University of Canberra staff who are union members will strike on Thursday (1 November) as negotiations on a new agreement falter and UC pushes ahead with a vote on its offer.
The National Tertiary Education Union said the full-day strike would follow a half-day stoppage on 17 October after which UC management made a ‘best and final offer’ which a meeting of NTEU members rejected.
It said that the union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union had been negotiating with UC management for a new Agreement since August, with key sticking points being professional staff and academic workloads, job security and the Assistant Professor scheme.
UC management announced Wednesday morning (31 October) that they would now proceed to an all-staff ballot to seek endorsement of its proposed Agreement.
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NTEU members will picket entrances at College Street, Haydon Drive and Ginninderra Drive from 7:30 – 11:30 am in support of their bargaining claims.
They will be encouraging UC staff to reject the management offer and send a message that the University needs to go back to the bargaining table to negotiate seriously for an agreement acceptable to UC staff.
NTEU UC Branch President Dr Craig Applegate said the union was confident the UC Management Agreement would be rejected.
“We will be vigorously campaigning for staff to ‘Vote No’ to send a strong message to UC management that they have to do better,” he said.
“UC staff deserve to be valued, supported and respected, but this whole round of bargaining has demonstrated not only a failure to hear, but also to really listen and understand staff concerns on the part of UC Management. We believe that a resounding ‘No’ vote will mean that management can no longer ignore the frustrations and concerns of staff.”
UC said its offer supported the objectives of the University’s strategic plan Distinctive by Design, maintained the existing terms and conditions and added 15 new rights and improvements to the conditions of employment.
“The welfare of our staff is always of paramount importance and we encourage direct conversations between staff members and the bargaining team to discuss the details of this offer,” it said in a statement.
“The UC bargaining team are hosting information sessions across different locations on campus and making information available in a range of formats. We encourage all staff to be fully informed and vote.”
The University did not say whether there were any arrangements if classes were disrupted today.