UniMelb and union split over stand-downs

The University of Melbourne wants a codified right in the new enterprise agreement to stand-down professional staff if circumstances beyond its control interrupt, “the normal operation of the university.” The National Tertiary Education Union suggests management is anticipating disruption caused by construction of the new metro. The union also asserts there is no similar proposal for academic staff. This appears to make its point that a separate deal for professional workers, instead of a single agreement, risks reduced conditions for non-academics.

However, bargaining observers suggest the flexible “self-directed” nature of academic work makes it immune to workplace interruption and that while the union draft agreement has extensive coverage of stand-downs for professional staff, academics are not mentioned.

Yesterday the University of Melbourne rejected any connection between its position on stand-downs and the metro.


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