Talks to save hundreds of UOW jobs set to resume

The University of Wollongong main campus. Picture: Anna Warr
The University of Wollongong main campus. Picture: Anna Warr

Public pressure seems to have paid off with University of Wollongong management seemingly agreeing to resume talks aimed at keeping the institution financially viable.

On Wednesday it seemed a foregone conclusion that the university would cut 350 jobs by removing duplicated roles across campus and reviewing low-enrolment subjects.

UOW management told staff of its plans after a series of talks with the unions representing academic and professional staff, broke down.

But on Friday more than 250 members of the National Tertiary Education Union met at UOW's Wollongong campus.

They were told that thanks to public pressure, management had reversed their decision and would come back to the negotiating table.

NTEU assistant secretary Damien Cahill said a motion was passed at the meeting to continue to negotiate for job protection measures.

"We are pleased that negotiations will now continue," Mr Cahill said.

"The NTEU will continue to campaign for job security for Wollongong Uni staff. Management's proposal to sack up to 350 staff would be devastating and is unacceptable."

A UOW spokesman confirmed management and the unions representing staff, the NTEU and the CPSU, will return to negotiations next week, seeking agreement on variations to the staff enterprise agreements.

"The agreement to restart consultations came after the local NTEU modified its position and sought to reopen discussions regarding minimising job losses at UOW," the spokesman said.

"The local NTEU made significant major concessions in order to be able to continue participation in these consultations.

"The University's management and CPSU have agreed to reconvene the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) in order to finalise a proposition to put to all staff.

"The Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE has written to all staff to outline the choices now facing JCC."

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This story Talks to save hundreds of UOW jobs set to resume first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.