10 February 2023
Curtin University has proposed real wages pay cuts for staff in a move the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has labelled insulting.
With inflation soaring in Perth and around Australia, the University has offered paltry 2.2 per cent annual pay increases over the next five years.
The NTEU is urging all staff to reject the offer, which will be put to a vote on February 10.
Inflation in Perth during the last quarter was 8.3 per cent. Curtin recorded a $113.2 million surplus in 2021, the most recent reporting period.
Staff numbers have fallen by 9 per cent since 2015 but student numbers have returned to 2015 levels, implying higher student to staff ratios.
Curtin abandoned negotiations with the NTEU and is putting its proposed enterprise agreement to a vote without the union's support.
NTEU Curtin University Branch President Scott Fitzgerald said:
"WA has just seen the largest cost-of-living rise in Australia yet management is offering a real wages pay cut that will put staff under enormous pressure.
"Staff at Curtin can't afford a cut at a time when inflation continues to smash household budgets.
"The University posted a massive surplus of more than $113 million so it's clearly not a case of the money not being available.
"This offer is an insult to the hard work staff at Curtin put in every single day.
"We're urging all staff to vote against this terrible proposal. We want management to return to negotiations in order to secure a fair pay rise that better keeps up with the rising cost of living."
NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes said:
"It's extremely disappointing senior management at Curtin University is making a conscious decision to try to cut real wages.
"Curtin staff have the power to send a message to universities all around WA and Australia - workers deserve fair pay rises, especially at a time when profits are soaring at so many campuses.
"A 'no' majority vote is what we need to get management back to the negotiating table and listen to our reasonable claims around pay, casualisation, workloads and Indigenous employment targets."
Contact: Matt Coughlan 0400 561 480 / Scott Fitzgerald 0403 873 832