The enterprise bargaining negotiations at the University of Queensland that began in 1848 are still not sorted. Most matters are settled, with one of the big still outstanding ones being an increase in the span of hours in which admin staff can work a standard shift, (CMM May 11). The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union claims that management is disengaging from negotiations. “Recent meetings scheduled by management have been for drafting or for short periods, making genuine progress difficult.” And now, the comrades complain, “management have failed to schedule a further bargaining meeting.”
A couple of weeks back it looked to CMM as if Provost Aidan Byrne was getting his industrial ducks in a row, preparatory to putting an offer to staff without NTEU support. He certainly emailed the university community with word of the union-agreed pay rises they will receive if they approve an agreement.
It still looks like ducks are being lined up. Yesterday the university said; “despite the university offering a major compromise to its position in relation to ‘span’, union representatives have not given this compromise due consideration: other issues which we thought had been agreed are also being questioned. Given that we have been negotiating for more than a year, the university is keenly aware of the obligation it has to all UQ staff to finalise this process so they can realise the benefits of the new agreement.”
Union members will go out for two hours, from 7.30 this morning. Hardly time to build a decent barricade.