Uni Newcastle pay proposal: suddenly a harder sell

A second union is ‘agin it – the vote is on this week

The Community and Public Sector Union is calling on staff to vote against the agreement. NSW assistant state secretary Troy Wright emailed members first thing yesterday, urging them to reject the offer, which includes a 9.5 per cent pay rise across the agreement.

“Fifteen months ago when bargaining commenced salaries ranked as one of the concerns of lower importance for our members. But bargaining has taken place simultaneously with one of the worst periods of inflation our country has experienced,” he states.

This is bad news for Uni Newcastle management – the National Tertiary Education Union is campaigning hard against the offer but until now the CPSU has not taken a high-profile position, (CMM (December 6) could not contact branch officials at Uni Newcastle last week).

While a substantial majority of staff are not union members many will likely listen to the comrades on questions of conditions.

University managements can win staff votes when the unions are split – but not often when there is a unity ticket on voting no.