Western Sydney U staff vote this week on an enterprise agreement proposed by management and the unions on campus. Observers suggest they will endorse it
One reason why is that it looks like being a benchmark for pay rises, 3.35 per cent in October ’23, 2.9 per cent in October ‘24 and 2.6 per cent in March 2025 (CMM July 26). WSU is being quoted by union negotiators at other universities where they want management to offer more.
Another reason is the creation of 150 new FTE jobs, for casual academic staff to convert to continuing employment. This is an achievement making WSU the first university, as far as CMM knows, where management and the National Tertiary Education Union have agreed to something significant to help academics imprisoned in the precariat of sessional contracts. It is said to have taken some bargaining to get done but WSU sets a model for other institutions.
“This is a fantastic, historic achievement by our members. If this were replicated at every university we would see mass decasualisation, alongside mass conversion of casual labour into permanent jobs, right across the sector” then National Tertiary Education Union NSW division (now national) secretary Damien Cahill said when terms were agreed (CMM Juky 26)
Which is another reason why the agreement will likely get up – it was an achievement by locals for locals, a source of some pride at WSU.