Unionists at the University of Western Australia have decisively backed a management proposal for COVID-19 savings, including postponing an enterprise agreement pay-rise and staff purchasing additional leave (CMM June 9)
The deal was negotiated by the university with the National Tertiary Education Union state and campus leadership and is endorsed by 78 per cent of its members in a ballot. The proposal will now go to all UWA staff in a vote to vary the university’s enterprise agreement and is expected to pass – university electorates generally trust the judgement of union member on issues of pay and conditions.
This is a win for Vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander who personally vouched for the need for savings, “I give you my word that I am confident that the financial situation is extremely precarious and cannot go on unchecked,” she told the campus community. Professor den Hollander is also one of four VCs who negotiated a draft national accord with the federal NTEU on temporary cuts in wages and conditions in return for job-protections.
Monash VC supported by thumping majority of union members
With Professor den Hollander, Monash VC Margaret Gardner was another of the four VCs who negotiated a national plan for savings with the federal leadership of the National Tertiary Education Union. Her version of the plan was released early this month with approval by union members a pre-condition for an all-staff vote, (CMM June 11).
This was in some doubt, with the campus NTEU leadership not getting involved. There is “no formal branch position on the Monash jobs protection proposal. We support the right of all branch members to decide,” branch president Ben Eltham told CMM (CMM June 12).
But doubt is dispelled, with 83 per cent of NTEU members voting backing the deal Friday.
It now goes to an all-staff vote today week.
Professor Gardner says savings including deferring an enterprise agreement pay rise, and staff purchasing five-days leave will save 190 jobs.