Dear Colleagues

 
Following on from my email on Monday, I now wish to advise you that the University has today made a salary offer to the unions party to the enterprise bargaining negotiations.
 
The offer is as follows and is in addition to the 2.5% increase paid to staff from 1 January 2014:
 
            1 January 2015              3%
 
            1 January 2016              3%
 
            1 January 2017              3%
 
            1 January 2018              3%
 
Including the 2.5% increase paid from January this year, this is a total salary increase of 14.5%, being a compounded increase of 15.4 %.
 
This salary offer is comparable to and competitive with offers made and agreed within the sector. It provides certainty to both staff and to the University for the next five years.
 
This commitment to salary increases into 2018, is beyond what most universities have offered to date, particularly in the face of an uncertain outcome from the upcoming May Federal Government budget and signs of economic downturn in some sectors of our economy.   However, it is a commitment I want to make to UQ staff, to provide you with certainty, to acknowledge your contribution and excellence and to allow the University to continue to plan and invest for our ongoing success within a financially challenging context.
 
Our position throughout the negotiations has been that the University’s salary offer forms part of an overall package and is informed by the University’s capacity to introduce some changes to the current Agreement. The salary offer was made to the union negotiators contingent upon agreement being reached on a number of the University’s key bargaining claims.  
 
In particular, agreement has not been reached on our claims in relation to an increase in the annual contact hours of TESOL Language Teachers, changes to provisions in relation to organisational change, to arrangements for the planning and taking of leave and for greater flexibility for staff in the taking of and payment for long service leave.  A summary of claims not agreed is available at http://www.hr.uq.edu.au/eb-outstanding-matters
 
Unfortunately, we have not yet reached final agreement with the union negotiators although they indicated that the salary offer is close to what they are seeking.  The changes the University is seeking are reasonable and sensible.  They reflect our need to adapt to changes within the sector and within our operating environment which simply require us to be more competitive and responsive.  They also reflect our desire to meet the expectations of staff for greater flexibility in managing busy lives.  The changes sought are supported by clear commitments by the University and guaranteed rights for staff.  They are changes which I believe would be supported by the majority of us.
 
We will continue to bargain in good faith with the unions’ bargaining representatives.  However, I am conscious of the need to ensure that all of our staff have an equal and direct voice in this process and will consider the University’s position if agreement cannot be reached in the near future.
 
Regards
Peter
 
Professor Peter Høj  
Vice-Chancellor and President
The University of Queensland
Brisbane  Qld  4072