QUT staff back COVID-19 savings

It’s a big win for management and the campus unions     

The vote to vary the university’s enterprise agreement was carried by 90 per cent of professional staff voting (turnout 49 per cent) and 88 per cent of academics (turnout 37 per cent).

They voted for a proposal including * postponing the next 2 per cent pay rise, until December 2021 * no leave loading for 18 months * staff taking leave over Christmas this year and next.  In return for staff concessions, management committed to * no forced redundancies until June * management continuing superannuation contributions and * available staff retraining.

The university agreed to an independent committee, including union representatives, over-sighting its financial position which made it easier for the comrades to recommend a savings deal to members and the broader university community.

This is a good outcome for QUT. It makes managing the $100m COVID-19 shortfall it faces this year somewhat less daunting and allows Vice Chancellor Margaret Sheil to work on a restructure for the new times without the distraction of a savings brawl.

“The vote outcome reflects and reinforces the positive feedback I have received directly from many staff in support more generally on the course QUT is charting through these challenges. Staff feedback continues to be an integral part of this process, “ Professor Sheil tells staff.

Professor Sheil thanks the two campus unions and the university’s HR team, for negotiating the agreement.

It is also an achievement for the National Tertiary Education Union, demonstrating to other Queensland vice chancellors what a deal can deliver. “By working together, we have put QUT staff and their institution in the best possible position to weather the 2021 COVID-19 crunch,” state secretary Michael McNally says.

Attention now turns to Griffith U which is putting a savings proposal to a staff vote that is opposed by the union (CMM July 28, July 29)