Murdoch U moves on enterprise bargaining

Michelle Narustrang has left Murdoch University. Earlier this month the Fair Work Commission dismissed her bullying case (CMM January 19).

In an unrelated move, the university has also changed membership of its enterprise bargaining team. Word from the west is that university leadership has had it with a hard-line enterprise bargaining approach. Last year Murdoch U won Fair Work Commission approval to cancel wages and conditions under the previous agreement. Management has not done it but the power to did not go done well with all staff nor did it lead the National Tertiary Education Union to budge. Late last year VC Eeva Leinonen said she wanted a deal by Christmas, which did not happen.

Previously fixed management positions on discipline processes, academic workloads and conditions fixed term contracts are now more flexible. “As we resume negotiations this year, I wanted to let you know that the university is prepared to re-examine some key issues that remain unresolved. In the interests of progressing towards reaching an agreement, we are open to making further changes on these issues,” Chief Operating Office Darren McKee told the chancellor, vice chancellor and eighteen senior staff in a Monday email.

Murdoch management needs a deal. The three other three public universities in WA have all reached new enterprise agreements with the NTEU, leaving Murdoch looking the odd uni out.


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