The workers not united …

There’s a new voice for uni staff 

A new university group is calling for a national campaign to maintain HE funding. The National Higher Education Action Network, describes itself as a “group of rank and file National Tertiary Education Union members working at many universities across Australia.” It has convened a national staff assembly on August 24 to “consider a motion opposing the government’s latest defunding measures and call for the properly supported equitable tertiary education system that society needs.”

This establishes a national policy context for continuing campus-based oppositions to cuts at individual universities, many of which have also attacked NTEU leaders and officials.

Half a dozen individual universities, with more to come, have adopted a job protection framework designed by four vice chancellors, the federal leadership of the NTEU and management representative Australian Higher Education Industrial Association.  This accord trades temporary cuts to staff conditions and halts on pay rises in return for management guaranteeing to protect specific numbers of jobs.

But almost all staff votes so far were bitterly contested on campuses, generally under the NTEU Fightback banner, “a group of university workers and unionists fighting for our jobs, pay and conditions in the Australian higher education sector.”


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