“More please” on pay from union to Uni Melbourne management

Low-key industrial action set to start

At the end of March, Uni Melbourne reported an operating loss of $104m last year and warned that while there will be a “smaller” deficit this year, management was “mindful” of “rising inflation and increases in the cost of non-discretionary items,” (CMM March 31).

This may have been a message to staff in the context of negotiations for a new agreement.

If it was, the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union was not mindful of management’s mindfulness.

The union put proposals for authorised industrial action to members, who agreed. They start in a low key way, from the end of the week (for example a ban on applying penalties for students late submitting).

Last week management announced a 4 per cent pay rise, ahead of an overall agreement – it may (or may not) be a low-ball base bargaining offer. If three such payments were included for the next agreement it will be outside the 14-17 per cent range that is emerging as industry standard. As it stands, the NTEU says it’s well short.