UNSW says no to accord

Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs and Provost Anne Simmons say it would constrain the university, “given the scale of the financial pressures we are facing”

In a Friday message to staff they expected a loss “up to” $600m this year, “with your help we have made good progress in addressing the 2020 shortfall through a combination of non-wage savings and using our reserves.”

But they reminded the community that there were possible losses of $450m both next year and in 2022, adding these are management’s focus.

As such the proposed national trade-off of temporary cuts for wages and conditions in return for job protection over the next 12 months does not meet UNSW’s needs, they said.

“We are concerned about being constrained in making important decisions about managing the implications of COVID-19 over the next year. Given the scale of the financial pressures we are facing, we cannot pursue the proposal.”

Jacobs and Simmons spelt out what these pressures would mean; “we will continue to explore ways to minimise the number of job losses required to effectively address our financial situation.”