Uni Canberra union calls for pandemic consultation

The National Tertiary Education Union is unhappy with pandemic protections in the proposed return to campus

Officials Craig Appelgate and Lachlan Clohesy say consultation is required under the ACT’s health and safety act because Omicron “has dramatically changed the public health situation.”

The university will start teaching February 7, “with a mix of face to face and on-line offerings.”  Vaccination is mandatory for people in “higher-risk” campus settings and encouraged for everybody. Face mask are required in-doors on campus.

But the union has questions and wants answers by tomorrow on a range of issues, including management’s capacity to supply high quality face masks and “urgent clarification”  on the university’s supply of rapid antigen tests and “how the university proposes to use them.”

This follows the NTEU”s move last week at Monash U for a halt to return to campus preparation “until genuine consultation has been carried out” (CMM January 28).

The Flinders U branch of the union also wants consultation on risk assessment however management there is engaging with staff on its proposal to make vaccination on campus compulsory, by presenting it as a variation to the enterprise agreement, which the workforce must approve (CMM January 24).