The ANU Branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has initiated the preliminary steps towards a new enterprise bargaining agreement. The enterprise bargaining agreement, which will affect all staff at the ANU, is the first since 2013, and will be in effect from next year until 2020.
The branch’s mass meeting on a rainy Wednesday afternoon last week outlined the process of negotiation and passed the Log of Claims, which delineates the demands which the ANU NTEU Branch hopes to achieve in the next Enterprise Agreement.
The log of claims, which was passed without incident, calls for a 15% wage increase over the next four years. Furthermore, the Log of Claims also outlines improvements on job security, a consequence the ongoing instability surrounding the School of Culture, History and Language.
“I believe that the current enterprise agreement is genuinely a good agreement,” says Rachel Bahl, the ACT Division Secretary for the NTEU. “However, there are parts of the agreement that can be improved, such as domestic violence leave.”
Bahl also presented limited figures at the mass meeting, which reveal that the wages at the ANU are average or below average when juxtaposed against other universities.
The issue of wages raised a passionate response by one of the audience members at the mass meeting, who questioned the ANU’s willingness to become the best university in Australia despite offering less in wages than their counterparts.
The initiative taken by the NTEU to begin preliminary steps now requires the ANU to respond to the Log of Claims whenever they are ready to initiate their side of bargaining. However, the ANU administration has not made any signals to continue bargaining with any haste, according to Bahl.
The process is expected to take up to half a year, with any contracts signed during the transitionary period during negotiation will come under the current enterprise bargaining agreement in effect.