“The university did not succeed in this vote, so they now have three main options. Professor Ling said that even if all the terms were agreed with the university, they would still offer some of the best holiday benefits in Victoria and the highest paid parental leave in the entire sector. “After being in deficit for several consecutive years, Victoria University must now return to a surplus over the next four years and reduce expenses and increase revenues and productivity,” said Lorraine Ling, director of Victoria University`s corporate bargaining team. What happened: With 54 percent of employees, only 23 percent voted for the university offer, which was vigorously rejected by the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union. VU took the relatively unusual step of making an offer to employees who did not have union support after lengthy discussions got bogged down and they will likely remain so. What this means: this is a big loss for the management of the VU, which is trying to transform its teaching structure and financial base. This is a loss that could lead the direction in view of the Murdoch U strategy. Last year, the VA University obtained permission from the Fair Work Commission to include employees in the Higher Education Industrial Award on wages and conditions if no new agreement has been reached by the expiration of the old one. This was unpopular with Murdoch`s employees, as the award terms were worse than those of the expired company agreement, but it`s an option Victoria U might consider. The problem is that VC Peter Dawkins effectively excluded it last year and told employees, “As is customary, the existing agreement will continue to operate after its expiration date until it is replaced by a new agreement” (MWC October 31, 2017). The proposed deal is not supported by the National Tertiary Education Union, which was excluded from the process after management said it was “no longer able to make any further changes” to the union.
Of all Australian universities, vu has been one of the most courageous in creating a new approach to basic education focused on block teaching and small class sizes. It`s no surprise that they need big changes to their 2013 company agreement to make it work. Melbourne`s Victoria University has called on employees to vote “yes” to a company deal that increases staff working time and streamlines dispute resolution processes, given the university is facing a deteriorating financial deficit. . . .