Assistant professors at the University of Canberra have lodged a workplace health and safety notification over terms of their employment. According to the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, “psycho-social risk factors” are associated with a scheme which gives them seven years to produce a tenure-winning research record.
The assistant prof scheme isn’t just unpopular among incumbents. The union has made it an enterprise bargaining issue and in October, 30 or so UniCanberra professor and ASPROs wrote to Vice Chancellor Deep Saini warning the scheme, “causes undue stress and anxiety for many assistant professors, due to the uncertainty about the outcome following a lengthy period of contingent employment,” (CMM October 19 2018).
In December Professor Saini announced a review of the scheme, although he added he could see “no compelling reason to abandon it.”