Unions set manageable conditions on support for Adelaide unis merger

Union members at the University of South Australia have signalled no adamant opposition to the possibility of a merger with the University of Adelaide, now being discussed.  With the UniAdelaide union leadership adopting a similar stance it seems two crucial stakeholders are on-side.

The University of South Australia branch of the National Tertiary Education Union has responded to the merger discussion paper produced by the two universities by focusing on protecting and enhancing staff wages, conditions and job security. Nor does the union reject a merger because it could could cost jobs. Instead it says this should be, “addressed with staff clearly and honestly.”

In particular, the NTEU calls for no compulsory redundancies, measures to assess research performance in the context of teaching loads at UniSA and upgrading positions which are classified at lower pay grades than at UniAdelaide.  There seems a comradely consensus across both universities that the same jobs are sometimes better paid at UniAdelaide.

The union also calls for a new enterprise agreement for any merged institution.

The UniSA union position is largely in-line with that at UniAdelaide, where the NTEU branch says, “it is meeting regularly with management” on the merger.

The union there demands are a specified period without forced redundancies, “genuine” staff and union participation in any merger process, a new enterprise agreement for the super-institution and “clear processes” for creating policies and procedures at a new university.


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