After campaigning for almost two years, members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) gathered at Civic Park on Thursday, 1st of June, to march and fight for better working conditions at the University of Newcastle (UoN). The march commenced a 24-hour strike for NTEU members as they rallied to bring attention to the issues raised in the revised Enterprise Agreement offered by UoN management.
A month has almost passed since the rally and during that time, an agreement in principle on the enterprise agreement conditions has been reached between the NTEU, CPSU, and UoN. The CPSU is the Community and Public Sector Union which represents non-academic staff at universities in NSW. This was the result of a week of facilitated bargaining in early June, led by Deputy President Saunders of the Fair Work Commission, who issued his statement to confirm the in-principle agreement, which you can view below.
As indicated in Deputy President Saunders’ statement, a revised draft of the enterprise agreement must be submitted in accordance with the agreements reached in principle. Bargaining representatives were provided with a copy of the drafted agreement on Friday, 16th of June, which is now awaiting their final reviews.
Vice-Chancellor, Alex Zelinsky, has announced to staff that, “A detailed summary document explaining the key conditions and changes provided in the new agreements will be distributed to staff,” within the following weeks of June which is now available below.
Pending the comments of the drafted enterprise agreement by bargaining representatives, the NTEU and CPSU will encourage their members to vote in favor of the revised conditions once it is approved and released to staff for their vote.
Furthermore, UNSA President Georgie Cooper had the following comments:
“We stand with all staff, especially student-staff members, in their fight for fair pay, job security, and safe workloads. Staff working conditions are student learning conditions – we want adequate protections for staff to ensure quality education and support for students. Students are also concerned by the lack of protections in the proposed enterprise agreement and the possibility of more staff and course cuts in the future”.
UPDATE: UON Vice Chancellor, Alex Zelinsky, released a summary of the new Enterprise Agreements to staff and the above screenshot from the report outlines the principles that have been agreed upon. It’s important to note that these are not the official terms and agreements, as these will be released in the next few weeks.