Staff at RMIT University held a 24-hour stopwork for a new Enterprise Agreement on November 20.
Organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), the strike was called to reject a substandard agreement that offers a 3% pay rise with no improvements to conditions.
RMIT management wants to leave many vital entitlements in "policy" rather than the Enterprise Agreement because this gives them the "flexibility" to alter them at their discretion.
The management offer would leave Early Career Development Fellowships unfunded for casual academics and mean that rostered days off are not protected.
RMIT breached its own "policy on policies" when it removed RDOs from policy without even notifying those affected.
There would also be no upper limit on academic workloads and no definition of teaching and teaching related duties.
RMIT has the worst academic workloads clause in the country. The only protection offered in the current agreement is a "nominal" 14 weeks of research, scholarship and professional activities. Excessive teaching and teaching-related duties have eroded this nominal 14 weeks. It also means RMIT can load up staff during semester with some lecturers doing more than 20 hours face-to-face teaching a week.
The NTEU is demanding a clear and unequivocal statement that ensures an upper limit on teaching and teaching-related duties.
For 15 months, RMIT has pretended to listen to staff concerns while having no intention of reaching a compromise. It is time staff received their due protections.
For more info on the ongoing campaign visit nteu.org.au/rmit.