Deakin University staff to walk off job on Wednesday after stalled collective agreement negotiations
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’ firstname.lastname@example.org;
More info: Carmel Shute NTEU Media Officer: 03 9254 1910; 0412 569 356 email@example.com
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”.