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What happened was that the qualified staff, who are said to face most of the redundancies, were resolutely in favour of the necessary modification of their company agreement, 66% were in favour, with a participation rate of 69%. However, 55% of voting academics (56% of voters) were against. The university had pledged to continue only if both groups voted yes. One of the key elements of the proposal was the freezing of wage increases guaranteed by company agreements, and Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans says, “It would simply be unfair and incompatible with Griffith`s values for one group of employees to receive pay increases when the other did not.” Where it came from: the National Union of Education rejected the leadership`s proposal after talks on conditions failed. Among the disagreements, there was reportedly a trade union call for no guarantee of dismissal to be guaranteed for the duration of an agreement. (MWC 28 July). The NTEU also wanted management to agree to an independent committee, to which union representatives are subject, in order to monitor the savings of management that Professor Evans will not bear (MWC 22 May). A management plan to reduce COVID0-19 has led to involuntary layoffs in exchange for a freeze on wage increases and temporary cuts in future conditions: the union and management are still stuck between them. Professor Evans says the $US 10 million that would have saved EA`s changes now leads to the other $44 million $US in cuts management needs to make.
“These wage savings are achieved in accordance with the provisions of the current company agreements,” she explains. This means that management must consult with staff – and the NTEU … .