Thursday, 19 January 2023

University of Newcastle enterprise bargaining – what now?

Firstly the CPSU NSW leadership, staff and delegates would like to wish you a happy and prosperous new year – where hopefully 2023 will be the year we finally deliver a fair and deserved enterprise agreement!

On this point members would now be aware that the proposed agreement put by management last month was resoundingly voted down by staff meaning we now return to the bargaining table in an attempt to forge something better.  Thank you to all members who both gave us clear advice on whether to support the agreement and who voted accordingly.

Our concerns with the proposed agreement, which came to a head in a frantic rush in its last days after snaillike paced negotiations, were broadly threefold:

  1. The lowball and uncompetitive pay offer;
  2. The sloppy last minute drafting which potentially impacted the operation of the few positive elements of the agreement; and,
  3. The stubborn refusal of management to adopt any of your proposals to offset the losses of some conditions.

We are ready to resume bargaining and wrote to the University last week to advise them of such HERE.  Unsurprisingly given the lack of urgency on their parts over the last 15 months, we are yet to receive a response.

CPSU NSW members have a clear and reasonable mission in these discussions.  If University continue to obfuscate or fail to make any concessions we will have no option but to put a PABO to members to see whether they support industrial action in some form to force management’s hand.  Stay tuned for a survey to this effect in the next few weeks.

Once again, thank you to all members for their patience and participation to date.  We will get there, and when we do it will be with something more reasonable than the management’s last ill-considered offer.