UOW staff 'optimistic' of a 'satisfactory' deal

Negotiations ongoing
Negotiations ongoing

Talks aimed at keeping the University of Wollongong financially viable, continue on Monday.

UOW bosses and staff took part in a Joint Consultative Committee meeting on Friday.

A UOW spokesman confirmed a further meeting is scheduled for Monday.

Georgine Clarsen, the UOW branch president of the National Tertiary Education Union said the NTEU had undertaken to keep talks going and not make a detailed statement until they have concluded.

"We are going through the fine details of the proposed option and that takes time.

"We are there in good faith and are optimistic that we can reach a satisfactory conclusion," Ms Clarsen said.

UOW is looking to recover from a projected $90 million shortfall linked to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and its ongoing impact on student recruitment.

In April UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings announced he was taking a pay cut of 20 per cent effective immediately for the next 12 months.

He also announced all Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans and the Chief Operating Officer had also decided to take a pay cut of 20 per cent for the next 12 months.

Last week UOW asked staff to back a pay cut that would reduce job losses, despite a survey showing 62 per cent of staff voted against changes to their work conditions.

Staff had been asked to consider a pay cut of up to 10 per cent for 18 months, or a cut of up to 15 per cent for 12 months, or no changes to conditions - with the warning that pay cuts would reduce the number of jobs to be lost.

In announcing the survey results on June 17, Professor Wellings said given there was some support for Option 1 (10 per cent cut for 18 months), he asked staff union representatives to reconsider.

"My view is that we should seek to minimise the number of job losses while securing a sustainable financial position," he said.

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This story UOW staff 'optimistic' of a 'satisfactory' deal first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.