Griffith University deals union out on pay offer  

Management will put enterprise agreement offers to staff without NTEU endorsement

In a message to staff yesterday Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans stated that an agreement with the National Tertiary Education Union has not been reached and that, “we have heard from many of you that you would like to finalise the enterprise agreements sooner rather than later in order to provide certainty.”

Professor Evans pointed to the university’s offer of a total 12 per cent wage increase by the end of the proposed agreement at end ‘24 , plus one-off cash-payments if staff agree to the offer.

However, the NTEU says a deal cannot yet be done because details on academic workloads are not set out in detail, including what payments for casuals will cover.

Management is clearly confident that it can win the vote, which runs Friday December 9 and Monday the 12th.

“We are also conscious that the NTEU only represents a minority of our staff, and it is important to give an opportunity to all staff to have their say about the university’s offer,” the VC states.

She’s right on union membership – although the common experience at universities across the country is for people who are not members to listen closely to the comrades on wage and conditions. In 2018-19 then management at Victoria U put enterprise agreements the union opposed to staff and lost two votes (CMM February 6 and Feb 20 2019).

Which is probably why the NTEU was quick to warn yesterday, “this deal is not good enough. Staff at Griffith University deserve better. They deserve a real pay rise, secure jobs, and safe workloads.”

While the NTEU has lost recent votes on management proposed enterprise agreements at Charles Darwin U and Southern Cross U, that at Griffith U will be the first test in the present bargaining round of whose advice staff at major metro university will take.

The outcome will be considered very closely by union leaders and university managements across the country.