Protecting jobs and our University

University of Melbourne clock tower

The University of Melbourne continues to focus on minimising job losses and maintaining high quality teaching and research in the face of massive financial disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Following discussions this week about the National Tertiary Education Union’s proposed national framework agreement, the University has determined that it is not in the best interests of the University and its workforce to accept the arrangements set out in the framework and will not participate.

The University said the proposed framework contains provisions that it has no interest in pursuing – such as stand downs, forced leave, forced reduction of hours, large pay cuts of up to 15 per cent and deferral of incremental progression – and believes there is no value in asking staff to vote on changes to employment conditions that it has no intention of making.

University Council also met this week and formed the view that the requirements of the framework agreement conflicted with Council’s responsibilities to manage and control the affairs of the University.

It can be seen from the national framework documents that the University shares many of the underlying principles and concerns of the Union. In this context, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the Union, and our workforce, to explore measures to fend off the real and present risk to jobs, and to the viability and success of the University.