SSC supressing only union members' pay

Posted By TEU on Sep 24, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 32

TEU national president Tom Ryan and national secretary Sharn Riggs met with the State Services Commission last Friday to discuss its involvement in employment negotiations in the tertiary education sector.

Ms Riggs says that the union raised with the commission an ongoing concern that, after employers in institutes of technology and polytechnics have been reaching agreements with the TEU that they believe are fair and fiscally sustainable, it appears that SSC staff then have been advising chief executives that the proposed settlements are too high and don’t include productivity gains to justify any pay increases.

“The impression we have is that chief executives are being told that there will be consequences if they settle on terms that the SSC doesn’t ‘approve’ of. We want the commission to confirm if this is happening and if so what the threatened consequences are.”

“It seems that employers are being told that they must demonstrate productivity and flexibility gains to justify any pay increase at all, ” says Ms Riggs. “But it’s very unclear what constitutes a productivity gain in a polytechnic that has an EFTS cap and is facing funding cuts from government.”

Ms Riggs says that the union has a substantive concern that some ITPs have given non-union members significantly higher pay rises than they are offering to union members on the collective agreement.”  Employers appear to have offered these higher pay rates without any recourse to, or sanction from the commission.

“The commission needs to explain this apparent inconsistency in its approach,” concludes Ms Riggs.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Minister announces youth guarantee providers
  2. ITP dispute enters second week
  3. Universities to try negotiating one-by-one
  4. Teacher educators meet
  5. Tolley writes Letterman script
  6. No to national university standards

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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