A deal at UniMelb: management and union reach new enterprise agreement

Union and management at the University of Melbourne have reached an agreement on working conditions for a new enterprise agreement, including a compromise pay rise.

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union is calling it a win and has called off industrial action scheduled for tomorrow and lifted the ban on Open Day, on Sunday.

Branch president Steve Adams says the union has rebuffed a management push for separate agreements for academic and professional staff and stopped “the removal of academic freedom from the agreement,” (management has long argued the university explicitly protects free speech).

Mr Adams is also claiming wins on objectives the union pursued across the country, notably improved job security for casual and fixed-term staff and improved redundancy provisions. Management’s agreement to extend 17 per cent superannuation to all fixed-contract staff is in-line with bargaining results at other universities.

This is a well-timed win for both sides. Duncan Maskell takes over as VC in October and he may not want to have to settle a stoush he did not start. The union’s deputy vice-president academic Christian Haesemeyer is running for state vice president (academic) on Colin Long’s ticket in the NTEU election, now on. A successful bargaining campaign at UniMelbourne sends a strong signal to voters.

But one thing that interests electors was not announced by the union, Friday – pay rises. CMM hears the deal is 2.09 per cent per annum. In July the NTEU was asking for 2.3 per cent annualised over the agreement and the university was offering 1.7 per cent.


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