Posts tagged with USYD
Enterprise bargaining resumed on Thursday 13 June with a 3.5 hour meeting.
During the course of that meeting, we established the areas on which we still have not reached agreement. These include: management's desire to 'streamline' performance improvement and unsatisfactory performance processes; the NTEU's superannuation claim; the amount to be allocated to the General Staff Development Fund; the processes, procedures and amount of leave available to victims of domestic violence (management still wants processes and procedures outside of the Agreement in policy); and the amount of leave for parents.
Towards the end of these discussions, management revealed their revised salary offer of 2.9% per annum. Apparently management arrived at this figure by looking at the inflation rate for Sydney (2.8%), and adding 0.1% to that figure.
While management asserted that this is all the university can afford in the current climate, we strongly disagree. Staff salaries should be a budget priority for the University -- we are the people who hold this place together in tough times with our hard work and commitment.
Management also asserted that because they had withdrawn many of their proposed cuts to staff conditions, staff would be happy to accept what is effectively a wage freeze. Again, we strongly disagree. As discussed at our last members' meeting, we have taken into account the current financial situation and have modified our original wage demand in order to secure a first rate enterprise agreement. But a wage 'increase' of 0.1% is an insult, consider the following:
Those members who taken five days of industrial action so far this year may be eligible to access the NTEU's Industrial Defense Fund. In order to make a claim please follow the instructions below.
Are you looking for work that looks highly-paid and flexible, but is actually low hourly rates hidden behind unrealistic workloads and abysmal annual wages disguised by inconsistency of contracts? Then Sydney University is the place for you!
Here at Sydney University, casual academics are paid to mark 4,500 words per hour. All tutors know that this is unrealistic. In real terms, this means casual tutors receive around $15 per hour. This is just one of the many ways unrealistic workloads disguise underpayment of casual academics, and demonstrates why a wage increase that at least keeps pace with inflation is crucial.
At the NTEU Sydney University Branch Committee Meeting of May 24, 2013, the following motion condemning police violence on picketlines was passed.
The University of Sydney branch of the NTEU deplores the violence carried out by New South Wales police on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 against NTEU members and students who were peacefully picketing for a fair Enterprise Agreement at the University of Sydney.
The pickets were part of industrial action being undertaken by the NTEU that has been authorised as protected through a secret ballot of all NTEU members conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission under the terms of industrial law in Australia.
At all times, NTEU picket lines have adhered to the protocols discussed with police and campus security.
In using violence against NTEU pickets, the New South Wales police are interfering with and undermining the right to take industrial action.
The University of Sydney branch of the NTEU also condemns the University of Sydney management’s authorisation of this violence. Campus security staff liaised closely with police about their strategies towards picketers, and public statements by Vice Chancellor Spence give implicit endorsement to the police violence.
Such authorisation of police violence against legitimate industrial action runs contrary to the value of intellectual freedom which should be at the core of the University. Unfortunately, it is in keeping with the University of Sydney management’s broader attempts to silence and intimidate staff from expressing dissent in public. These attempts include earlier proposals to remove intellectual freedom provisions from the enterprise agreement, and, during the ‘no-job-cuts campaign, of 2011-2012, threats to charge those participating in peaceful protests outside University Senate with engaging in unprotected industrial action.
We call on the University of Sydney management to condemn publicly the police violence against the NTEU pickets, and to communicate to the New South Wales police that such violence is not acceptable against any future NTEU picket lines at the University of Sydney.
Management have made staff a salary offer of 2.5% per annum. This is not a serious offer, especially when we consider that it will not keep pace with CPI, meaning that that in real terms it represents a wage cut for staff over the life of the proposed agreement. In addition, management also proposes to make cuts to staff working conditions.
All of this is more egregious when senior management's remuneration packages are taken into
This week Grahame McCulloch, the NTEU National Secretary sent a message of support to members at Sydney University who are preparing to embark on a 5th Day of industrial action on Wednesday, June 05.
I am sorry I am unable to attend today’s very important meeting. On behalf of the National Executive I urge you to support further industrial action later this week.
The University of Sydney management is attempting to break the authority of the union in order to impose its managerialist agenda – reduced authority for review committees, more punitive performance assessment, reduced union rights and a grossly inadequate salary offer.
The whole sector is watching this dispute, and the course of bargaining across Australia will be partly determined by the Sydney outcome.
With your support and determination this dispute can be won.
[Y]ou have continually reasserted your authority and doggedly refused to admit the depth of the institution’s problems under your leadership. In the face of widespread and solid opposition, you have simply insisted on the legitimacy of your decisions, often in the name of the very values, like ‘accountability’, that you consistently violate in your own practice. Mostly, though, you have chosen to remain silent – and into the breach flows the steady stream of hypocritical and infantilizing marketing, unworthy of a university, that substitutes for actual internal dialogue: the University has sponsored this, has done that, has appeared here, has secured donations there – is, in short, the best of all possible worlds.
This cannot mask the fact that for months now we have been in a cycle characterized by deep disquiet and protracted conflict, against the background of your determination to ignore – and, indeed, to try to suppress – the unions, the bodies democratically representing staff on campus. After months of asking your bargainers to talk with us seriously, strikes have proven to be our only means of making our voices heard. It’s on the pickets, I might add, while trying to explain the reasons for striking, that we have been abused, spat on and threatened – and also sometimes violently manhandled – in a handful of cases, wounded – by the police whose ‘assistance’ you have told students you ‘welcome’. None of this is any way to relate to the staff and students you claim to respect.
This pattern of intransigence is not a mere matter of your personal style: it is something for which you and other senior managers are specifically rewarded.•