Uni Newcastle agreement offer: good for casuals but union not buying on pay

University of Newcastle proposes increasing superannuation for casual staff to 17.5 per cent, what continuing employees across the uni system receive – 7 per cent higher than the national norm

It is another potential enterprise bargaining break-through in the long-running union campaign to improve conditions for casuals, particularly academics.

It follows Western Sydney U and Australian Catholic U’s enterprise bargaining commitments to create continuing jobs. Uni Newcastle also raises the possibility of creating some continuing jobs for casual academics.

But the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union say management’s wage offer does not rate

The university wants a two year enterprise agreement, rather than industry-standard three, citing short-term economic uncertainty, and is offering a 3 per cent per annum wage rise, plus an unspecified bonus before Christmas.

Which the NTEU says is below inflation and “unacceptable,” “offensive” and “irresponsible,” (it) “will considerably affect the university’s ability to recruit and retain staff in an increasingly competitive workforce.” The union’s national leadership calls on all universities to provide a wage rise of 15 per cent across three year agreements.

“Earlier this year Uni Newcastle announced a record surplus. The uni can clearly afford a proper pay rise as well as deliver on job security and safe and healthy workloads,” union branch president Dan Conway says.