Adapted from member email 21/2/23
At bargaining today, management blindsided our bargaining team by making a lower wage offer than any union-agreed pay-rise in the higher education sector – 3.3 per cent per year from the expiry of the last agreement to the end of the one we are negotiating now. Management is trying to ignore that we are coming up to two years since our last Agreement nominally expired – a period in which inflation ran at well over ten per cent. On paper, they are offering a 14.6 per cent flat pay-rise from July 2023 to July 2026. But don’t be fooled by this figure: in real terms, their offer amounts to a 3.3 per cent pay-rise over the five years to 2026 (16.7 per cent in toto). This is a lower figure than the average annual increase (expiry to expiry) in other union-endorsed agreements, all of which are less rich than Sydney Uni, and some of which even posted a deficit, for instance at WSU, ACU, UTAS or UTS. How is a pay-rise less than these universities, who are all in worse financial positions, possible? This is a low-ball offer which is completely unacceptable and an insult to staff.
They are also maintaining their attack on 40:40:20, and still seeking the right to force academics to increase their teaching by one quarter, to a 50% allocation.