Monday, 18 May 2020

CPSU NSW slams “backroom deal” to slash staff pay

Members will hopefully have seen the concerns we’ve raised in relation to the so-called “national framework agreement” for universities, negotiated between the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), representatives of Universities Australia and the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association.

The CPSU NSW wants to make it clear that this ‘deal’ is not a fait accompli.

It still needs to be approved by affected employees at any university where it may be adopted, including CPSU NSW members. The path to implementation is far from certain.

What is clear however, is how poorly targeted the package is. There is no question international travel restrictions have had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the sector. We accept that universities will need to review their expenditure and have suggested a range of cost-reduction measures to save ongoing jobs, including areas such as non-essential capital works and infrastructure, travel, executive bonuses and contingent labour. None of these measures require changes to enterprise agreements or cuts to employee pay packets.

What is increasingly apparent is that the CPSU NSW is not alone in its opposition to this deal.

A large number of NTEU members are similarly voicing concern over the breadth of measures contemplated under the “framework”.

Further, as outlined below, numerous universities have distanced themselves from the proposal:

  • Australian Catholic University No
  • Charles Sturt University Undecided
  • Macquarie University Undecided
  • Southern Cross University Undecided
  • University of New England Undecided
  • University of NSW Undecided
  • University of Newcastle No
  • University of Sydney No
  • University of Technology, Sydney No
  • University of Wollongong Undecided
  • Western Sydney University No

The unpopularity is not limited to NSW. Prominent interstate institutions such as Melbourne University and University of Tasmania are also walking away.

This confirms what the CPSU NSW has said from the outset, that the priorities of the package are wrong, the enforcement is non-binding and more appropriate solutions can be found at a local level.

Come to a CPSU NSW Zoom meeting

Last Friday our peak advisory Council resolved to hold a state-wide meeting of members to discuss the proposals contained in the framework agreement and plan our campaign moving forward.

Given the likely number of participants and the importance of the contents, it has been decided that two meetings will be held, chaired at 12:30pm and 6:00pm respectively.

12:30pm meeting

May 21, 2020 12:30pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 910 6009 2876

Password: 375869

Find your local number:

6pm meeting

May 21, 2020 06:00pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 973 0836 0866

Password: 289752

Find your local number:


It is anticipated each meeting will take up to one hour.

Further details and reminders about these online meetings will be forwarded over coming days.

As a CPSU NSW member you should be rightly concerned about this proposal, so your participation is welcomed.