The university meant what it said when it promised staff that if they deferred a pay rise due last month, it will be paid in December 202
Staff agreed (just – 51 per cent of the poll on a 59 per cent turn-out) to the delay, along with other COVID-19 savings measures, in an enterprise agreement variation proposed last month (CMM September 21).
But the National Tertiary Education Union, which opposed the EAV argued the wording was such that the university need not deliver the pay rise.
And so off to the Fair Work Commission the parties went, where Commissioner Johns has found the EAV stands.
“I have some sympathy with the NTEU’s interpretation of the Agreement if the Variation is approved. However, there is simply no evidence that James Cook intended to mislead employees voting on the Agreement. All the evidence points to a clear intention by JCU to defer the 30 September 2020 pay rise to December 2021 … it is more a matter of inelegant drafting rather than any sinister sleight of hand by JCU.”