Thursday, 16 February 2023

Members’ meeting next week!

CPSU NSW University of Sydney colleagues,

It is time to hold a members’ meeting to discuss Enterprise Bargaining progress. There is a growing sense that, at least in terms of Professional Staff matters, we’re coming into what might be termed the final straight. It must be said that the length of that straight is as yet unknown and there are still unresolved and yet to be presented claims.

However, this means that salary negotiations are very close.

We are suggesting a hybrid in-person and Zoom-supported CPSU NSW members’ meetings next week. One will be held at 1:00pm Wednesday 23 Feb and one at 1:00pm on Thursday 24 Feb to accommodate those who cannot make one of the times. Please note, the meetings will cover the same ground so there is no need to attend both meetings.

In relation to salary negotiations, which is of vital importance under the current inflationary climate, it is not useful for both unions to put forward a pay claim. Inevitably one undercuts the other.

The NTEU has put a claim forward and we are supporting it – either five per cent per annum or the Consumer Price Index +1.5%, whichever is higher. The university has not yet responded.

The claim will also contain a flat-rate component, which is an uplift of the base salary level of all staff. This represents a higher ratio of pay increase for lower-paid staff. We support this, too. Indeed, it is straight out of our playbook as we succeeded in incorporating a flat-rate component in the last Enterprise Agreement salary negotiations and had pushed very hard for one back in 2013.

As it is far from guaranteed that the university will accept this claim. As there is a very strong chance the university will make a counter offer that is lower than the offer the NTEU put forward, one of the things we’d like to learn from you at the members’ meetings is what level of salary offer put by the university would be acceptable to you, if anything below the NTEU’s current claim would be acceptable. We’d also like to know whether you would be willing to consider industrial action if the university’s offer does not match your requirements and expectations.

With this in mind, I urge you to block out one of the two times mentioned above in your calendar and attend one of our members’ meetings next week. We rely on you for directions in terms of what we negotiate for, and we try hard to minimise the number of meetings we ask you to attend! Please join us next week to ensure that we can work more effectively for you!

Specific meeting arrangements will be forwarded shortly.

Thanks and regards,

On behalf of the CPSU NSW USyd Branch Committee and Enterprise Bargaining Team