End of an industrial era at La Trobe U

LT U’s Job Protection Framework ends in June

VC John Dewar advised staff Friday.

This means pay rises on hold since staff approved the JPF last year will now be paid.

The framework was negotiated by Professor Dewar and three other VCs with the National Tertiary Education Union, as a response to the then imminent pandemic-impact last year (CMM May 13 2020). It included a union-management agreed trade-off, temporary cuts to conditions and pay freezes in return for job loss reductions and it included over-sight by union representatives of savings measures.

Professor Dewar declares the JPF a success, “saving at least 225 jobs.”  Plus, “it also gave the university time to prepare strategically for the post-pandemic environment.”

Which is happening now – with the possibility of new cuts to come, to meet management’s expectation that the continuing loss of international student fees will mean 2021 revenue will be $170m below pre-pandemic forecast (CMM February 19).

The JPF allowed a committee with union representative to over-sight temporary measures only, so restructures and retrenchments are  covered by the usual  processes in the LT U enterprise agreement. 

Still, management must have enjoyed the industrial calm while it lasted.