Griffith U academics reject management offer

Professional staff voting supported the university’s proposal for an enterprise agreement for them. Academics didn’t

Some two thirds of professional staff voting backed management’s offer on wages and conditions but academics rejected the offer to them by a similar margin – the two groups have separate enterprise agreements

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union campaigned hard against both proposals, arguing in particular there was a lack of detail on academic workloads and how to set them, including for casual staff, and opposing variations to the free speech protections in the 2017 agreement (CMM December 9).

In a message to staff yesterday VC Carolyn Evans said the university would take professional staff approval to the Fair Work Commission for ratification of their agreement.

There is nothing to stop management making changes to its offer and putting it to academic staff again without NTEU endorsement, but Professor Evans says negotiations will re-start. She adds the university will, “engage with academic colleagues to help determine which elements of the agreement you have the most significant concerns about.”

This is the second split staff vote in as many years at Griffith U. In August 2020 professional staff voted for a pandemic emergency measure, involving a pay rise freeze and temporary cuts to conditions in return for reducing involuntary redundancies. However a small majority of academics voting opposed the offer and it was accordingly pulled. “It would simply be unfair and inconsistent with Griffith’s values to have one group of staff receiving pay increases while the other did not,” Professor Evan said then, (CMM August 20.