New NTEU president’s choice for top official faces challenge

Gabe Gooding has an election to fight. The WA state secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union is on a ticket for the federal leadership, with Alison Barnes (Macquarie U) for president and Matthew McGowan, now deputy national secretary, running to replace retiring (in both senses) nat sec Grahame McCulloch. As of Friday Dr Barnes and Mr McGowan were elected unopposed but Ms Gooding was not. The Australian Electoral Commission, overseeing the elections, has not announced candidates but word is that UTS campus president Vince Caughley is running, with the support of NSW division secretary Michael Thomson. While Mr Caughley is not talking to CMM, it seems the NSW hard left is unhappy with Ms Gooding’s handling of the enterprise bargaining campaign at Murdoch U. Then again, so is Murdoch U. “Short of installing a soviet it is hard to see how Gabe could have bargained tougher,” a long-time NTEU observer says. Others suggest Mr Caughley’s challenge reflects unhappiness in the state branch, with NSW state-leadership signalling a split with Dr Barnes.

In other NTEU national results, the three candidates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander national councillor positions; Sharlene Leroy-Dyer (University of Newcastle), Terry Mason (Western Sydney University)  and Christoper Davis (University of Adelaide), were elected unopposed.

Other NTEU outcomes include Tasmanian division secretary Kelvin Michael being returned unopposed, with no contested elections for other positions.  Branch presidents at Flinders U (Andrew Miller), UniAdelaide (Nick Warner) and Patrick O’Sullivan (UniSA) did not face challenge. There were no contested polls in the Northern Territory Division with Louisa Manning-Watson (secretary) and Darius Pfitzner (president) returned.

In Queensland state secretary Michael McNally and University of Queensland branch  president Andrew Bonnell were returned unopposed. But while there will be contested elections at other universities all will be quiet at Bond U, where nobody nominated for any position.

In WA there were more positions with no nominations than there will be contested elections, notably at Murdoch U – where nobody wants to be branch president.



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