Murdoch University Staff Agreement

April 11, 2021 in Uncategorized by

“The way in which this agreement was denounced is another example of the serious breach of our laws and the need to change them to ensure the fair treatment of workers,” she said. “At no time did we propose salary reductions for our employees. Taking the salary at home is an important issue for all of our employees, and we have proposed pay increases throughout the negotiation process – not reductions,” she said. The National Tertiary Education Union welcomed the result and called the agreement an “unprecedented attack on staff pay and conditions.” Murdoch University Vice-Chancellor Eeva Leinonen is reportedly paying nearly $1 million, while employees are being asked to sacrifice wages without job security, according to the union. Credit: Lauren Pilat In his decision, Commissioner Williams took into account the fact that the negotiations had been extended (there were 27 negotiating meetings over 12 months) and that the parties were essentially blocked, with the university having submitted its best final offer many months earlier. He concluded that the current negotiating environment was not neutral and favoured the NTEU, where it would not agree to amend the relevant clauses of the Murdoch agreement. A denunciation of the agreement would be more likely to tip the balance, but it is not contrary to the public interest to do so, as the NTEU is not prepared to amend the existing clauses. Under the Fair Work Act, an employer has the right to apply for termination of an enterprise contract that has passed its nominal expiry date. The Fair Labour Commission must terminate the contract if it is satisfied that it is not in the public interest.

The public interest in this context is not in the interest of the university or the workers. Thus, while the opinions of the employer and employees must be taken into account in the exercise of the FWC`s discretion, their opinions are secondary. “This decision will not change our negotiating position of reaching an agreement that delivers efficiencies without removing significant rights or rights. Commissioner Williams rejected the NTEU`s public interest arguments, which were based on the effects of the end of academic freedom. The NTEU had argued that the repeal of the wrongs and serious misconduct clauses (along with the relevant procedures of the Review Committee) would instead have the effect of preventing academic staff from exercising academic freedom, which, combined with the loss of the academic freedom and freedom of thought clauses contained in the agreement, , would be contrary to the public interest. The Fair Work Commission`s verdict came on Tuesday afternoon after nearly a year of discussions between the university and the National Tertiary Education Union and will involve 3,558 Murdoch employees in the academic and administrative fields. The union said it had met twice with Murdoch`s management, which was not prepared to commit to protecting jobs, in exchange for a 1 percent plus $500 pay increase and progressive increase in 2021, as well as reducing their vacation balance from 20 days to 10 days of surplus.