guidance

The workings of working hours

Working hours can be interesting, with some respondents describing how their EBA has a three-hour minimum, but if the student is on campus with classes or study, they can use that time on campus as they are not being brought to campus solely for work, which negates that minimum. For example, if a student has to come to campus for a lecture/tutorial then they are already on campus, so can complete one hour of work on that day, keeping working time more flexible and in less restrictive blocks of hours, keeping the flexibility ambassadors enjoy.

Get creative with scheduling

Scheduling ‘shifts’ during working hours may also be a challenge, but again the creative use of scheduling shifts whilst the student is on campus was seen as the best option.

Great group work

If you have the ability to bring in a group of ambassadors, schedule them for a 2-3 hour shift and have them come in to brainstorm ideas and themes for content and/or work on content/FAQ themes. Also a great way to be able to meet with your ambassadors in person and ensure you are all on the same page in terms of campaigns and upcoming events and inclusions for your feed.

To sum up

Managing ambassador pay and incentivization may pose some challenges, especially while working under an EBA, but having a good start by learning about your EBA and putting in some planning should help with ensuring a smoother ambassador experience for all.