Uni of Melbourne staff reject unfair offer

University of Melbourne staff have resoundingly rejected a management plan to permanently reduce pay and conditions, with no commitment to protecting jobs.

The management proposal was crafted without input from the Union and was rejected by 64 per cent of employees who took part in the ballot.

“This proposal from the University of Melbourne was an aggressive and gratuitous assault on the pay, conditions and jobs of University of Melbourne staff,” said Dr Alison Barnes. “It has been overwhelmingly repudiated. Staff have clearly indicated they want their union involved in negotiations.

“Unlike many other universities, the University of Melbourne has not been transparent about its finances and has not co-operated with the union or staff.

“Instead, it unilaterally sought to demolish jobs, conditions and pay without a shred of supporting evidence.

“The cuts proposed by the University of Melbourne were permanent and staff have realised the bad faith in which management has conducted itself.

“This result sends an important message to other universities. The NTEU stands ready to work co-operatively to prevent job losses. We have negotiated a framework which allows for temporary pay reductions to save jobs, provided vice chancellors are transparent about their finances and open to co-operative negotiation.

“The University of Melbourne now has a chance to reset. It should return to the drawing board and adopt a more co-operative and conciliatory approach to negotiations. We are contemplating careers and livelihoods, not line items on a spreadsheet.”

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