- The Guardian
- Issue #2068
Queen’s College, University of Melbourne. Photo: Donaldytong (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Melbourne University’s Student Union has given its full support to the strike action by National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members, commenced on Monday 28th August. University staff are demanding: a fair pay rise, no forced redundancies, and 80 per cent secure work.
Wage theft, massive casualisation, and job insecurity for university staff affect students too in the form of distracted teachers who rush from short-term contract to short-term contract, and often prepare for classes on the fly, as well as assessing with their minds on their precarious situation. Today’s students are often tomorrow’s university ‘precariat’, working as sessional teaching staff as they move through university.
NTEU members at Swinburne university have struck too, in response to university management’s proposal to scrap more than 140 rights and conditions from Swinburne’s enterprise agreement, including removing caps on unsafe workloads, limiting academic freedom, reducing protections against bullying and erasing the path for casual staff to convert to permanent roles. Last month, more than 300 Swinburne staff made a vote of no confidence in Vice Chancellor Pascale Quester.
Union members at Monash University, La Trobe University, Victoria University, and RMIT are also opposing slow or stalled enterprise bargaining.