The previous agreement provided very strong protection for academic staff against dismissal for misconduct, including the obligation for the investigator to interview witnesses and a three-member oversight body with guaranteed representation from the NTEU. The new agreement significantly reduces these safeguards – there is no need for the first investigation to interview witnesses, and a single “independent expert” now only considers written submissions. The decision of the Fair Work Committee on the Murdoch Agreement was essentially based on the weakness of the financial situation of this institution – it had recorded a decline in surpluses over the last four years. Sydney is in a much better position in comparison, with lucrative international listings continuing to grow rapidly. Consequently, it is not certain that, if asked to do so, the Commission would consider it necessary, using the “public interest” test which it used to determine such cases, to denounce the undertaking agreement with USyd. Academic workload also remains a problem, with a teaching allowance for academic staff of up to 80% of the workload (compared to a maximum of 75% in the old agreement). Clauses that tried to maximize the role of research or teaching/research and to ensure “a reasonable mix of teaching, research and science and service” for university employees who were not strong in the old agreement, disappear completely in the new one. Lyons believes that the Fair Work Commission has set the bar underestimated for the execution of the legal test provided for in Section 226 of the Fair Work Act, which states that an agreement must be denounced if it is not contrary to the public interest and that it is appropriate in light of all the opinions and circumstances of the workers. Trade unions and employers. The agreement and its provisions will replace the current commitments as of August 10, 2018.
The Fair Work Act was passed under the last Labour government, but the Murdoch decision goes beyond earlier Commission rulings that terminated other agreements. “If that`s the case now. that employers can simply ask for contracts to be terminated, we have serious difficulties. Reid, who represented Murdoch University, said most employers probably don`t want to take the drastic step of terminating a company agreement. It rejects the unions` claims that the case undermined the companies` negotiations. McManus accuses lawyers of continuing to train the model for terminating company agreements to employers and accuses Murdoch University of inappropriately spending up to $2.8 million in public money to “find its own way in the negotiation.” The proposed agreement continues the downward trend in employment conditions in higher education. Salary increases vary, but will average around 5.5 percent over the four-year contract term. A wage increase of about 1 percent per year is a reduction in wages in real terms. Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, says the provisions of the Fair Work Act, which allow for the termination of an expired contract, contain significant safeguards and strike the right balance between the interests of all parties. “It`s important that the provisions are maintained,” he says. The University of Sydney Open House is the largest day in the university calendar. Credit: Louise Cooper “It`s not really the way corporate negotiations should work that the employer can essentially go to court and maybe erase 20 years of collective bargaining results.
It`s really pretty insolent,” Lyons says. The overall atmosphere in the area was different,” he says. “A number of university leaders have taken a more aggressive stance.” “I think it`s a crisis for companies` negotiation,” she says. “We can no longer negotiate fairly.” The campaign for a new company agreement began in April 2016, when union members adopted a complaints protocol to address a number of issues, including equal pension contributions for all employees, a peer review procedure for academic workloads, and a 15 percent increase in wages over the life of the agreement. . . .