Deakin U staff knock management back 

After university and union agreed negotiations stalled the university put an offer direct to staff – and nearly two-thirds of those who turned out voted no

This is a substantial win for the National Tertiary Education Union, the 62 per cent no vote would make management putting another offer without union support a big ask. The university is not releasing how many staff voted, which may mean there was a big turn-out.

As to what happens now, VC Iain Martin told staff yesterday, “we will now take the necessary time to consider the result and our next steps.”

DU has already paid wage increases of 5.25 per cent since the formal expiry of the 2107 agreement and offers 9 per cent over ’23-25. But with the NTEU setting a national benchmark of 15 per cent for new agreements, nine per cent going forward is the number staff will focus on.

So, if management does return to the table it will have to come up with something on pay and  concessions on some of the union’s other claims, which include casual conversion for academic staff and working from home for professional workers.

Unless it intends to dig-in. Chief People Officer Stacey Walton warned staff during the ballot last week, that a no vote, “does not mean a better agreement will be reached,” (CMM April 28).

To make the point, at least for now, the three extra days off in management’s offer won’t happen. Deakin U staff will have to front up on the first, the June 12 King’s Birthday Holiday.