Murdoch University in bid to cut wages of academic and general staff

Murdoch University.
Murdoch University.

MURDOCH University is seeking to tear up its enterprise agreement with academic and general staff, in a move that could result in wage cuts of up to 39 per cent.

The university has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the agreement, which would force staff onto the far less generous modern award.

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) WA secretary Gabe Gooding blasted the move, which she said showed a complete lack of respect to dedicated employees.

“This application is expressly about removing hard-won conditions that management don’t want,” she said.

“The NTEU has been negotiating a new enterprise agreement since April but the university has taken an aggressive stance, demanding wide and deep cuts to staff working conditions while pursuing costly and time-consuming legal avenues.

“Consequently union members took protected industrial action last Wednesday.

“Management immediately filed for conciliation listed for this coming Friday but before this could occur, sought to terminate the current enterprise agreement.

“They didn’t even have the decency to put their plan to a staff vote.

“Staff of the university, whether union members or not, cannot see this as anything other than a co-ordinated attack on employment conditions by a management team that has completely abandoned all principles of fairness and decency toward staff.”

In an email to NTEU members, general secretary Grahame McCulloch described the move as an “unprecedented act never seen before in the university sector.”

He claimed that if successful, it would allow Murdoch University management to reduce wages by 25 to 39 per cent, cut redundancy entitlements, remove academic workload regulation, end right to academic and intellectual freedom and eliminate employer provided paid parental leave.

The NTEU has organised an open public rally on Wednesday at 12.30pm at Murdoch University.

Murdoch University has been approached for comment.