Deakin University NTEU opposes management’s non-union ballot

Management at Deakin University are pushing ahead with a non-union deal following five months of enterprise bargaining.

Deakin University management put a non-union ballot to staff members on Friday in a move opposed by the National Tertiary Union (NTEU), who is encouraging staff to vote against the proposal in order to continue negotiations. 

In the most recent round of negotiations, management had proposed a 2.85% salary increase per year, representing a real pay cut with inflation at 7.8%. They have not proposed a meaningful solution to reduce casual employment, nor to reduce academic workloads.

The union is demanding a 15% salary increase over the life of the next enterprise agreement or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1.5% to keep up with inflation and the cost of living crisis facing workers across Australia.

The NTEU is also demanding Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander employment rate be in parity with the population and a First Nations employment committee established alongside a First Nations Network.

Workloads are also a key issue, with the Union seeking to establish workload committees at each Faculty and School, alongside minimising workload increases due to organisational change.

The NTEU will oppose the agreement put forward by Deakin management with Deakin Branch President Piper Rodd addressing Union members in a video to urge them to vote against the proposed changes.

“Let me be very clear: The agreement [management] are presenting does nothing to improve workloads and working conditions across the University. It offers a grossly inadequate pay increase and it effectively diminishes all Deakin staff’s right to meaningfully input into our working conditions and improve job security,” Rodd said.

“What we want as the Union is to keep negotiating for a better agreement for all workers across the University. Voting no to what Deakin is offering is the only way we can meaningfully improve working conditions and pay for all workers.”

Enterprise bargaining between Deakin management and the NTEU has been ongoing for five months.