STUDENTS at Warrnambool’s Deakin University face interruptions to classes as early as May unless unions and university management can strike a deal over a pay row.
The union representing lecturers and teachers came away empty handed from Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) talks last week, warning half-day stoppages and bans on marking could hit campuses, including Warrnambool.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is pushing for a seven per cent pay rise over the next four years, but Deakin has so far refused to discuss the increase until the tailend of negotiations.
NTEU state secretary Colin Long said academic results had increased over the past four years but lecturers’ pay had not.
He said Deakin Uni-versity held the claim of being the most profitable university in the state making $60 million last year but had remained silent over the pay row.
“The view on the pay rise is that they want to leave it to the end of negotiations,” Mr Long said.
“Our plan is for a seven per cent rise over four years but that’s negotiable.”
The union leader warned Deakin could bare the brunt of a campaign similar to the one waged against the state government by the Australian Education Union (AEU) that has seen bans slapped on overtime and assignment marking.
“If there’s no progress at the next meeting we’ll proceed to a protected action ballot.”
Deakin Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Gray said the university hadn’t ruled out lifting pay but accused the union of jumping the gun.
“When Deakin has a better understanding of these claims and their likely costs, it can put a reasonable and fair pay proposal that is affordable and sustainable,” Professor Gray said. email@example.com