Charles Sturt U buys time

A third of staff back management’s request for an extra year before it must make them an offer on wages and conditions

Last month management asked staff to extend the existing enterprise agreement by 12 months to give it time to sort out a new strategy (CMM December, 9 and 10). To encourage agreement management promised $1000 for each of the 3270 eligible staff if a vote to extend passed.

The National Tertiary Education Union thought the delay in bargaining beginning for a new agreement was a bad idea indeed. “The sooner we bargain, the sooner we will have stronger protections from retrenchment and overwork,” branch president Helen Masterman-Smith said.

But a majority of CSU staff voting decided to go with the money. The extension was approved by 58 per cent of the poll – although the turnout was 1519, just half of eligible voters, meaning just over a bare quarter of staff eligible to vote back the university’s proposal. While a win is a win, this may be why CSU declined to tell CMM Friday what the numbers were.