Mass Meeting Calls for Industrial Action at UWA
At that meeting the bargaining update focused attention on the lack of respect by the UWA Executive toward staff by withholding commitments toward a range of matters.
The major problems in our negotiations that were aired prior to voting on the motion were identified as:
1. Academic workloads. The absence of any limits or prescription in our current agreement allows for abuse by management in the determination of Academic workloads. The University is resisting a defined percentage normal allocation of teaching and research to Academic staff and are also strongly opposed to annualised hours.
2. Justice for General staff. This a fundamental equity issue. Currently there are no clauses in our general staff agreement to safeguard fair process for allegations of general staff misconduct & unsatisfactory performance. While such procedures are contained in University policy; policy can be unilaterally changed by the employer. Every other Go8 university, and almost every other university in the country, has clauses in their agreements allowing for transparent and enforceable procedures.
3. Improvements to salaries & conditions for casual staff. Casual staff are some of the most vulnerable and exploited employees in the system. The University keep saying that it is not their preferred position to employ casuals but continue to put up barriers to, and argue against, prescribed limitation on use of casuals.
4. Fair & reasonable salary increases. University offer = 3% (Sept 2010), 3% (Sept 2011), 4% (Sept 2012). NTEU revised claim = 5% (2010), 5% (2011), 6% (2012). The University can afford fair & reasonable salary increases.
5. No job losses during the life of the agreement. The NTEU claim is no job losses during the life of the agreement and back filling of all positions lost as a consequence of natural attrition. During the last round of negotiations the NTEU accepted modest salary increases with the understanding that wage restraint would limit further job losses. The University argue that there has been an increase in jobs in real terms and that they will only apply a no net job loss clause based on 2004 staffing levels. They claim they need flexibility in case their circumstances change - use of the 2004 job numbers gives them the scope to shed over 330 positions (that is more than 350 real people - colleagues and friends).
Over the coming weeks and months leading up to second semester members will be advised of the outcome of our continued bargaining and will be encouraged to participate in activities around raising the awareness of all staff as to the complete lack of respect and recognition shown to all of us by the University Executive.