Interminable enterprise bargaining

Unions at the University of Wollongong say 20 meetings into enterprise bargaining nothing is agreed and management is, “pursuing proposals that threaten to significantly diminish out rights at work.”

“If management does not swiftly alter its strategy, negotiations are fast approaching the point of break down,” Georgine Clarsen (NTEU) and Sian O’Sullivan (CPSU) warn.

The university replies, that it “is keen to continue progressing negotiations and eagerly awaits tabling of clauses by NTEU representatives.”

Yesterday was perhaps not the best day for the unions to issue their statement, what with them cancelling a meeting today.

But the time bargaining takes is becoming an issue within the NTEU. Michael Thomson (NTEU NSW state secretary) and Colin Long (same for Vic) both argue that enterprise agreements are trial by ordeal.

Which union members at the University of Newcastle are sick of. Bargaining began there 12 months ago and NTEU branch president Tom Griffith says “reasonable claims are yet to be progressed satisfactorily.” Union members have voted to take “low level” industrial action, “in an effort to progress enterprise bargaining,” starting next Wednesday.


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