University of Wollongong staff will soon know the results of the survey which would determine whether they take a pay cut, and what level of job losses to expect.
The survey closed on Friday, with staff asked to choose between two options which would include a pay cut but fewer jobs being lost, or a third option which incuded no pay cut but likely to result in more job losses.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) had recommended members vote against pay cuts, advising these options did not come with guarantees for job retention. Last week staff resoundingly rejected the pay cut options, forcing a rethink from management.
UOW revised its options and will exempt staff earning less than $70,000 a year from pay cuts. A spokesman said the survey results would be known next week.
In a rare move, the UOW public relations department offered up some less-than-good news - a credit rating tremor which bolstered its position on the need for cuts.
Standard and Poors (S&P) maintained UOW's AA credit rating but had revised its outlook to "negative". UOW chief operating officer Damien Israel said this showed management must act quickly to maintain its standing.
"S&P's outlook warning adds to the case for immediate action to be taken by UOW to restore the institution to a financially sustainable position," Mr Israel said.
The shift was caused by the pandemic's effect in drying up UOW's revenue from international students.
NSW Labor's shadow minister for rural and regional jobs Yasmin Catley demanded Deputy Premier John Barilaro guarantee there would be no campus closures or further staff cuts.
Our university sector is the lifeblood of many regional townsYasmin Catley
"Our university sector is the lifeblood of many regional towns," Ms Catley said. "Our regional universities directly employ thousands of people across the state. They indirectly support many more, with their staff and students living, working and spending money in regional towns."
There was no shift forthcoming from Mr Barilaro.
"The NSW Government recently announced it would guarantee up to $750 million in commercial loans to help universities recover from the impact of COVID-19," a spokesman said.
"This loan guarantee scheme builds on the extension of payroll tax deferrals to universities worth approximately $100 million."
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