Bargaining Update # 10

Our Swinburne – An Agreement that Works for You

It's all about job security this week. Management has proposed several new types of employment, each looking innocuous but resulting in increased opportunities to hire people on fixed-term, annualised, and part-year contracts. One of the union's key claims is to increase job security for all staff. Management's proposals with respect to types of employment appear to do the opposite.

Our university has the highest precarious employment rate (61.5% according to the 2021 Annual Report) of all Victorian Universities as it is. These proposals would enable the university to employ people on fixed-term contracts where they can't employ them now. The other concerning aspect is a proposal that appears to allow management to terminate a fixed-term contract before its expiry date.

It's a slippery slope.

We'll be fighting against this, as with everything put on the table that threatens to downgrade work and conditions at our university.

On a brighter note, our two well-attended members' meetings –– where members shared powerful stories of bullying, wage theft, and massive increases in workload across the institution –– voted overwhelmingly to apply for a protected action ballot so that we can take industrial action in the future. This means we'll have the opportunity to bring some pressure to bear on the negotiations and collectively show management what we think of their plans. When the Commission approves this in early May, you'll be asked to vote on the ballot to approve the industrial action we take. 

Now is the time to talk with colleagues not yet in the union and remind them that only union members can take protected industrial action by law. They can do this here:

As we head into the break, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday, and we look forward to taking up the fight again when we return. The next bargaining meeting will occur on 3 May, but we'll be in contact before then about the protected action ballot.

More information