Academics vote overwhelmingly for proposed enterprise agreement

New agreement delivers increased pay and improved conditions, keeps UOW on financially sustainable footings

Academics vote overwhelmingly for proposed enterprise agreement

Academic staff at the University of Wollongong (UOW) are set to enjoy salary increases and improved employment conditions after overwhelmingly voting to support a proposed new enterprise agreement.

The voting process for the proposed University of Wollongong (Academic) Enterprise Agreement, 2019 has now closed and 97 per cent of those who cast a ballot voted to approve the agreement.

A $1,000 increase to the base of all full-time academic annual salary rates will be made from today. Academic staff will see the increases reflected in the next pay cycle on 3 October 2019; rates of pay for casual and part-time academic staff will also be increased on a pro-rata basis.

That initial increase will be followed by stepped salary increases (calculated from today) that are above expected CPI over the life of the agreement. The agreement expires on 30 June 2022.

Academic staff will also enjoy several important improvements to working conditions. In an industry first, the University will make employer superannuation contributions on periods of unpaid parental leave during the child’s first year of life. The University will also extend the 17 per cent superannuation contribution it pays for permanent, full-time staff to include all permanent, part-time employees who work less than 0.5FTE by 30 June 2022.

The agreement also includes a number of enhancements to paid leave provisions, including: committing to 15 days domestic and family violence leave; introducing cultural and ceremonial leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees; and improved parental leave with paid partner leave increasing from 5 days to 10 days.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE said he was pleased staff had voted so overwhelmingly in favour of the new agreement.

“This is an agreement that recognises the dedicated work of our Academic staff while also putting UOW on a solid footing to prepare for the future in a rapidly changing higher education sector.

“The University approached this bargaining period determined to promote inclusive and equitable work practices and provide staff with supportive and flexible career pathways while simultaneously ensuring the University remained viable and sustainable into the future.

“We were met with good faith and a spirit of cooperation by Academic staff representatives that led to us achieving this positive and constructive outcome for all parties,” Professor Wellings said.

The University will now lodge the new, staff-endorsed agreement with the Fair Work Commission for approval. Once approved by the Fair Work Commission, the agreement will come into effect. Until then, provisions of the existing agreement will continue to apply.

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