The NTEU`s victory at James Cook University follows another victory at the University of Sydney earlier this month, when the university asked employees if they wanted a direct vote on their new enterprise agreement. Sydney employees declined the option and decided to continue union negotiations. “We still have a large majority of employees who support or sit at the fence when it comes to the proposed enterprise agreement. James Cook University in North Queensland has lost its proposal to bypass the powerful National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and impose a new enterprise agreement through a direct staff vote. She said it was unlikely that the university would agree if there was no significant movement on the union side. . In its campaign, the union referred to the high pay of James Cook University Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding compared to the university in neighbouring Central Queensland. The university also wanted to change the conditions that would have increased the hours of training for many employees by requiring staff to take the Christmas New Year period as part of their annual leave, to open more positions for casual workers and to reduce certain penalty interest. In the vote that ended Friday, 58% of the staff who took part in the vote rejected the university`s four-year salary and conditioning offer and only 42% supported it. 2% payable according to the FWC 2% authorization payable on 30. September 2018 2% payable on August 30, 2019 2% payable on July 30, 2020 2% payable on June 30, 2021 – This increase is based on the rate of pay as of April 30, 2015 – 2.5% James Cook University, Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding.
Glenn Hunt. Jonathan Strauss, president of the NTEU at James Cook University, said it was the university`s management`s decision to hold the vote. “Many other universities need to be more firm in their negotiating positions this time,” he said. “We hoped that a large majority of our employees would give us a clear message about what our employees wanted,” Tricia Brand, assistant vice president of services and resources, said in a statement after the vote. James Cook University offered wage increases of 1.5 per cent, 1.5 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 2.0 per cent over the next four years, which the union said was not enough to cover the cost of living. The rules and provisions contained in this agreement have been developed and are being implemented as below in the approved CQUniversity budget: This increase is based on the rate of pay as of April 30, 2015 – 2.5% – higher step for teachers without qualified authorized teaching The rates of pay to be paid to officers are indicated in Schedule 1 of the agreement. Despite the importance of the staff vote, which is not usual in higher education, only 54.4% of staff participated. The university expressed disappointment that more employees did not participate in the vote, and after the offer was rejected, all options were on the table. “We look forward to returning to the negotiating table and management needs to look at what employees have said in this election process,” he said.
The salary increases contained in the agreement are to be paid to staff employed at the university at the time of approval of the agreement. Andrew Dempster, a university advisor to Proofpoint Advisory, said uncertainty over university funding made it difficult for universities to make generous offers in the current round of negotiations.