The university wants to save $42 million in staff as part of its COVID-19 cost reduction. Management agreed not to make voluntary redundancies, but temporary employment would be reviewed and meetings and casual workers would lose work. And if there is a proposal to „vary“ the 2% increase for 2021, now included in the Company Agreement, it would be a staff vote (ACU 15 June). But Melbourne has said it is not thinking about cuts, forced cuts in working hours or deep wage cuts. „In this time of heightened uncertainty and concern, the university sees no point in inviting staff to vote on a series of potential measures that the university does not want to follow,“ she said in a letter to NTEU, seen by Times Higher Education. And yesterday, members voted in favour, agreeing to fight against any management proposal „resulting in job losses, reducing job security, increasing employee workloads, reducing employees` salaries, or eliminating or reducing previously agreed employee salary increases.“ In return, universities would offer additional job security guarantees, such as. B the obligation not to hire staff without remuneration. The university has begun the implementation of the provisions of the agreement, including the updating of a number of guidelines, procedures and guidelines. Staff and supervisors are informed that in the event of a contradiction between the provisions of the new agreement and other documents, priority shall be given to the provisions of the new agreement. Additional information will be provided to staff in early 2019. However, opponents within the union question the fact that the framework offers real protection measures, while some institutional leaders question its necessity. The University of Technology Sydney, facing a revenue deficit of up to AUD 190 million this year, says it is „trying to protect employees` compensation“ and dealing with its financial problems „without a lump sum reduction in anyone`s remuneration“.
Sydney`s strategy to deal with its revenue losses, estimated at AUD 470 million this year, includes savings of AUD 93 million by reassessing staff budgets and limiting „hires for permanent or temporary employees“. The NTEU estimates that if the agreement is adopted at each university, it could save the equivalent of 13,500 full-time jobs. The union is particularly concerned about the prospects for special and fixed-term staff. The Enterprise Agreement Sharepoint site remains accessible to employees and contains links to the previous agreement (PDF, 918 KB), important changes between previous and new agreements, and important consultation documents. The Universities Australia representation said individual institutions must „examine the details“ of the agreement and „decide whether they will participate based on their own unique circumstances“. Melbourne`s governing body also believes that the requirements of the agreement conflict with its responsibility to „manage and control the affairs of the university“. The director of the University of London warns employees that finances are „not good“ and that job cuts are „inevitable“ The agreement, which must be approved by individual institutions and their employees, would allow for temporary changes to company agreements. Universities should force employees to take time off, reduce their working hours, accept pay cuts of up to 15% and give up gradually increasing their salaries. For more information about the agreement, staff should first consult their designated supervisor. If further information or advice is needed, staff should go to the service centre.
Australian universities oppose union deal on individual circumstances and governance concerns The Australian Catholic University (ACU) rejected the deal on similar grounds. „This would be tantamount to ceding control of our response to the Covid crisis to an external body, the `national expert group`,“ Vice Chancellor Greg Craven told staff. . . .