Skip to content
Education Training, Industrial Relations

Fears university eyeing unprecedented tactics to drive down pay and conditions

National Tertiary Education Union 2 mins read

The National Tertiary Education Union has expressed serious concerns the University of Newcastle is preparing to game new workplace laws to drive down pay and conditions.

The University of Newcastle has applied for the Fair Work Commission to deal with a bargaining dispute after NTEU members rejected management’s settlement offer. 

The scope of the university’s application is broad, and includes key workplace rights of University staff.

The NTEU fears this is proof management wants to use new intractable bargaining processes to gut staff working conditions. These new laws come into effect from June 6.


NTEU members at the University of Newcastle will strike for 24 hours on Thursday when there will be a community rally in Newcastle CBD.


To access an intractable bargaining determination, disputes must have been previously referred to the Commission.


The Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA) gave advice on how employers can access intractable bargaining processes in a strategy roadmap leaked in March.  


University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Alex Zelinsky sits on the executive of AHEIA, which highlights intractable bargaining disputes as a way to “redress poor clauses”.


NTEU General Secretary Damien Cahill said:


“Universities that pursue unprecedented anti-worker tactics in an attempt to cut pay and gut conditions will meet strong resistance.


“Pay and conditions being decided through arbitration will likely leave staff worse off than an agreement between the NTEU and management.


“Universities that find common ground with the NTEU always reach deals which benefit staff, students and the institution.


“Instead, the University of Newcastle is determined to undermine pay and conditions by using the bosses’ association’s disgraceful industrial game plan. It’s little surprise the Vice-Chancellor sits on AHEIA’s executive committee.


“University of Newcastle’s last attempt to sideline the union from bargaining led to a humiliating defeat when staff overwhelmingly voted against a substandard pay deal in December.


“That vote sent a loud and clear message to management that staff want the union to negotiate a fair outcome with management. But they have ignored that message and appear hellbent on using every last tactic to avoid enterprise bargaining.


“The NTEU is drawing a line in the sand. We will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to use workplace laws to sideline workers.”

Contact details:

Matt Coughlan 0400 561 480 /

More from this category

  • Education Training, Immigration
  • 20/06/2024
  • 12:09
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

International Student Caps Need To Be Introduced In a Consistent & Transparent Fashion

Should the Australian Government move forward with its troubled plan to introduce international student caps, the caps should be applied transparently and agnostic to provider type. That’s the advice pgiven to the Australian Government by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the skills training, higher education, and international education sectors. “As a matter of principle, ITECA is opposed to the Australian Government placing caps on international student enrolment numbers of students at tertiary education institutions. That said, if the Australian Government is to move forward with its troubled plan, it’s imperative that…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training, Indigenous
  • 20/06/2024
  • 09:44
Charles Darwin University

CDU partners with NAAJA to deliver True Justice Program

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Law School is partnering with theNorth Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)to provide students with a unique glimpse into the legal…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training, Immigration
  • 20/06/2024
  • 09:00

Skills shortage solution already here with 620,000 hidden workers ready to be activated

Media Release The key to easing Australia’s skills shortages could be closer to home than anticipated, with new research commissioned by non-profitSSI showing more…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.