How VU wants to manage staff cuts

The university says concessions from staff can reduce redundancies

Vice Chancellor Peter Dawkins warned the university workforce yesterday that VU could have to cut “about” 190 FTE over the next 18 months, to repair COVID-19 caused losses. But staff agreeing to “an enterprise agreement variation” could reduce the cut to “no more than 100 FTE,” which “we hope will be possible through a voluntary separation program and other balanced employment related mitigations.

Professor Dawkins did not spell out what in the EA would need varying, but last week mentioned talks with the National Tertiary Education Union on a job protection framework. (CMM August 6). He said yesterday that, “I will let you know you, as soon as possible, if we think that an enterprise agreement variation is going to be achievable.”

Given outcomes at universities across the country, an agreement with the NTEU national leadership, using its job protection framework seems possible. Problem is, a meeting of VU union members on Friday voted against any agreement that constrains conditions and stops pay rises (CMM August 10). These are generally these are the basis of job protection accords.