Compare and contrast at two Adelaide unis

More cuts are on the Uni Adelaide agenda

Vice Chancellor Peter Høj gets points for “openness and timeliness” in presenting a proposed new structure to make savings, according to the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union. But union branch president Nick Warner marks management down for focusing on finances, without “any overarching academic vision or guiding principles.”

In particular, he points to cancelling or creating courses “purely on financial terms,” which “does not say what a university degree actually stands for.”

And he reminds members that the last admin restructure caused “much confusion and disruption” – a point not contested by some managers who were there during the process.

Uni Adelaide’s enterprise agreement formally expired in June and word is bargaining is set to start.

In the meantime, Professor Høj proposes new savings, merging five faculties into three, a 130 professional staff position reduction and a review of courses and academic numbers (CMM July 9). Word is that they go to today’s meeting of the university Council.

All this follows 157 voluntary redundancies last year (CMM February 180.

“Go away!” of the day from Uni SA

The times are not as tense at the other end of North Terrace.

Uni SA escaped the COVID 19 crisis last year largely unscathed so enterprise bargaining is underway without the scars of jobs lost and fears of cuts to come.

The National Tertiary Education Union’s log of claims is basically the national set, a pay rise (12 per cent over the agreement), limits on hours, redundancies only when work is gone, plus one which resonates with locals – only one restructure for each staff member per agreement. Management’s reorganisation of teaching delivery and related support services was managed well last year – but the sheer size and scope meant stress and strain for staff.

One union proposal that will likely be argued is what is said to be a management proposal to replace the 17 per cent leave loading (available as either cash or leave) with four days of additional leave, to be taken when management says.

CMM asked the university about this and received a 61 word blather, (quoted in full).

“Uni SA commenced negotiations with the unions for a new enterprise agreement at the end of March this year. We are currently meeting fortnightly and progressively working through a number of the claims tabled by the unions and the university’s priorities. Bargaining continues to be constructive and the university will continue to work with the unions towards achieving a new agreement.”