Long-time University of Wollongong College teacher Jann Roberts didn't expect to have to get down on her hands and knees to ask for a pay rise.
But that's exactly what she had to do on Wednesday after security guards locked the doors and refused to pass on a letter and resolution document to UOW Global Enterprises' offices.
This "frustrated" Ms Roberts and fellow National Tertiary Education Union delegates and members, who have been negotiating with UOWGE management since September 2018.
Staff are "dismayed" at the current pay offer from management, they say would see their wages stall or even fall behind the rising cost of living.
Marching through campus chanting such slogans as "College teachers need their pay, secure jobs the union way", union members are also campaigning to address the level of insecure work at the College.
But it all came unstuck when they tried to hand deliver a union members' resolution to the UOWGE Executive Offices.
Ms Roberts did manage somehow to shove the staff letter through the locked doors.
"We feel the action by UOWGE management today is a disgrace," a NTEU representative said.
"The direction by management to post security guards at the doors….is simply awful management behavior. This is not how workers in this country, or any country should be treated."
The direction by management to post security guards at the doors….is simply awful management behavior. This is not how workers in this country, or any country should be treated.NTEU spokesman
Ms Roberts said the many teachers who had been stuck on casual or short-term sessional contracts, were struggling financially the most.
"We have been told recently by executive management that occasional bonuses and staff extras like ‘free massages’ are reward for our professional teaching," she said.
"But we know massage therapy, however nice that may be, doesn’t pay the rent and an occasional bonus isn’t a fair pay rise that we can all build our household budgets around, particular for many of our great colleagues who have limited job security."
A spokesman said UOW College would not conduct its enterprise agreement negotiations via the media.
"UOW College will continue to engage in good faith bargaining and work constructively to achieve an agreement," he said.
UOW NTEU members employed at UOW College have called on UOW Enterprises managing director Marisa Mastroianni to direct management to support four claims.
They included a 3.5 per cent pay rise per year for three years and provide an offer to further progress discussions around the union's secure work claims.
Steps to prepare for a Protected Action Ballot at UOW College will be taken if the four claims were not finalised by March 31.