Note to negotiators: play nice

At Western Sydney U the vote in favour of adopting the enterprise agreement jointly proposed by management and unions was 95 per cent for academics and 97 per cent for professional staff. (About a third of the electorate turned out).

It’s a flashing neon sign for management and union negotiators – the grownups like it when you cooperate.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Keith Houghton (Higher Education and Research Group) on block teaching – for some institutions, its time has come HERE.

plus, Merlin Crossley (UNSW) makes the case for invigilated exams – they are to assessment what the Erg is to rowing.


No one knows all the new industrial rules  

The pace is picking up in enterprise bargaining – managements might want to get three year agreements in place under the system they know

There is a bunch of detail to be determined on how the new IR system will work – including how long employers and unions have to reach new agreements under the existing rules. The government has increased the time before multi-employer bargaining can begin, from six to nine months after the expiration of the last agreement (CMM November 29).

Which maay mean at best, universities where agreements have expired have nine months at most from now to get a deal done with the local unions.

Unless it doesn’t – IR observers suggest that the Fair Work Commission will have a big role in deciding the operating details of the new system.

A deal at Uni Tas

Management and the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union have agreed on terms for a new enterprise agreement

The deal is as expected a fortnight back, when the union cancelled industrial action in response to bargaining progress (CMM November 18).

The agreement includes a 13.5 per cent pay rise, including 4.6 per cent paid in July, through to mid 25, improved conditions, some continuing positions in place of casual jobs and a union-management consultative committee. The union will now put the proposal to members for agreement, before it goes to an all-university staff vote.

If adopted, the offer will be a much-needed win for management, allowing it to focus on the campaign against relocating the university to the Hobart CBD. And it may reduce the scope of questions at hearings of the Legislative Council’s inquiry into the university’s governance. The creation of the committee will also help with that, giving management witnesses a positive future to point to.

Uni Newcastle wants a new agreement wrapped-up for Christmas

Management says it is hoping for an agreement with unions and staff reps tomorrow

The major change in the revised offer  the university offers appears to be 9.5 per cent in pay rises, in three annual increases, with the first backdated to October. The university previously proposed a two- year agreement, citing the need to prepare for uncertain times, (CMM September 21).

Managements is also promoting improved benefits long in the offer, including ten “concession days” for staff to take and extending 17 per cent super to casuals.

Management and unions meet tomorrow afternoon and DVC Kent Anderson says he hopes there will be an agreement.

Perhaps to set a context for any discussion of pay at the meeting, VC Alex Zelinsky warns the university community that costs are up and student revenue is down and there will be a $23m deficit next year. While the VC announces a halt on a major capex outlay, he makes no mention of cuts, adding, “we remain on the right trajectory, but restraint will still be required as we head into a challenging 2023,” he says.

It’s a message negotiators from the Community and Public Sector Union might heed.

Last month their colleagues at Southern Cross U backed an offer that management pitched as suited to hard times, which the National Tertiary Education Union opposed – the offer got up in all-staff vote (CMM November 7).

UNDA underway early

University of Notre Dame Australia announces a 2 per cent pay-rise, backdated to October

There’s also a $1000 one-off payment for junior academic and professional staff.

It comes ahead of the formal start of enterprise bargaining.

“While many universities across the country are currently negotiating new enterprise agreements, not all have provided their staff with an administrative pay increase,” DVC Finance Mike Conry tells staff.

Good o – but as the nominal expiry date of the previous agreement was December 31 last perhaps this payrise will be backdated into management’s offer for the new one.

Appointments, achievements

Melanie Bish becomes PVC Regional at La Trobe U. She moves from deputy dean of its rural health school.

2022 life members of Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia are, * Tracie Conroy (UTS) * Julia Coyle (Uni Wollongong) * Kate Flynn (QUT) * Darlene McLennan (Australian Disability Clearinghouse for Education and Training) * Veronica Sanmarco (Uni Sunshine Coast)

Elizabeth Hartland (Hudson IMR) becomes president elect of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.

Sandra Jones (Australian Catholic U) receives the Autism Cooperate Research Centre’s annual research award.

Uni Sydney announces appointments to two new research management roles. Simon Ringer becomes PVC Research Infrastructure, moving from director of the university’s core research facilities. Louise Sharpe becomes PVC Research Training. She is now director of graduate research at the university.

Also at Uni Sydney, the VC’s (many) awards include, outstanding teaching and research which go to, * Omid Kavehei (Engineering) * Christina Abdel Shaheed (Medicine and Health) * Justine Humphry (Arts, Social Sciences) * Cameron Kepert (Science) * Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam (Engineering)