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Deakin University staff to walk off job on Wednesday after stalled collective agreement negotiations

Posted 3 June 2013 by Carmel Shute (NTEU National Office)

Deakin University staff will walk off the job next Wednesday (5 June) over stalled collective agreement negotiations.

“This is not just a dispute about fair pay,” said Dr Colin Long, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Victorian Division Secretary. “It is a dispute about fair conditions of work that enable staff to provide the high quality education Deakin is known for.”

Staff will stop work for one hour at 1pm.

A ban on overtime for general staff, a ban on participating in performance appraisal and a ban on the transmission of student results will be put in place immediately. Deakin University will become the third university in Victoria where the NTEU has banned handing over student results.

“We’d rather not inconvenience students but staff have met with management in good faith for eight months and have nothing to show for it. There isn’t even a pay offer on the table,” Dr Long said.

“We’ve indicated our willingness to negotiate over our pay claim, but we haven’t even got a counter-offer to discuss.

“It’s not that Deakin University can’t afford it, even given the ‘efficiency dividend’ imposed recently by the Federal Government. Deakin University is the most profitable in Victoria. Last financial year, it boasted a $60 million surplus, $22 million greater than budgeted, which the Vice Chancellor attributed to ‘underspends’ on salaries, research, buildings and grounds costs.

Staff are concerned that Deakin University management is determined to reduce working conditions. Management proposals that have been put to the union include reducing overtime payments, increasing the hours of work for lower wages, reducing weekend penalty rates, reducing the minimum casual hours a person can be employed, and varying redundancy provisions, effectively reducing the time staff are given to make decisions about their job futures.

“Meanwhile there has been no real attempt by management to address workloads that are spiralling out of control. The over-riding problem is management’s reluctance to invest in staff or to limit academic and general staff workloads in any meaningful way.”

Media comment: Colin Long, Division Secretary, NTEU Victoria, 0403 920 361’ clong@nteu.org.au;

More info: Carmel Shute NTEU Media Officer: 03 9254 1910; 0412 569 356 cshute@nteu.org.au

The National Tertiary Education Union covers all employees of universities, including general staff such as librarians, gardeners, technical specialists and administrative staff, and academics. It is incorrect to characterise NTEU’s members as “academics” or the NTEU as “the academics’ union”.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Moira Cox said on 16:49 Thursday 20 Jun, 2013

    [ +11 ] I am currently a student at Deakin University and the banning of results for the purposes of collective bargaining between employees of Deakin University and Deakin University which results to an inconvenience on students is absolutely ridiculous! As a fee paying student at Deakin University, we expect to have our results handed to us at the initial proposed results released dates. This also has nothing to do with us students, and therefore the thought of results banning which inadvertently brought us into this collective bargaining mess is both not thoughtful and plain selfish on NTEU part.

    Although it is understandable and commendable to fight for working conditions and employee rights to higher wage given previous unfair working conditions. I hardly think that the involvement of students results can impact Deakin University to prompt its process to creating a fair working environment.

    I am grossly disappointed in NTEU's actions in using us students at Deakin University as collective bargaining chips to bargain with its employer. We are nonetheless now stuck in this mess in between the Union and Deakin University with no part to say and no choices to make. Surely there are better unselfish ways that the NTEU can come up with that does not involve using us students in the cross fire.

    Either way I am utterly disappointed by NTEU's decision to use the banning of results on students to bargain with its employers. Shame on you.

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