There were minor but significant differences between the two draft treaties. While the academic agreement was very similar to that of the previous EBA, the agreement for administrative staff set extremely strict conditions for additional basic salary increases that staff receive each year that they stay at university. In mid-2018, after 18 months of tense fighting, the university finally signed a single agreement covering both academic and administrative staff. As a general rule, the negotiation process would begin with university and union negotiators meeting to share a “list of demands” containing the most important elements they wish to address in the agreement. However, at the first meeting in February 2017, the university had already drawn up two draft contracts: one for academic staff and one for administrators. In a string of email tests between the university`s negotiator, Sean Hogan, and National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) general secretary Grahame McCulloch, McCulloch argued that the divided agreement was an attempt to “strengthen your negotiating position by sharing staff.” In its draft contract, the university proposed that supplements for all middle-level administrators be conditional on the officer receiving an “exceptional” rating – the highest possible – during its annual performance review. In the meantime, senior administrative staff “would not apply at all to incremental progression.” It was practically a permanent wage freeze. In a national tertiary sector worth more than $40 billion a year, the University of Melbourne is leading the pack. It is the best Australian university in the international rankings for much of the last ten years. But this success has a price. A pamphlet on campus highlights the issue of the remuneration of the university`s many casual academics. And she wonders why an institution that depends on both its academic and administrative collaborators is trying to turn against each other? Why is it that a university with nearly 17,000 employees offers only a quarter of them to job security? “What you`re not doing,” Davis added, “is charging the institution with expensive permanent employees, because you know it`s going to be a big problem later on.” Mark Considine, the current propst, who served on the three-member GDP steering committee, confirmed in an interview that the reinvestment of savings in university funds was the main reason why GDP did not fail.

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