University of Tasmania and National Tertiary Education Union to negotiate over staff cuts
The University of Tasmania (UTAS) will work with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) over the next two weeks to resolve a dispute over staff cuts to its 2600 workforce.
The NTEU lodged a dispute two weeks ago with Fair Work Australia and the parties reached agreement on a process in settling the dispute today after two days of conciliation.
Rob Binnie, NTEU Industrial Officer for Tasmania, said the issue under dispute was whether the University of Tasmania had refused to consult with staff in line with its obligations under collective staff agreements.
“University management would not divulge the number of staff it plans to cut, where the staff will come from or the budget available for separation packages,” he said.
“We’re now looking forward to knuckling down with UTAS to resolve this crucial dispute which potentially affect s every single staff member at the University of Tasmania.
“We are still trying to extricate vital information from the university such as the number of staff cuts and where they’ll come from. Our members – and indeed all staff – need to know what they’re up against in order to make informed decisions” he said.
"UTAS management has agreed to suspend the processing of voluntary separation packages over the next two weeks while negotiations occur on consultation processes, the provision of accurate information, taxation implications and correct payments in accordance with agreements.
The NTEU will work with UTAS management to craft a statement that assures staff that they will not be coerced to take a voluntary redundancy.Mr Binnie said that UTAS management has agreed with the NTEU that there will be a process to review any applications from staff members who have applied for voluntary separation and are in the late stages of finalising the process.
“Management will ensure that that staff are fully informed about their rights if they do decide to leave,” Mr Binnie said.
“We are hopeful that the negotiations will produce a good outcome for all staff.”
If the dispute is not resolved at the expiry of the two week period, the NTEU will lodge for arbitration with Fair Work Australia.
For more information, please contact Rob Binnie, NTEU Industrial Officer, Tasmanian Division 0418 241 459.