CQU to go it alone on savings plan

CQU says, the NTEU plan “would only provide temporary financial relief while eroding everyone’s staff conditions”

Vice Chancellor Nick Klomp says, “the university executive does not support enforced pay cuts and reduced working hours, which would be by far the biggest contributors to any temporary cost savings.”

The federal leadership of the National Tertiary Education Union and four vice chancellors have proposed an accord for staff at individual universities to accept temporary cuts to wages and conditions in return for job protections.

However, Professor Klomp tells staff  that local branches of the Queensland Teachers Union and Together Queensland, the other two unions at the university “are strongly opposed to the NTEU proposal.”

Informal staff feedback … is overwhelmingly in opposition to the NTEU proposal,” he adds.

“CQU’s workforce is diverse and the university has considered these diverse viewpoints in its decision making.”

The vice chancellor adds CQU “must take decisive action now on our structure and costs, and rapidly move forward, without eroding important employee conditions.” The university will now proceed “with its own recovery plan.”

CQU has accepted 182 applications for voluntary redundancy, but with this and all other savings, observers suggest it is still $25m short of its revenue shortfall this year, (CMM April 22, May 12 and May 19).

NTEU branch president Bruce Young responded to Professor Klomp’s announcement, saying the union had hoped CQU would sign-on to the accord, to ensure job security for staff, “and even get some of our casual and fixed-term staff (who) have lost work back.

“It looks like that will be far more difficult now.”

The university’s “recovery plan” goes to staff Thursday. CQU says that while it will work to keep involuntary redundancies to “a minimum” they will occur.