Summer fun

Release of the Braithwaite Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act is delayed until the end of January. Professor Braithwaite is considering whether the Australian Skills Quality Authority “has appropriate legislative capacity” to regulate VET. Apparently there is work still to do, which was delayed by “a health issue”.

Exploding heads not popping corks in La Trobe U enterprise bargaining

People at La Trobe U were expecting the only issue at this week’s enterprise bargaining meeting to be the vintage of the celebratory champagne used to toast a deal done. But alas, while negotiators heads are exploding corks aren’t popping. Although every substantive is settled a deal-delaying issue remains – the expiry date of the new agreement. The National Tertiary Education Union wants it to be June 30 2021. Management says it should be December 31 that year.

The union’s date would mean La Trobe is in line with other universities, which might be why management does not want it. All LT U is saying is that “this is not a position that the university can accept and is not the basis on which the university’s package of benefits, salary increases and conditions was put forward.” An agreement on terms is still possible this year, but only CMM suspects, if the union budges. Management is said to think it has conceded plenty already.

FUSA farewelled with Flinders U only official

Legislation to remove the definite article from the higher education institution formally known as The Flinders University of South Australia has royal assent, so FUSA is now Flinders U. Management uses the opportunity to tell staff to maximise research impact metrics by using the official name. Using FUSA, Flinders Medical Centre, or centre and institute names alone risks publications not being attributed to the university, management tells staff. The last time a parliament dealt with such a substantive change was in NSW when the University of Western Sydney wanted to become Western Sydney University.

Monash appoints PVC Indigenous

Jacinta Elson is Monash U’s inaugural PVC Indigenous. Professor Elston moves from James Cook U where she is professor of indigenous health.

ANU negotiating for first Ramsay Foundation funded western civ degree

ANU is negotiating with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to provide a new bachelor degree. Former prime minister John Howard, who chairs the centre’s board says it is also “reflecting” on expressions of interest from a range of NSW institutions interested in partnering to also provide a bachelor qualification on the study of western civilisation. Mr Howard added all NSW universities that expressed interest in offering a new degree are still being considered.

ANU says a western civ programme, will “add to the university’s suite of undergraduate programmes that include European studies, Arab and Islamic studies, Asian and Pacific studies along with courses in Australian indigenous studies.”

The university bid team is led by arts and social sciences dean, historian Rae Frances.

The Ramsay Centre is funded by a bequest from healthcare and media entrepreneur the late Paul Ramsay and will fund up to 30 scholarships a year at each university offering a degree in western civ. “The degree is intended to promote a deeper appreciation of the manner in which the legacy of western civilisation, in all its aspects, has shaped the successful nation that Australia is today.”

With an endowment said to be up to $30m a year the centre, will also offer “in due course” postgraduate scholarships at prestigious international institutions,” hold summer schools and support public lectures.

College still set to sail

The government’s shipbuilding college is still set to sale in the new year, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said yesterday. But there is still no word on which training institutions will crew it.  After a week of disastrous news on course quality control, CMM is not betting on berths for SA TAFE.

Flinders union says management “heartless”

CMM is dead-wrong to suggest that the restructures at Flinders U are relatively painless (December 11 issue) says campus National Tertiary Education Union head Andrew Miller. “The gulf between management and staff has never been wider, and morale has never been lower,” he says. Last week staff told a university council meeting that “their heartless corporate practices had seriously harmed staff and undermined the University’s proud history as a progressive, democratic, and socially just university.” Must have gone down well.

Dean to the west

Peter Dean will become PVC Education at UWA in February.  He is now a senior fellow at the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.

Relax CQU, the pace of pay will pick up

A learned reader at CQU suggests the interests of management are unfairly served by the first enterprise bargaining pay rise not being backdated to when the deal was done. However a university spokesperson responds that salary increases start when Fair Work Australia ticks the deal and while all is well with the new agreement this is taking time – FWA has had the paperwork since end October.  And the National Tertiary Education Union explains that pay rates will work out over time.

Instead of a 2 per cent rise on the day of FWA approval and then 2 per cent on the next four anniversaries of that the union proposed, and management agreed to, 2 per cent on approval and then 2 per cent on 30 September 2018, 30 August 2019, 30 July 2020 and 30 June 2021. “The first increase is a little slow (approval is taking longer than we expected). But staff then effectively get a pay rise every 11 months.  Swings and roundabouts,” NTEU Queensland secretary Michael McNally says.