Union budgeting on a change of government

The university-staff union’s budget submission includes recommendations this government isn’t likely to adopt – but the next one might.

The National Tertiary Education Union wants a range of funding increases in the budget, including; * restoring funding based on the number of students enrolled. * reinstate the Higher Education Grants Index, which covers professional/technical salaries as well as CPI. * increase total public investment in higher education to a minimum 1 per cent of GDP. * increase funding per Commonwealth supported student place by a minimum 10 per cent.

Such calls for cash are standard operating procedure for the union, which the coalition, on existing form, will not agree to. But the bid also sends messages to what may be a more amenable Labor government after the election, especially in the context of the promised review of post-secondary education.

Thus the union calls for;

* a single funding and regulatory system for higher education and VET
* an independent authority to run the post-school system

* increase “total investment” in research and development to 2.5 per cent of GDP
* reversing cuts to competitive grants and block grants

* ending ministerial veto of Australian Research Council grant decisions


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