Victoria U offers staff a deal but union says vote no

Victoria U is putting its enterprise bargaining offer to staff this morning, without the endorsement of the National Tertiary Education Union, which is campaigning for a no-vote. This management move sometimes works (Charles Sturt U pulled it off in 2013) but is a big risk (James Cook U lost a vote last year). This may be why VU management has sent staff a glossy setting the benefits of the deal titled, “Working towards our future.”

The univerity offers four annual pay increases, from 1.4 per cent this year to 2 per cent in 2021 and says it  “safeguards” leave benefits as well creating “new entitlements”. It also proposes a range of changes to academic work models and simplified processes, discipline and dispute procedures and staff reclassification.

“With the addition of some new benefits, the proposed enterprise agreement provides many entitlements that are above sector standards and in some cases, are among the best in the sector,” VU states.

To which the union replies, the pay offer is the second lowest in the present bargaining round, span of hours for professional staff increase, with more contact time and worse conditions for some academic staff. And the changes to process is “code for losing workplace rights.”

Voting starts Wednesday week.


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