Dear Colleagues

 
I would like to update you on the current negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement.
 
We have now been in negotiations for well over a year with representatives of three unions.  Whilst significant progress has been made, agreement has not been reached on a number of matters.  
 
Whilst I do not want to take away from the progress made in recent months, the process has become increasingly frustrating for many of us.  
 
It is acknowledged that the unions are pursuing claims of importance to them.  However, many of their claims are being pursued nationally across the sector regardless of each institution’s context and circumstances.  Union membership at UQ is around 10 per cent of our continuing and fixed-term staff.  
 
I am focused on giving all staff the opportunity to consider a new Agreement including a salary offer in the near future.  The University’s salary offer will form part of an overall package of salary increases and conditions for staff and will be informed by the University’s capacity to introduce some changes to the current Agreement. 
 
I believe the changes that the University is seeking are reasonable, measured and sensible and would be supported by the great majority of us. A summary of the outstanding matters sought by the University is available at http://www.hr.uq.edu.au/eb-outstanding-matters
 
Related to the current bargaining process, some members of one of the unions party to bargaining, the NTEU, recently took industrial action.  Whilst this is a fundamental right, the behaviour toward staff and students of some persons on the picket line was clearly regrettable and totally unacceptable. The University has written separately to the NTEU on this matter and I hope that we can now move beyond that.
 
It goes without saying that our standing as one of the world’s top 100 universities is due to the excellence of our staff. Whilst a new Enterprise Agreement must be supportive of the University’s strategic direction and be financially sustainable, an important part of this is that our working conditions and pay continue to attract, retain and reward staff. 
 
I hope to be in a position to advise you of a salary and conditions offer in the near future.
 
Regards
 
Peter
 
 
Professor Peter Høj  
Vice-Chancellor and President
The University of Queensland
Brisbane  Qld  4072