And that’s a wrap
FOI laws should assist academics: they aren’t helping
What the Accord must provide for student success
What Succession showed
UNSW promotes research on the complex question of e-assets in deceased estates, warning the law of succession in the digital age is probably more complicated than one might think. So get it sorted, look what happened to Shiv, Roman and Kendall.
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning
The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training warns a funding switch means no national resource to coordinate programmes across universities for the fastest growing HE equity community, HERE
plus Alice Brown and Jill Lawrence (Uni Southern Queensland) on solving the nudge-nag conundrum and how it help students on-line HERE
These are the last selections by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series Needed now in learning and teaching. Thanks Sally, you expanded the national discussion and (put up with CMM).
Monash VC paper on pay: point made
Soon to be governor of Victoria, Margaret Gardner publishes a considered piece on HE funding, the role of casuals and the complexities of university-system payroll practises (scroll down).
It appeared as Deputy President Bell of the Fair Work Commission knocked Monash U back over an attempt to add words to the 2019 enterprise agreement, to end an ambiguity regarding times when casual staff are paid for student contact.
The DP stated, “while the university’s desire to bring the disputing parties out from the “no man’s land” of uncertainty is laudable, that objective can be applied to many disputes involving the operation of terms of an enterprise agreement. But … that outcome needs to be anchored against a principled assessment of the potential rights of those affected.”
CMM’s still standing (just not for long)
Final issue is June 16
After ten years the end is near for CMM – thank you all for reading and giving me a reason to report the always fascinating, endlessly entertaining and often inexplicable alternative universe of tertiary education.
So fascinating that I will keep writing and reporting on platforms that will have me.
So please, please, don’t delete me from your contact lists and send me whatever you think is interesting, because if you do so will other people.
No issue on Monday, most of the country will be celebrating a Britannic Majesty’s Birthday and CMM will be working on new projects.
A new agreement at Uni Adelaide – more coming soon in SA
Staff signed off by a thumping majority
The offer is endorsed by both management and union. Some 92 per cent of the poll backed the offer- anchored by a 13.9 per cent (compounded) pay rise from this July to ’25 (CMM May 3)
Flinders U votes in next week to vote on a similar offer (CMM May 2). As are staff at Uni SA (CMM May 4), where voting ends Tuesday. Given successful negotiations between management and the NTEU staff approval is expected at both.
Which will all clear the decks for the really big argument at all three over what will happen when recommendations for a Uni SA, Uni Adelaide merger are announced at June end.
Uni Sydney offer to staff sets a national standard
The proposed enterprise agreement at Uni Sydney took as long to negotiate as the Geneva Convention – there is no mention of prisoner exchanges but otherwise it’s a big deal
Not all the NTEU are happy (CMM yesterday) but if this gets up it will be the benchmark all other university agreements are compared to and it will pile on the pressure at the other rich as Croesus campus – Uni Melbourne.
Uni Sydney observers suggest important aspects of the offer include,
* an 18.2 per cent payrise (including a June’22 increase) through to June 26. Plus a $2000 signing bonus
* “all reasonable steps” by management to reduce the casual academic workforce by 20 per cent and three-year fixed term roles for PhD students – instead of rolling casual contracts.
* 40 per cent teaching, 40 per cent research and 20 per cent service stays the default academic work basis for staff who are not education-focused. This would be a major win for the National Tertiary Education Union
* cap of 25 per cent for education focused roles among continuing staff
* new/improved leave provisions to suit life-circumstances
* improved working from home “flexibility for professional staff
* “right to disconnect from work away from work”
what happens next: is a vote by union members on Tuesday and if they approve the proposal goes to an all staff vote.
If the first does not happen management could take the offer to all staff without union endorsement however Uni Sydney has long held it will not do this.
Future Campus: what to expect when you’re not expecting anything
by TIM WINKLER
Even the most hardened cynics in the sector are going to be surprised by the number of staff who are intending to move on from their current job before Christmas 2024.
The first four editions of Future Campus will carry links to detailed insights from our survey of more than 3000 higher education staff, conducted in April – including the number of staff looking to move.
The first hint of the need for Future Campus came after I did a simple LinkedIn post, asking for responses to the survey – and had 900 within a couple of days, including many extended responses to key questions.
The sector finds itself in an environment of rapid and extensive change and we really need insights and conversations about new challenges and opportunities across many fronts.
The new Future Campus publication didn’t emerge as an essential proposition until later, after conversations with Stephen Matchett, when he revealed that the era of Campus Morning Mail was coming to an end.
Future Campus was born out of necessity, and while it won’t replace CMM, it will carry a weekly news digest and regular articles and interviews from Matchett as well as insights from other thought leaders across the sector.
We want to bring the voices that you may not hear otherwise – as well as the best of the voices that you regularly hear. We want to encourage new insights and understanding about the sector, because we are passionate about contributing to a stronger future for the sector, and understanding how we can each best contribute to it.
We are looking forward to launching on June 22 and are humbled that thousands of HE staff have already signed up, supporting our fledgling enterprise.
Join us on the Future Campus journey – it’s free and I can tell you more about the number of your colleagues getting ready to move in the first issue.
Subscribe free to Future Campus: www.futurecampus.com.au
Gardner of Monash calls for a “grand bargain” between unions and unis
“the first step is a recognition by unions and management that complexity of payment schedules is a feature produced by industrial agreement in which all are equally complicit”
In a long piece published by Monash U, VC Margaret Gardner considers university system pay policies in the context of public funding, research administration models, the growth of international student numbers and the industrial relations system.
“To answer concerns about insecurity of employment in Australian universities requires understanding these major changes in the nature and mix of revenue sources in Australian universities in the past two decades that have underpinned the practices that have propelled current concerns,” she writes.
In particular, Professor Gardner points to,
* for university staff in general, “while overall conditions compare favourably with international comparators and many other sectors, workload and performance expectations have increased.
* “systematic difficulties in interpretation of payment schedules, and therefore payment accuracy, that have exacerbated issues for the employment and payment of those in insecure employment”
* “a difference in insecurity of employment between those on longer contracts, compared to the circumstances of those on contracts of one year”
* “to reduce casual academic employment means separating the purely frictional and temporary employment needs of the university from the need for increased continuing or permanent staff”
* the “inherent complexity” of payment systems “increases the potential for under and overpayment” of casuals. “The complexity has been the product of many years of negotiations between unions and management supporting devolved work practices common to academia”
The take-out: “without attention to the underlying dynamics of Australian university funding, the pressure to mitigate uncertainty and potential volatility in funding for education, and particularly research, will continue to direct hiring practices away from the high levels of employment security that characterise ongoing and longer-term contract university employment, and towards flexible, insecure modes.”
TEQSA CEO exits
Alistair Maclean has resigned from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
TEQSA confirmed his departure in a statement last night in which agency Chief Commissioner Peter Coaldrake, “acknowledged Mr Maclean for his contribution.”
Mary Russell will be acting CEO until further notice. Dr Russell is ED for Regulatory Operations at the agency.
Mr Maclean is a former CEO of Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, a one-time ambassador to Laos and served as an advisor to John Howard in his last months as prime minister.
Mr Maclean was appointed to TEQSA in August 2020, during the tenure of then coalition education minister Dan Tehan.