At last, a deal at UNE

Rain on campus is not the only good-news at the University of New England

There are signs in the skies that a new enterprise agreement is imminent, ending negotiations that started before the drought started to bite.

Word is that management and campus unions reached terms on substantive issues just before Christmas, with drafting to be settled before professional and academic agreements are put to a staff. Observers suggest votes next month or March.

Whenever they occur they will be the last in the present round of enterprise bargaining – ending particularly tough negotiations at UNE, occurring in the context of long-running disputes over organisational restructures, workloads and conditions. Back in September new VC Brigid Heywood complained to staff that the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, “has chosen to adopt an adversarial form of dialogue through strike action, (which) must be challenged,” (CMM September 19).

The deal looks in-line with other universities, with pay rises of 1.5 per cent, in July ’18 and 2 per cent annual increases backdated to July ’19 and then annually in mid 2020, ’21 and ’22. There are also new provisions for domestic violence leave and fixed term staff will receive 17 per cent in super, the same as continuing workers.

There will also be a, “new hours based academic workload model” next year 2021,” which was the subject of some especially hard talking.