The Western Australian Division of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) released this statement on December 9.
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In a move unprecedented in the Higher Education sector Murdoch University management have applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the enterprise agreement covering academic and general staff at the University.
The effect of terminating the agreement will be to enable management to drop terms and conditions of employment to award and statutory minimum conditions; in fact the application is expressly about removing conditions that management do not want.
NTEU WA Secretary Gabe Gooding described the action taken by Murdoch Management as an immediate and vehement attack on employment conditions by a management team that has completely abandoned all principles of fairness and decency toward staff.
Management have not given any legally binding commitment to provide terms and conditions of employment other than the statutory minimums.
Ms Gooding said that the actions of management is the same strategy taken by rogue employers in the mining and construction industries such as Griffin Coal that resulted in a reduction in the pay of those workers by up to 43 per cent.
Ms Gooding said that management had asked the Fair Work Commission to conciliate bargaining next week but have not even been prepared to wait for that to happen. “How will Murdoch staff ever be able to trust the management again?,” she said. “Neither have the management had the courage or the respect for staff to put their proposal to a ballot”.