The EU and the management of the University of Melbourne have reached an agreement on the working conditions of a new enterprise agreement, including a pay rise for compromises. It is now time to broaden the understanding of academic freedom and institutionally support its status. Any attempt to remove the principle of academic freedom from agreements concerning personnel enterprises should be interpreted as a dilution of its protection. But it seems unlikely that this will happen, despite the union`s assertions to do so. NTEU activist and NTEU national councillor Alma Torlakovic said: “Wage cuts do not save jobs. The management of the university attacked the employees in the good times, and now they are attacking them in the wrong. The support of these agreements indicates that workers are an easy target and that we will pay for a crisis that we have not caused. They reject them by protecting enterprise agreements and protecting enterprise agreements and by telling the federal state and the federal states that they must make up for the deficit elsewhere. At the University of Melbourne, management is questioning the change to the enterprise agreement for employees this week.
This change would reduce wages by 2.2% – one weekly allowance per year – and reduce severance pay. The union opposes this variant and asserts that management cannot be trusted and that “if the university is so serious about job salvage, why are there no enforceable provisions for the job economy in its proposed variant?” These are exactly the arguments that NTEU Fightback activists have put forward all the time. -The University of New South Wales recognizes academic freedom in its code of conduct and protects freedom of thought in its agreement on university staff (paragraph 23). Some University of Melbourne employees are going on strike today. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) says the strike covers two issues, one of which is academic freedom. The other is management`s attempt to develop two separate enterprise agreements, one for academic staff and one for professional staff. The union argues that the university is trying to remove from the agreement the current protection of academic and intellectual freedom. If that is the case, it might be the first time that a strike has taken place at an Australian university because of this particular issue. Branch President Steve Adams says the union has hebuffed a management push for separate agreements for academic and professional staff and stopped “the removal of academic freedom from the agreement, (management has long argued the university explicitly protects free speech). At The University of Western Sydney, the union entered into a pay reduction agreement with management, again without a member mandate. An hour earlier, a branch meeting was convened before a copy of the agreement was given to members.
The industry voted for it. The desired result was achieved, so that no consultation of the members was carried out. Supporters of the framework blamed the job losses on those who were able to oppose the framework.