Teachers at the UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND who walked off the job in March are threatening to strike again unless compromise can be made in ongoing enterprise bargaining negotiations.
PHILLIP WELLS reports.
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While classes may have returned to normal at the UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND following teacher strikes on March the Eleventh, enterprise bargaining negotiations continue with no end in sight.
After fresh talks last Friday, the UQ branch President of the NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION, ANDREW BONNELL, concedes little ground has been made and that more strikes could well be on the way.
“The last meeting was somewhat disappointing. We thought we made a number of compromises, but there wasn’t really much reciprocation from management, so I’ve just come from a members meeting today where they’ve instructed the bargaining team to take industrial action again if the next round of talks continues to be unsuccessful.”
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The union is dissatisfied that the university enrolled eight-thousand more students in the last five years, yet staff numbers have remained the same and pay rates have not kept up with that of other top universities in the country.
They’re also concerned increased casualization of the work force is leaving many with uncertain futures and few career opportunities.
Despite the divide between management and staff, MR BONNELL is hopeful matters can be resolved without further disruptions to students.
“We’re willing to meet as often, as long as possible. I think we’ve signalled that we’re willing to make reasonable concessions, so it shouldn’t be too hard to sort of, you know, bridge the gap that still exists if there’s any good will on the part of management.”
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All will be revealed when negotiations resume on April the forth.
PHILIP WELLS reporting.
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