Wednesday, 17 August 2022

The Fox Glacier

Notwithstanding the impacts of global warming, most of the world’s glaciers move so slowly it is imperceptible.

Even in the case relatively fast-moving ones, such as the Fox Glacier in South Island New Zealand, progress is slow with it moving at 182 metres p/year or about 50 cms a day. Hence the term ‘at glacial pace’ – which is also an apt description of enterprise bargaining at UoN to date .

Bargaining has been in an agreed temporary hiatus to allow the two Unions the opportunity to consult with their members as to their position on matters put forward to date.

Your Union, the CPSU NSW, held an online session for member feedback on Wednesday 20 July and out of it the following feedback was collated:

  • CPSU NSW MEMBERS REJECT the University’s proposal to roll annual leave loading into the annualized salary, and want it to remain a stand alone payment at the time it is needed and designed for;
  • CPSU NSW MEMBERS AGREE that the current margin between the legislated minimum of compulsory employer superannuation contributions and what UoN actually pays must be maintained. In 2018 when the last enterprise agreement was made, it was required by law to pay 9.5 per cent, however the University agreed to pay 17 per cent – a difference of 7.5 per cent. This additional 7.5 per cent had been negotiated historically by the CPSU NSW as compensation for trade-offs and forfeitures of wages and conditions.  With the mandatory 9.5 per cent now 10.5 per cent and set to rise to 12 per cent over the term of this agreement, it is the firm view of members that this additional contribution be maintained and not absorbed;
  • CPSU NSW MEMBERS REJECT the optional superannuation “cash-out” scheme where employees could elect to take this optional contribution as a salary increase instead of superannuation.  Members viewed this proposal for what it was – a cynical attempt to subsidise much-needed salary increases in times of high cost-of-living pressures from your own pocket, and consequently adversely impact your retirement earnings as a result;
  • CPSU NSW MEMBERS ACCEPT the University’s “life leave” proposal; and,
  • CPSU NSW MEMBERS WILL CONSIDER changes to the hours of work, provided they remain elective and matters such as child care can be factored in.

Our next meeting with the University is Thursday 18 August when we intend to table these responses, and more importantly press what is the greatest challenge for our members – the rising cost of living. The University’s glacial pace in negotiating this agreement and its appetite for resetting almost every clause has seen bargaining prolong excessively.  This mean wage increases now have to be determined against 6.1 per cent inflation as opposed to 3.5 per cent earlier in 2022. It is not reasonable for the University to expect your real wage to go backwards. Your Union will be fighting to make sure it doesn’t.

If you have any further feedback or queries regarding the matters raised above, please do not hesitate to get in contact with any of our incredible CPSU NSW delegates:

Mark Smith –

Shell Dillion –

Zain Hamid –