Union-management partnership at Australia’s Macquarie University will create “two-tier” workforce


Union-management partnership at Australia’s Macquarie University will create “two-tier” workforce

our correspondent

18 June 2018

Despite what one participant called “a lot of concern in the room” at the union’s last staff meeting at Sydney’s Macquarie University, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is still pushing management’s “job families” proposal.

This plan could force huge teaching workloads onto at least a quarter of the university’s academics.

A May 31 NTEU industrial brief, issued for the next “enterprise bargaining” meeting on June 19, also praised Macquarie’s management for “matching” a 2 percent annual pay rise recently imposed by the union at Western Sydney University.

The “rise” is, in effect, a pay cut, compared to the soaring cost of living. Again, defying clear expressions of opposition at the last meeting, the NTEU is presenting it as a fait accompli.

Intensive NTEU-Macquarie management talks have been underway for months on a new enterprise agreement (EA). According to the industrial brief, the “focus” of the most recent discussions “has been on academic workloads and job families.” Without elaborating, the brief boasted of “some important developments” in these areas.

The NTEU’s partnership with management is a graphic example of the union’s role nationally. Last December, the Liberal-National government inflicted another $2.2 billion cut over the next four years on universities, which will mean even worse conditions for students and staff alike.

Far from fighting the multi-billion dollar cuts, which the NTEU claims to oppose, the union is imposing their consequences on staff, via EA deals with individual universities.

These agreements provide each university with the cost savings and…

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