Union leadership lines-up support for job-saving negotiations with VCs

With no hope (at best) of a government picking-up a proportion of HE salaries the impetus increases for a universities-union agreement on cutting staff conditions to save jobs

Vice chancellors are starting to mention the possibility. And the federal leadership of the National Tertiary Education Union has the numbers, certainly at a national level.

NTEU national council has backed a proposed a jobs protection framework.  The proposal is for time-limited concessions including, on pay-rises and promotions, management directions on leave and working other duties. In return the union wants managements to commit to “restrictions on compulsory redundancies,” first-offer protections for existing/recent casuals, among other protections and guarantees.

The big union ask is “no stand-downs without pay. Where a stand down must occur, minimum living wages to be maintained.” Perhaps this was proposed before the Treasurer excluded almost all universities from JobKeeper, (by excluding government grants from the revenue loss test).

Members of the union’s national council meeting on the proposal voted 85 per cent in favour.

However, there is opposition at branch level, notably at RMIT and the universities of Melbourne and Sydney.