Pandemic, policy, prudence: VCs assure staff on the Tehan plan

With Monash U staff voting today on a proposal to defer a pay rise to protect jobs the vice chancellor addressed the government’s new funding plan

“I know that many of you will be anxious about its implications for your employment in these very difficult times, as well as for the quality of education and research in the future,” Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner told staff in Friday evening message.

Professor Gardner assured staff that existing public funding will continue and that the university’s proposal holds. This includes staff agreeing to deferring an agreed pay rise and purchasing extra leave in return for protecting 190 of 467 jobs at risk from COVID-19 cuts.

But beyond that; “there will be many changes to be dealt with in the months ahead, above the very many with which we are already grappling,” she said.

Professor Gardner warned the government will require CSP funding and student contributions must both go to “their education only.” The federal budget, she said has to address the cost of research which is not now covered by funding specifically allocated to it.

And she wants the government to contribute more to the cost of a CSP for all students, which will not now be the case in law, economics, business and HASS. “This matter of equitable contributions to education, as with research funding, are ones on which action is needed.”

“We must cleave to what matters for the future of our society and our environment – and we must do so most particularly now when it seems most difficult to do so,” she says.

At Uni SA David Lloyd tells staff prudence is protection

 The vice chancellor reminded staff Friday that a prudent financial approach had made it possible to pay the enterprise agreement salary increase.

As to the government’s new plan, management will work out what it means and respond, prudently.

Time will tell what impact the proposed reform actually has on demand or enrolment patterns. In a year with so much turbulence, this is just one more consideration for us to have front of mind as we model our possible futures.”

And, in-line with his earlier response to COVID-19 financial losses, – “we’ve got this,” (CMM April 20) Professor Lloyd adds that whatever emerges from the government’s new model; “we are pretty good at holding space for alternate futures.”