Update for Griffith Members re: Proposed EB Variation

Posted on July 27, 2020

On Monday we were advised that the University will cease our ongoing discussions and move to a staff ballot on the proposed EB variations for the two Griffith agreements. This has come as a surprise to Together union delegates. We had been participating in these discussions in good faith, and when we left the last meeting last Friday we had an action to return with some further proposals about strengthening job security. 

On Tuesday 28 July the Vice Chancellor will be holding one of her regular tele-town halls. At this meeting there is likely to be an update on negotiations on the EB variation and the University’s position.

Together representatives have made some good progress in these negotiations and the University have withdrawn some of the measures (like increment freezes and excision of pay rises) and amended others. This has been successful, there has been some good movement.

However, we did believe we were still talking. When we had our last negotiation or discussion last Friday we had agreed to come back to the University with some further words about improving job security, prior to another meeting. However, it appears that talks may now have broken down.

There are some other matters being pursued by the NTEU (like an Expert Advisory Panel) and other issues important to their members.

We want to make sure that all members understand exactly what is being proposed. As VERs are also being offered, it's important to understand that we didn't want to rush the EA variation, while also not dragging the chain.

We want to make sure the best possible variation is proposed to make the change that needs to be made but also protects as many jobs as possible.

You may hear some of the following tomorrow:

1. If the EB Variation is not approved a further 80 jobs will need to go.
2. Unions are holding up the process.
3. There is nothing further to negotiate – things have come to ahead/we cannot agree

To date we know that the constructive discussions held have resulted in changes that benefit staff. We are certainly in no doubt about the scary times we are in. However, we want to make sure that everything is as good as it can be.

Here is what you can do tomorrow during the tele-town hall:

Ask questions in the chat! Some questions we have heard are:

1. Why are we doing this right now?
2. Could we wait for the end of the VER process to propose further changes?
3. Don't we have until March 2021 to make the EB Variation?

As always, please get in contact if you have any information, questions or concerns by emailing universities@together.org.au or by calling 1800 177 244.

We want to make sure you have the answers you need.

We also want to make sure that you have a say, so please look out for a reminder about the ballot on our support or otherwise for the variation as the Together Union.

1800 177 244