Statement from Vice-Chancellor

4 JUNE 2020

Statement from Vice-Chancellor

COVID-19 Job Protection Framework

The University Council has confirmed that the University will not participate in the proposed COVID-19 Job Protection Framework approach to enterprise agreement variations. While the National Executive of the National Tertiary Education Union engaged constructively and in good faith, the proposed deal was complex and required compromise not acceptable to the University.

In line with our Sustainable Futures program, the University is transforming to reshape and reposition in order to deliver excellence while ensuring our future is financially and academically sustainable. We aim to develop an operating model across our courses and campuses that is viable, market responsive and drives excellence. Similarly, we must ensure financial sustainability and a return to a balanced budget by the end of 2021 in order to continuing delivering advanced higher education and research opportunities for the people of regional Australia.

Our financial position and the impacts of COVID-19 means we need to resolve our structural problems. As we have noted previously, we regret this will result in job losses. While the 2019 Charles Sturt Annual Report, published 4 June 2020, shows a small surplus, we are projecting a significant deficit and revenue loss in 2020, primarily as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 which has exacerbated previous issues.

The restrictions that the NTEU insisted on in relation to forced redundancies were seen to create uncertainty compared to the known mechanisms of our existing Enterprise Agreement. The time to finalise drafting also meant the University had moved forward with the Sustainable Futures program in defining immediate actions and a structured process to reviewing organisational structure and course profile.

As the Prime Minister has spelled out, we are facing unprecedented challenges in the industrial space. As a sector and individually at Charles Sturt we will continue to engage in sector-wide discussions on the future of employment at Australian universities to ensure we can work collaboratively and in good faith to assist economic and social recovery post COVID-19.
Media Note:

Contact Jessica Mansour-Nahra on 0447 737 948 or

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