ASSOCIATION OF University Staff (AUS) members are meeting today to grind their elaborate wheel of democracy onwards towards an historic pay deal.
“An indicative vote” was held two weeks ago, where 96% of members supported proposals that would see union members receive salary increases of between 4% and 5.5% for general staff and between 6% and 7.5% for academic staff.
The indicative vote provided the mandate for today’s meetings, which Braithwaite says will confirm the terms of settlement. Following the meetings, a process of “formal ratification” of the proposals will take place via postal ballot. Braithwaite says the union is “pretty confident” that the proposals will pass. He points out that the proposed deal, if accepted, will see most university staff receive their biggest across-the-board salary movement in twenty years.
If the agreements are finally settled, further discussions will take place at each of the universities to discuss allocation issues, including proposals to review general staff salary structures. Another round of negotiations will commence in June next year.
AUS Secretary Helen Kelly says that she hopes next year’s round will yield national multi-employer collective agreements, bringing salaries into parity and eliminating the competition for staff between universities.