“Turmoil, anxiety and distress” at Western Sydney U: union warns

Western Sydney University is, “in a state of turmoil, anxiety and distress,” says NTEU branch president David Burchell and comrade colleagues.

They refer to changes to the university’s administration now underway which effect hundreds of staff, with many fearing they will find jobs in the new restructure at a lower pay grade, if they are employed at all.

The union also claims management is going-slow in enterprise negotiations and attempting to break the solidarity of the National Tertiary Education Union and the public sector union on campus.

Dr Burchell points to a range of existing conditions said to be under threat, notably on academic workloads and limits to casualisation but also points to the need for job protection and payouts in the context of the current restructure.

Senior management seem entirely impervious to the damage they are causing to our beloved university. We need them to hear our anger and concerns as a matter of urgency,” he says.

Implementing a restructure long in planning at the same time enterprise bargaining is underway was always going to create problems for management. Union members will strike on Thursday morning.

However a university spokesperson responds that “like many universities in Australia, the university is working through a transformative change” and points to support for staff effected, including, not forcing staffing members to take lower-level positions but 18 months salary maintenance for any who do and a ban on external recruitment for professional staff jobs until year end.

“The university continues to bargain in good faith, and is working hard to finalise negotiations and come to agreement,” WSU says.



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