Vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman.
Vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman.

Uni staffs payrise nearly complete

ABOUT 1700 staff at CQUniversity could celebrate Christmas early with a 16% payrise offer close to being locked in.

Yesterday a union official said a new agreement, to be introduced from January 1, was “within a whisker” of being finalised.

NTEU CQU president Dr John Fitzsimmons has also praised the university’s new vice-chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman, saying he’s delivered “a four-and-a-half to five star performance” in providing a new direction for the university since his August arrival.

Professor Bowman is reportedly on a package worth about $450,000 a year – some $300,000 less than his predecessor annually and more in line with what other regional vice-chancellors earn.

The substantial pay deal for staff will see their salary move a lot closer to the industry benchmark.

They’re currently about 20% below the industry median.

Dr Fitzsimmons said the staff pay rise was part of a new deal which also included the removal of previous Work Choices restrictions, a commitment from the university to move away from short-term contracts towards ongoing jobs and an improved system to handle workplace disputes.

“It’s a very good agreement,” Dr Fitzsimmons said.

“I know the vice-chancellor wants to rectify the (pay) situation and this is a step in the right direction.”

Wages will increase annually during the life of the three-year agreement.

Dr Fitzsimmons said the university’s short-term future looked positive.

Earlier this year Queensland Treasury handed down a damning report into CQUniversity’s financial viability.

“That report basically put on the table some pretty hard facts,” Dr Fitzsimmons said.

“It said things needed to change... the new vice-chancellor has shown very clearly that he intends to introduce new programs and engage with the community.

“He has a very positive management style. The hardest critics to win over are the staff and he’s winning them over with his style.”

He said the union and management shared the same vision to make the university thrive.

The university contributes about $350 million annually to the region’s economy.

The university employs about 1700 staff, though not all of these are full-time employees.

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Angela Delves said the university was pleased to confirm the new agreement had been agreed upon in principle and that negotiations with the unions had been conducted in a positive and cooperative manner.

“This will give the university and its staff the best possible outcomes and allow the university to realise its strategic initiatives led by the vice-chancellor,” Professor Delves said.

“The future looks bright with all staff now able to move forward to work together to provide outstanding educational opportunities for the community of Central Queensland.”

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