Uni Canberra cuts union out-asks staff to endorse management offer

Union members at the University of Canberra are out for the day – striking over stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations. The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union says management’s offer for a new agreement isn’t on and challenged the university to put it to an all-staff vote.  Which the university did yesterday, telling staff that it would ask them to approve its proposals on wages and conditions.

The university is offering salary rises, plus a bonus and a one-off payment. In common with most universities it commits to increasing fixed term staff (but not casuals) superannuation to 17 per cent. However, the head-line offer does not address workload conditions the union has campaigned on.

Going to a vote like this is high-risk industrial relations. It can work when a university community has had it with union and university bickering over terms and trusts management not to do them in. But if not, proposals go down in screaming heaps – which is what occurred at Victoria U, ( CMM  September 25) when a majority of staff voted on a management proposal and 77 per cent of those who did rejected university offer.

The all-staff vote at the University of Canberra is scheduled for November 8-11, giving management and union plenty of time to settle terms on what staff actually vote on.


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