In mid-2018, after 18 months of tense fighting, the university finally signed a single agreement covering both academic and administrative staff. But one thing that interests voters was not announced by the union on Friday – pay increases. CMM says the agreement is 2.09 percent per year. In July, the NTEU claimed 2.3 percent on an annual basis and the university offered 1.7 percent. Staff covered by the agreement received the pay increase last month, but are being asked to waive the increase until May 2021. There were minor but significant differences between the two draft treaties. While the academic agreement was very similar to that of the previous EBA, the agreement for administrative staff set extremely strict conditions for additional basic salary increases that staff receive each year that they stay at university. Branch President Steve Adams says the union has hebuffed a management push for separate agreements for academic and professional staff and stopped “the removal of academic freedom from the agreement, (management has long argued the university explicitly protects free speech). As a general rule, the negotiation process would begin with university and union negotiators meeting to share a “list of demands” containing the most important elements they wish to address in the agreement. However, at the first meeting in February 2017, the university had already drawn up two draft contracts: one for academic staff and one for administrators. In its draft contract, the university proposed that supplements for all middle-level administrators be conditional on the officer receiving an “exceptional” rating – the highest possible – during its annual performance review. In the meantime, senior administrative staff “would not apply at all to incremental progression.” It was practically a permanent wage freeze. The EU and the management of the University of Melbourne have reached an agreement on the working conditions of a new enterprise agreement, including a pay rise for compromises.
In a string of email tests between the university`s negotiator, Sean Hogan, and National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) general secretary Grahame McCulloch, McCulloch argued that the divided agreement was an attempt to “strengthen your negotiating position by sharing staff.” “The best estimate is that it would mean that between 200 and 300 jobs would not have to be lost at university,” Professor Maskell told employees who will vote next week on a proposal to amend their enterprise agreement. Adams also says that the union`s objectives across the country, including improving job security for temporary and casual workers, as well as improving redundancy provisions, are being achieved. Management`s agreement to extend the 17 per cent superannuation to all permanent employees is consistent with the results of negotiations at other universities. According to the 2019 annual report presented to the regional parliament on Tuesday, international students accounted for 44% of the university`s student burden and 59% of student income last year. Delegates from the National Tertiary Education Union at the University of Melbourne met with staff this week to discuss the variant of the EBA, including bearing in mind that existing redundancy requests are being eroded. University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said the university sector has felt the full force of the pandemic. Credit: Universities have been removed from the Morrison government`s $70 billion JobKeeper program.