QUT will provide a one-off payment to eligible staff but it has nothing to do with enterprise bargaining, which is dragging on. “The bonus payment is entirely separate from any salary increases or adjustments that will be associated with the progress or otherwise of enterprise bargaining. A separate announcement in that respect will be made next month,” Vice Chancellor Margaret Sheil says. The bonus replaces a previous scheme which split a pool among staff who applied or were nominated.
But the union isn’t happy, with National Tertiary Education Union state secretary Michael McNally saying , “NTEU members won’t be fooled by a once–off splash of cash in their pay packet just before Christmas that adds little real value into the future. They know that what really counts is a sustained increase to salary that builds on their rates and compounds into the future. Members also know that real value is added by the successful conclusion of an enterprise agreement.”
However yesterday Professor Sheil told staff that, our intention is not to disadvantage staff if the bargaining process is not concluded. Hence, we will be in a position to make an administrative increase in December 2018, details of which will be provided next month.”
Union member voted this week on taking protected industrial action to move management alone. According to the NTEU, bargaining has been underway for 17 months with the university sticking with demands that would make it easier to retrench staff and reduce committee oversight of unsatisfactory performance decisions. But Professor Sheil says the pace of bargaining has picked up and the university, “is continuing to seek sustainable and practical changes to provide QUT with the flexibility and adaptability to meet our future challenges.”