Settlement won by staff at Sydney University

Issue 

Settlement won by staff at Sydney University

By Tyrion Perkins

SYDNEY — National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU) members at the University of Sydney have agreed to accept the latest enterprise bargain offer made by management on June 23.

After negotiations covering nearly nine months, university management raised its offer from 4.5% over three years to 14.5% over four years, plus an initial payment of $1000 instead of backdating another 2%. It also agreed to maintain a number of conditions it originally wanted to remove or reduce.

This result, so far the best offer from any university, did not come easily. The NTEU held two stop-work meetings and two strikes and threatened to ban the release of exam results and ban new technologies. Members of the Public Sector Association, which covers some general staff who participated for half a day in one of the strikes, are yet to vote on the agreement.

Members were jubilant as they accepted the offer of: pay increases of 2% in 1999, 4% in each of 2000, 2001 and 2002, plus an initial payment of $1000, none subject to increases in students or productivity; superannuation preserved for the life of the agreement; no net job losses and no increase in casualisation; protection of award conditions for general staff.

To address staff workloads, notional hours of work for academic staff are to be included in university policy. A workloads task force is to examine workload issues, including excessive overtime demands on general staff.