The University of Canberra’s plan to save on professional staff costs to spend up on academics has hit a snag, with the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union notifying a dispute over what it claims is management’s failure to consult.
The university’s wants to pay out just about everybody who puts up their hand but is adamant that this is not a redundancy scheme. “No positions have been identified as excess to requirements and no positions will be made redundant through the voluntary separation package, management tells (CMM February 26).
But if no roles are redundant surely the people who stay will have to pick up the work of the people who go. “By any reasonable measure, the effect of the voluntary separation program will require significant substantial organisational change given the turnover of staff, redeployments, a net reduction in staff and consequently significant workload implications for supervisors and staff who do not accept a separation package,” the union’s Rachel Bahl argues.
She adds staff and union reps “have been presented with a process regarding voluntary separations but no information or opportunity to either provide input or to influence the process for the resulting staffing and workload implications, despite the university determining that workload priorities will be completed, transitioned or prioritised differently during the notice period of employees who accept the VSP.” This she says, is in breach of the university’s enterprise agreement.