Enterprise bargaining at Victoria U did not run live on TV wrestling, but it was a long and painful process. Now both sides want it over
University management and the National Tertiary Education Union, agree on terms and both are keen for staff to sign-off.
The union provides staff with a comprehensive guide to its wins and concessions. Overall the deal is consistent with outcomes across the country on pay, – and the response to some changes management pushed for are in-line with the federal union strategy. For example, while committee review of most disciplinary matters is gone, it is replaced with an independent person acceptable to the union. And sackable misconduct matters will still be reviewed by a committee including union representation.
University management wrote to staff Friday also making the case for the agreement, which it says, “will ensure VU continues to be a great place to work, study and grow.”
Both university and union point to a one-off $1000 signing-bonus (pro-rata for none FT staff), which alarms a Learned Reader who suggests it looks like vote-buying. It does but it isn’t, giving people cash up-front which management budgeted for but did not want to build into pay scales – VU is by no means alone in offering such.
In any case, VU voters make up their own minds. They twice rejected management proposed/union opposed bargaining offers in this round. But approval-ratings in a staff survey shows they have bought-into the university’s transformative plans.
With strong support from union and management, adoption of the agreement seems likely (voting runs next Monday-Wednesday) But staff saying no again would be a smack-down for both VU and NTEU leaders – and one more painful than the TV wrestling kind.