Dewar says the university needs staff to back cuts for jobs accord

Without the proposed union-management accord La Trobe U will require redundancies – and need to borrow to pay for them

Vice Chancellor John Dewar made the case for the accord, to trade temporary cuts in wages and conditions for job protection, in a message to staff yesterday.

His presentation to sstated generating additional savings that reduced this year’s deficit to $10m-$15m, “will protect the rough financial equivalent of 165-300” jobs. A balanced budget could protect 235-470.

He also warned LT U will need to save a further $80m to $110m next year.

“We can guarantee there will be fewer jobs lost with the Australian University Job Protection Framework” the presentation states.

Professor Dewar is one of the four vice chancellors who negotiated the accord with the National Tertiary Education leadership.

NTEU members will vote on the proposal next week, followed by all-staff votes at universities willing to participate. La Trobe U management is the first to declare for the proposal.

As to debt, a university brief for staff reports LT U has maxed out its borrowings, to $170m and warns, “banks are being cautious about any substantial increases in the total debt of the overall university sector.”