Union protests under its ?trees of knowledge

REJECTION from Central Queensland University took over the mood at a National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU) rally yesterday. Seeing NTEU members standing under gum trees at the gate to the university's Yaamba Road entrance, took Member for Capricornia, Kir-sten Livermore, back to the days sheep shearers gathered to strike for 40-hour days.

"The Federal Government is taking us back to the days of the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine,'' she said.

After several submissions and an offer to pay for the use of the university's facilities, CQU refused to let the NTEU hold its rally on campus.

A university spokesperson said the CQU would allow enterprise bargaining talks and negotiations at the university, however any union activity that went beyond that could compromise CQU funding from the Commonwealth Government.

Howard Guille, Queensland divisional secretary for the NTEU, told the rally of about 80 to 100 university staff that no other university in Australia had refused the union use of meeting rooms.

Mr Guille said the 18-month long EBA negotiation was primarily stuck on a pay offer by the university for a 10% pay rise over three years, 5% below offers made by comparable universities to their staff.

The university said it had in-creased its offer to 12% which is subject to future budgets.



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