You will have received information from the Director of Human Resources earlier today outlining the outcome of the staff vote on the variation to the Enterprise Agreement to defer by one year the scheduled two per cent pay rises due in July 2020 and July 2021.
You will be aware that the majority of votes supported the proposed variation to the Enterprise Agreement. It was a very close outcome, but that speaks to the valid arguments on both sides. I committed to accepting the verdict of the staff who chose to vote and I will do that, as I would have done had the result gone the other way.
I recognise the sacrifice that this pay rise deferral - if it is approved by the Fair Work Commission - represents. Many staff reading this message will have voted against it, and I respect and understand that decision. Be assured that this deferred pay increase will be paid next year, and that where you are eligible for a salary increment this year, you will receive it. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please remember the ANU Staff Urgent Relief Fund may be able to help.
Should the Commission endorse the deferral, we will be able to save approximately $6.75 million this year and $13.5 million over 12 months. This saving directly translates into being able to keep more jobs, and we will transparently demonstrate how every dollar will be used to protect jobs. I acknowledge the selflessness and community spirit that led so many staff to support the deferral.
While today's decision will help us retain more jobs into the future, it does not resolve all the issues we face. We still need to reduce our costs further. We are going to do as much as possible through voluntary separations, and we will reduce or defer spending wherever we can. I commit to work with Union representatives and leaders, as I know they share my goal of achieving that objective with the minimum hardship on our staff.
To stay informed about our financial health strategy, I encourage you all to attend my staff forums on Friday 3 July and Friday 10 July. This is an opportunity for you to share your ideas and feedback to help address our financial situation. After all, keeping ANU financially sustainable is a whole-of-University effort.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who participated in this vote - 61% of eligible staff voted - and for taking the time to make an informed decision. I know this has been a tough call to make for many colleagues, but the past week has shown again how thoughtful our community is, and how much members of ANU care for each other and the University. We will let you all know the outcome of the Fair Work Commission's consideration as soon as we can.