Murdoch U makes nice with staff, on its own terms

Murdoch University continues its new make-nice campaign with Provost Andrew Taggart releasing a “plain English” guide to the proposed four-year enterprise agreement. It includes details of pay and conditions, with higher per centage increases going to the lowest paid staff, which the university says is the fair thing to do.

But the university’s fundamental precondition, in place all year, remains; the salary offer is contingent on its proposed workplace changes; “which support our long-term financial sustainability and provide us the flexibility to meet the challenges we face.”

The National Tertiary Education Union fought this long and hard because it ends terms set out in the last agreement. Now the Fair Work Commission has ruled the previous deal no longer applies, management is in a stronger position to negotiate the deal. That it has not gone as hard as it could have on conditions, suggests VC Eeva Leinonen does indeed want what she says, a deal to staff by year end. “The vast majority of staff at Murdoch would not find their lives very significantly affected if this deal came to pass,” a close observer of WA universities suggests.



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