No more strikes: union accepts university management offer

The motion was voted through with 300 votes for and 130 votes against.

The University of Sydney branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has voted to cease strike action and accept university management’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) offer.

At a meeting today, President Kurt Iveson’s motion to accept the offer was voted through with 300 votes for and 130 votes against.

The branch committee had also proposed a motion to instead continue strike action; Iveson’s motion was voted on instead.

As a result of the vote, the bargaining team has been instructed to finalise the offer and terms of agreement with university management. This will occur over the coming weeks, and staff will vote on the new agreement in late October. Following this, it will be ratified by the Fair Work Commission.

There will likely be no further industrial action.

Last week, the NTEU voted to continue strike action on 4 and 5 October this year.

Since then, university management has made a number of small concessions to the Union’s demands regarding pay and redundancy.

These include changing its offer to include a nine month grace period before forced redundancy, rather than a three month period, and a $500 increase in salary for staff earning below $93,000 a year.

A one-off payment of $500 will also be paid to fixed-term and continuing staff when the EBA is ratified by the Fair Work Commission.

The agreed salary increase is 2.1 per cent per annum, which is less than the 2.4 per cent per annum the Union was asking for. This will come into force on 1 July, 2018.

A joint email to staff today, from Iveson, Vice Chancellor Michael Spence, and Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Branch President Grant Wheeler said: “We believe that this agreement is a significant achievement that will help our University community to continue to thrive.”

An NTEU member told Honi that the Union would continue its fight to improve conditions for casuals and intensify its presence on campus, despite the suspension of strike action.

The NTEU’s membership has increased by over 250 over the duration of the campaign.

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