University Of Wollongong (Academic Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2019

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Last year alone, the university spent more than $175 million on real estate, facilities and equipment, while it spent only $30 million on consulting and other contracts. The survey, which invited staff to indicate their preferences based on three options available in order to achieve the employment savings necessary to put UOW back in a sustainable financial position, showed that a majority of participants wanted to maintain all of the current employment conditions under the university`s two enterprise agreements. Although the University of Wollongong (UoW) administration has already saved $33 million, it is aiming for an additional $57 million in savings. With salaries that account for 40% of the university`s total expenses, the savings, according to management, must be realized by reducing employee salaries. UoW`s 2019 annual report states that the university “has received, for a period of 39 years, a PPP (public-private partnership) with the private sector with respect to the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of new and existing student housing.” Two of the three options proposed to achieve these savings were for different enterprise agreements, reducing wages between 5 and 10% for 18 months, between 7.5% and 15% for 12 months, depending on the level of wages, and reducing working time to a level of wage reduction. The third option did not change current conditions of employment. University of Wollongong overwhelmingly rejected three options proposed by the university`s management, including wage cuts and job losses to cope with the dramatic drop in international student incomes. More than 550 employees attended an online meeting Friday and said the university should instead consider other options, including using the university`s reserves. On Thursday, management outlined three options to close the $90 million gap the university faces, according to its own ID cards, with a budget of nearly $700 million. UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said he was pleased that staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new agreement. The university suffered a massive drop in revenues after a drop in international student enrolment, losing about $90 million in annual revenues. “The university is in productive talks and is in the process of being held with its three banks to increase the institutions that we believe will meet our short-term financing needs,” said La Trobe Vice-Chancellor John Dewar. The management of the University of Wollongong (UOW) is asking union representatives to support an amendment to the enterprise agreement to minimise job losses as soon as the results of the recent staff survey are published.

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