Monash U management already has one blue over teaching and staffing in the arts faculty, with students and staff upset about the size of in-person classes and the conditions and availability of work for sessional teachers. Protests have occurred for a month but it seems management and the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union are talking and will talk some more. Whether this will be enough to placate students is another issue. “It’s interaction with teachers that makes an education valuable. … We’re asking the university to give us that contact with an educator that is, we’re pretty sure, kind of the whole point of being at university,” a student petition states (CMM March 16)
Now there is another blue over evening lectures at the Clayton campus. The university is implementing a “targetted-scheduling framework” which specifies any lecture that is repeated must have a run after 6pm, “to provide flexibility and choice to students.” This can be a problem for staff with family responsibilities and there is concern at Clayton that it is being imposed on staff with no regard for their needs. The NTEU is saying the university is obliged to consult over the change and that moves to impose the policy will put it in breach of the exacerbation provisions of the enterprise agreement. (The union also proposes that if the university fails to consult again it should donate $100k to an independent charity – no harm in asking).