The ever-energetic National Tertiary Education Union has a guide for campus activists to lobby local MPs. And a succinct and sensible document it is too – explaining to members why they should keep it short, the sort of messages that will work and the outcomes they should aim for.
This is very bad news indeed for Coalition MPs or senators who intend to stick to the party line but it should cheer up the office of Education Minister Simon Birmingham.
The NTEU’s “$100 000 degrees” social-media campaign against Christopher Pyne’s plan to deregulate course costs was a brilliant bit of work, getting a message to the families of prospective students that the government would slug their kids with huge study bills. The whole story it wasn’t but if there was one individual action that knocked off the Pyne plan this was it.
But Senator Birmingham’s freeze on funds and cap on places is not as easily demonised in social media spots. The minister’s message that universities are awash with dosh has also had a media impact. And so, it seems that NTEU strategists do not expect to win this one with a single campaign and are thinking globally but acting locally, campaigning campus by campus.