Murdoch management calls for renewed talks with union

The university says it hopes to resume negotiations with the union

Murdoch University management wants negotiations with the National Tertiary Education Union, ahead of a decision by the Fair Work Commission on the uni’s application to cancel the now expired, but still in force, enterprise agreement (CMM July 24). The two sides have not met to discuss a deal since April.

“We have attempted on many occasions to arrange subsequent meetings with the union. Unfortunately, to date both parties have been unable to meet and we hope to resume our ongoing bargaining shortly,” MU management told staff Friday.

However, the university also hopes the FWC will decide in its favour, which would, “help reset negotiations with the NTEU from a more workable starting point.” This outcome would mean negotiations would be based on the higher education industry award, which specifies pay and conditions less generous than those that now apply at Murdoch.  Provost Andrew Taggart says the university will maintain take home pay and “key benefits” under the old deal for six months after any FWC decision to cancel it.

“We need to find new ways of running our university so that it is viable in the long term, whilst maintaining academic excellence and delivering quality teaching.”

The university says there will “engagement sessions, to ensure our people are fully informed about enterprise bargaining,” in the coming weeks.

Good-oh, but talking is not signing and a deal is unlikely before the FWC judgement, which will leave the winning party in a very strong position and word is both sides expect to win.