University of Newcastle and staff end years long enterprise agreement negotiations

Almost two years of negotiations between the University of Newcastle and its staff has finally come to an end, with the local branch of the National Tertiary Education Union voting to accept the latest enterprise agreement offer.

It follows an intense week of negotiations between the two sides, which were facilitated by the Fair Work Commission last month, after efforts to reach an agreement failed to make headway.

Following those discussions the parties came an in-principle agreement on a new enterprise agreement covering professional, academic and teaching staff, which includes a 13 per cent pay rise over three years.

The deal was put to members of the union on Monday for a vote which was overwhelmingly endorsed, bringing an end to a tumultuous two years.

Associate Professor Terry Summers, President of the Newcastle Branch says they’ve successfully defended existing conditions that management were so intent on winding back.

“For example, members won agreement that casual staff must now be paid for all hours worked.

“For professional staff, members achieved guarantees for reasonable hours.

“For teachers and academic staff, members won agreement that workloads shall be transparent and can actually be completed in the time allocated.

“The students and the staff are the University. I want to express my thanks to all of our bargaining team, and all our members at the University who campaigned so hard to defend our existing conditions and won important new gains. I want to thank the students who supported us, and the wider community too.

“We have said consistently that staff working conditions are student learning conditions – and that’s a key reason for why reasonable working conditions are so important,” Mr Summers said.

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