As widely expected, union and management have reached agreement at Edith Cowan U. The university will pay staff a 1.5 per cent increase in January 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2021, with $1600 cash payments next January and in 2020. According to the National Tertiary Education Union, the cash components translate into higher per centage increases for junior employees, with the package worth 8 per cent for staff at the lowest academic grade, compared to 4.9 per cent for a professor at the highest. For HEW One administrators the rise amounts to 10.1 per cent, compared to 5.6 per cent for a HEW Ten staffer.
This is good news for both union and management. With every deal done the union demonstrates how reasonable it is and there is no need for managements to dig in for big bargaining blues. And ECU saves itself a bargaining process that can take many months and is exhausting as it is unpleasant. One the detail is sorted the two sides will recommend the agreement to staff in a vote.
The union has conceded (as it has at other universities) simpler processes for managing misconduct and “streamlined” change management, but these are relatively minor concessions compared to ideas of agreements, with a mass of procedural detail deleted, which higher education industrial relations strategists were hoping for at the start of the year.