Rmit Collective Agreement

Staff have until April 13 to sign the framework. They are due to begin negotiating a new collective agreement with the university in July. In universities, the momentum is growing to act together to defend our jobs and conditions. Last month, more than a thousand casual workers were laid off – 200 at rMIT, at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe, and similar figures in many other 39 universities. Trade union federations across the country are demanding that our national and government officials be on the front lines and take serious national steps to pressure Morrison to fund COVID 19 deficits. Second, construction work such as participation in the May 1 convoy and a National Day of Action, which effectively allows members to vote “no” when and when vice-chancellors attempt to impose a staff vote, are not taken into account. And that means waiting for only one vote or, at best, the telephone bank. Jobs are not saved by the agreement. Hundreds of activists and new NTEU members debate Zoom`s action. Some left-wing activists argue that the resistance should focus exclusively on the “no” vote on each campus, by voting on agreements.

So far, the response of NTEU national officials has been to bend on both lines of attack – and accept that Morrison will not provide COVID 19 funds and that the vice-chancellor could scare employees into accepting greater attacks on their jobs, wages and conditions. The aim of the NTEU national executive was to mitigate these attacks by negotiating with universities a temporary “national labour protection framework” to amend collective agreements. The Morrison government has opened a second decisive front – giving the vice-chancellors a big push to attack wages and conditions in collective agreements. University principals can now, within 24 hours, impose changes to the agreements by a vote on emergency medical measures. Fair Work Australia decided last week that RMIT had not breached its agreement with workplace staff by introducing the new behaviour requirements. The National Tertiary Education Union has appealed the decision, but has not yet been heard. RMIT, Melbourne, La Trobe, Flinders, Sydney, Victoria University, Sunshine Coast and Monash voted overwhelmingly against concessions that would lead to cuts in jobs, wages or conditions. Many people are now calling for collective outreach actions – to join the car vase on May 1 and organize a national day of activist action next month. These attacks are just the beginning.

Over the next three years, the COVID-19 crisis is expected to generate between $25 billion and $40 billion in revenue, mainly due to the loss of income of international students, on which the neoliberal business models of universities depend heavily. It says that some academic and professional collaborators must “promote the positive and not show the negative” and show a passion for work. While it is essential to vote against concessions on wages and conditions, Solidarity and other NTEU members say there are problems to focus exclusively on the vote itself. First, it accepts that a political and industrial campaign could not be put in place to pressure the Morrison government to involve universities in its rescue operation. RMIT Chief Operating Officer Steve Somogyi said the university introduced the framework in response to the results of an employee survey in 2010.