At the University of Queensland, VC Peter Hoj has congratulated staff for a big Orientation effort. “If this month has seemed more frenetic than previous Februaries, it is not because we are getting older, the heat and humidity have been intense, and classes started a week earlier than usual. No, it is because staff across the university have mustered their creativity and piloted an extended orientation period for new students.”
Good-o but learned readers suggest a mass of fresh faces on campus early is not the problem for those professional staff, who are doing it tough as they work with new structures and operating systems but with fewer people. That some service-staff are cheesed-off with bearing the burden of change may well explain why a new enterprise agreement is taking longer than widely expected. And it might be why union members are holding out for “a net improvement in the job security package” and “no diminution” of protections now codified in staff discipline processes. While there seems to be room for management to move on their third demand (more money) it may not be enough for rank and file unionists to settle without these two.