The University of Newcastle enterprise agreement expired on June 30 last year but after 25 meetings, management and the National Tertiary Education Union have not settled on the substance of a new deal. Management wants to remove/reduce detail on how staff discipline and performance matters are dealt with, a management move in negotiations across the country. However, the union likes the existing arrangement of codified conditions.
And two sides not even arguing about money yet. According to the union it is told, “at every turn that wage austerity is required, despite the university’s rude financial health (e.g. accumulated surpluses of $336 million between 2012-2017; over $400 million in cash and investments; record salary growth for senior management).” To which management could reply that its current liabilities exceed current assets and the NSW Audit Office states that if necessary the university could pay current debt by liquidating non-current investments.