Your union met with management on 9 August with a view to seeking agreement on a small number of outstanding matters and to listen to the University’s proposed pay claim.
The claim was presented as an offer of 1.9% a year for 4 years, contingent upon a Yes vote being returned by a particular date and tied to the unions agreeing to a number of changes to your entitlements that are currently being sought by the University.
While we were still discussing this offer, before we even got to negotiating around the contentious areas, management sent you an email that appeared to suggest we had reached agreement.
The email even contained a pay calculator so you could work out how much your salary would be in the coming years, and referenced new benefits.
We are not aware of new benefits plural and would have welcomed the opportunity to hear what these were, but instead the University tried to force our hand by putting this out to you behind our backs.
It was disappointing in the extreme to think that we were at the table in good faith, trying to work through the outstanding issues that the University were insisting had to be agreed upon, while they were sending out information to you that allowed you to think we had reached agreement.
We have not reached agreement with the University in regard to the outstanding matters, or in regard to the pay claim. We have not agreed to the removal of any current conditions. To suggest that we have is misleading.
Your union made the decision that the level of trust in the room had deteriorated to the extent that there was no point in remaining there and the bargaining meeting ended at that point.
The CPSU NSW has not sought a Protected Action Ballot Order in relation to bargaining, and as such, members are unable to take protected action.
However, we are aware that there is a rally on Wednesday 15 August at the Park on the Hill.
We would suggest that you might like to take your lunch there, possibly around 1pm.
We expect to return to the bargaining table in the near future to try to finalise the outstanding matters. We do not expect to have to bargain away your current entitlements to be able to do that.
At the end of the negotiation you will be asked to vote on the package and we want that to be an informed and deliberate vote by staff whose working lives are covered by the Agreement.
Please forward this update to your colleagues so they can also know what is going on. The CPSU NSW, the Professional Staff Union, is only as strong as its members. If anyone you work with is not a member, you can ask them JOIN the CPSU NSW, the Professional Staff Union online at www.cpsunsw.org.au
For more information about Enterprise Bargaining at UoN, visit https://cpsunsw.org.au/category/agencies/nsw-universities/university-of-newcastle/#top
CPSU NSW members are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body for, and resources and manages, the CPSU NSW. www.facebook.com/CPSUnsw