Monday, 6 March 2023

University of Sydney wage offer: March 2023

Thank you to all members who contributed to our wage-offer related members’ meetings run last week.

Thanks also to the many members who responded to our follow up survey on the university’s offer.

What has come across very clearly in the responses to our member wage-offer survey is that the vast majority of members believe that in the current climate the university has not put a realistic offer on the table.

The members’ meetings told us that this needs to be an offer that recognises the paltry nature of the 2.1 per cent administrative wage increase served unilaterally and without consultation by the university in July 2022 in what was already an inflationary environment. As members pointed out at our meetings, the inflation rate over 2022 was 7.8 per cent. This is an almost six per cent real-term wage fall in 2022.

Quite remarkably, at the bargaining table the university appears to have chosen to write this problem, effectively your problem, out of its history. We will not let that happen.

At the Enterprise Bargaining meeting of Tuesday 28 February, both unions reported that their members had rejected the initial offer.

The CPSU NSW made further arguments in relation to our members’ interest in backdating across the 2022 period. We also highlighted the university’s own significant contribution to sharp cost-of-living increases for those members and staff who for various reasons are required to drive to work and park regularly.

The university listened to us, reserved judgment and will consider the position of both unions.

The next bargaining meeting is Tuesday 14 March. We probably won’t have a response for a while, but we will report back to you as soon as we can with the university’s response.

A reminder also that we will shortly circulate a summary of where bargaining is at on Professional Staffs’ working conditions, including some good news from the university at Tuesday’s bargaining meeting in relation to a couple of their previous claims.

As we’re at the sharp end of the bargaining process you may experience a higher than usual level of communications from the Branch Committee, Bargaining Team and CPSU NSW/PSA Head Office. This will not continue indefinitely, but we are keen to ensure that members are updated regularly and have the opportunity to provide informed feedback to us over this important period.

Grant (on behalf of the CPSU NSW Bargaining Team)