La Trobe Media: Mark Pearce Media & Communication Manager, La Trobe University Mobile: 0423 783 756 Email: email@example.com NTEU Media: Associate Professor Rhonda Small Tel: 03 8341 8542 Mobile: 0434 027 760 Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean announces consultations with employees and trade unions on voluntary redundancies. „We have strengthened discretionary spending, frozen spending on recruitment and external consultants, corporate and capital projects are suspended and our managers and employees are invited to make voluntary contributions. But there are other things to do. The schedule of changes that would be put to the vote of the members was published on an NTEU website called „savelatrobejobs“. This highly questionable campaign slogan was linked on the online ballot itself, along with the false claim that the union supports the changes. The NTEU invested considerable resources in telephone bank members and SMS members to vote „yes“, an effort that did not extend to the local organisation against non-union variations like the University of Melbourne. At the University of Melbourne, management is helping employees change the company agreement this week. This change would reduce wages by 2.2% – a weekly wage per year – and reduce entitlements to severance pay. The union opposes this variant and argues that management cannot be trusted and that „if the university is so serious about saving jobs, why are there no enforceable employment economy provisions in its proposed variant?“ This is exactly the kind of argument that NTEU Fightback activists have been making all the time. The Trobe U follows U Tas and UWA to secure a declination of company of employees and with strong majorities.
In all three cases, management worked with campus union leaders and first presented the proposal to its members. In contrast, the University of Melbourne and the University of Wollongong have decisively lost austerity proposals rejected by the unions. The agreement is one of the first long-term agreements to be fully concluded in this sector and applies until 30 June 2012. The agreement was reached through hard work and cooperative negotiations. The new agreement will offer La Trobe employees: as Alma Torlakovic, NTEU-Fightback activist and NTEU national councillor, said: „Cutting wages does not save jobs. University principals attacked employees in good times, and now they are attacking them in bad times. Support for these agreements indicates that workers are an easy target and that we will pay for a crisis that we did not provoke. Instead, their rejection nullifies the company agreements and tells management and the national and federal governments that they need to make up the shortfall elsewhere. „Latrobe City will become one of Australia`s top sports centres with an unprecedented investment from the Victorian government of $85 million with a significant investment in sports infrastructure in the Australian region. An online push survey on the agreement was submitted to members to give a fig leaf of the approval of the agreement. On Tuesday, June 2, members of the NTEU in La Trobe saw the details of the agreement and were informed by the Victorian office that they would be questioned less than 48 hours later, from Thursday to Saturday.
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