Union agree­ment ended

Melville Times - - News -

THE Fair Work Com­mis­sion has agreed to Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity’s re­quest to ter­mi­nate its ex­ist­ing en­ter­prise agree­ment (EA) with staff.

Na­tional Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Union (NTEU) WA sec­re­tary Gabe God­ding said the de­ci­sion was dis­ap­point­ing but not un­ex­pected.

“NTEU’s po­si­tion has al­ways been that Mur­doch em­ploy­ees de­serve fair and rea­son­able work­ing con­di­tions, con­sis­tent with those that ap­ply else­where in the uni­ver­sity sec­tor,” she said.

“This de­ci­sion will not change our bar­gain­ing po­si­tion which is to achieve an agree­ment that pro­vides ef­fi­ciency gains without elim­i­nat­ing key rights or en­ti­tle­ments.”

Ms Good­ing also crit­i­cised the $2.8 mil­lion Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity spent on le­gal fees on bar­gain­ing, the case and ac­tions against the union.

She said it was dif­fi­cult to see how the uni­ver­sity could jus­tify the ex­pense when it had used its $5 mil­lion op­er­a­tional deficit as part rea­son for the ter­mi­na­tion ap­pli­ca­tion.

From Septem­ber 26, Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity will be free to re­duce wages by 25 to 39 per cent, cut re­dun­dancy en­ti­tle­ments, re­move aca­demic work­load reg­u­la­tion, elim­i­nate em­ployer pro­vided paid parental leave and re­move the cur­rent re­quire­ment to con­sult staff be­fore im­ple­ment­ing work­place changes.

Ahead of the Fair Work Com­mis­sion hear­ing, Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing staff wages and other ben­e­fits for six months if the ex­ist­ing EA was ter­mi­nated.

Speak­ing at the time, Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity direc­tor of peo­ple and cul­ture Michelle Narus­trang said the ex­ist­ing EA was un­nec­es­sar­ily large and com­plex.

“Ter­mi­nat­ing our ex­ist­ing agree­ment will re­set the clock,” she said.

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