Hard times or not so much at Uni Wollongong

The union thinks things are getting better – which would be good for staff

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union thinks UoW’s financial position is improving and asks for answers to recent questions put to management under the terms of a COVID-19 savings agreement last year (CMM August 2).

“The idea that UOW has shown no significant improvement in its financial position since the beginning of the pandemic belies the effectiveness of financial decisions made to achieve financial sustainability,” National Tertiary Education Union branch president Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, writes management.

Apart from affection for the university there’s a reason why the union wants to hear good news about the books.

In the enterprise agreement variation agreed at the depth of the COVID-19 crisis (Mk One) the union agreed to a delay on pay rises due on November 15 2020 and 15/11/21 until February 2022, “due to the reductions in revenue and financial uncertainty.” Unless after a year UoW’s “financial position has significantly improved,” in which case, the university is required to talk to the union about ending savings provision early.

Which the NTEU thinks should occur now.

“Management benefits from this by shifting the narrative of Uni Wollongong from one where there has been no significant improvements (in spite of all the sacrifices and cuts) to one where remedial actions and sacrifices have produced real outcomes. The dire predictions of 2020 have not come to pass,” Professor Probyn-Rapsey writes.

Which leaves UoW management to either agree or explain that the books are still in such bad shape that all the pain has not been enough.