That’s not a gauntlet, this is a gauntlet!

With enterprise bargaining stalled at James Cook U management and union are laying down challenges  

At JCU the university says it’s pay offer (which it did not detail yesterday) is “fair and reasonable” given it is based on the federal government’s funding index. Plus it is offering “generous entitlements.” DVC Services and Resources Tricia Brand says, after 41 meetings, “we want staff to have their say on the proposed enterprise agreement.”

Yesterday the university told CMM “We have asked the unions for their written feedback on the updated enterprise agreement that we produced on the back of negotiations Tuesday, and we have asked for their support for the proposed enterprise agreement to be put to staff so they can have their say.”

Last night the NTEU replied that members had resolved to “campaign against any push for a non-union agreement, and force management back to the negotiation table.”

Management’s refusal to schedule another bargaining meeting and their indication that staff should be asked to vote on an agreement that contains an insulting pay offer has only strengthened the resolve of our members to escalate our industrial action,” union branch president Jonathan Strauss said.

Dr Strauss called the university’s “6.6% pay offer by 30 June 2021” “cut-price” compared to the 10 per cent agreed at neighbouring CQU.

The union promises, at this stage, low-level stop works.

This is a bigger deal than it may seem. If the university does put its offer to a vote and loses the cost of a deal will inevitably increase. However if the proposal is supported by staff the union’s standing on campus will take a big hit.