JCU jus­ti­fies pay rises

Staff ap­proved of en­ter­prise agree­ment

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - SCOTT SAWYER

JAMES Cook Univer­sity has hit back af­ter the Na­tional Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Union at­tacked salary in­creases to the univer­sity’s ex­ec­u­tive and what it con­sid­ers vague fi­nan­cial re­port­ing.

The univer­sity’s Cairns­based NTEU branch pres­i­dent Dr Jonathan Strauss said the 2017 an­nual re­port had re­vealed the univer­sity ViceChan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor San­dra Hard­ing’s in­come rose by more than three per cent to “at least $975,000”.

Two other ex­ec­u­tives re­ceived “no less than $810,000 and $570,000 each” while their bonuses could be up to 15 per cent on top of that, while the bud­get deficit grew by al­most $3 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the union.

“This is a pub­lic univer­sity. Many staff are out­raged at the amount of money these man­agers are tak­ing for them­selves, while our sit­u­a­tion is get­ting worse,” Dr Strauss said.

He said some staff had taken a re­duc­tion in pay mea­sured against the cost of liv­ing dur­ing last year’s pay ne­go­ti­a­tions, while the ex­ec­u­tive en­joyed in­creases.

He said the an­nual re­ports were con­sid­ered “not trans­par­ent” and dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine ac­tual salaries.

A JCU spokesman said all ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers re­ceived the same pay rise as other staff (1.5 per cent) and that the an­nual re­port had dis­closed all “nec­es­sary fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion” re­quired by the State Gov­ern­ment.

He said 90 per cent of em­ploy­ees, who par­tic­i­pated in the bal­lot had ap­proved the lat­est en­ter­prise agree­ment, as had the Fair Work Com­mis­sion. The spokesman said the agree­ment pro­vided pay in­creases for staff and other ben­e­fits in­clud­ing gen­er­ous sev­er­ance and re­dun­dancy pay, an­nual and parental leave.

He said se­nior ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers had a por­tion of their salary “at risk” in the form of a per­for­mance bonus and these were com­mon for se­nior staff.

The spokesman said key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors were “just one com­po­nent”.

CQUniversity’s Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Scott Bow­man earned $569,000 in 2015. He re­tires at the end of the year.

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BAT-TAS­TIC: Fly­ing fox ex­pert Dr Martin Co­hen has helped or­gan­ise the Cairns Bat Fes­ti­val, which will be held this week­end.

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