Back to bargaining at Deakin U

Deakin U’s Stacey Walton tells staff enterprise bargaining is on again

While Mrs Walton does not mention it, bargaining with the National Tertiary Education Union was delayed when management put an offer to the university community that the union vehemently opposed and was rejected by 62 per cent of staff voting (CMM May 2).

Prior to the vote she warned, “a ‘no’ vote means there will be considerable delay before you have an opportunity to engage with any further agreement. There is also no guarantee that a revised agreement would maintain the significant level of proposed uplifts and increases,” (CMM April 28 2023).

But things do not seem so bleak now,  at least not for sessional staff hoping for some sort of employment security. Mrs Walton specifically mentions “exploring potential conversion opportunities.”

What she doesn’t raise is pay – the university’s last offer was three increases of three percent through to March 2025, which the union’s Piper Rodd called “grossly inadequate” (CMM April 17).

Mrs Walton also announces most staff will now not have to work on Monday’s holiday honouring His Britannic Majesty’s birthday – the day-off was part of management’s previous proposal but was pulled when staff voted no.

The focus on a long-weekend puzzles some academic staff – it falls in the mid-semester break when people are flat-out marking. “Given the lack of time to take a substantial block of leave, most people just want more money for what they do,” one says.