Union warning: staff carry burden of virus response

University jobs are at risk and staff under “acute pressure” as managements scramble to deal with the student-absence impact of the corona virus

The National Tertiary Education Union is in contact with vice chancellors, calling on them to protect staff as the crisis continues.

“A number of universities have sought to prioritise on-line delivery as a way of coping with students’ inability to arrive on campus at the normal start of semester. The tight timelines have placed relevant staff and NTEU members under acute pressure and stress, with ballooning workloads and hours,” national president Alison Barnes warns VCs.

Dr Barnes also speak-up for casual staff who fear a decline in student numbers may mean, “losing hours and pay in the event of changes to semester timetables, deferments, and disruptions to normal university operations.”

She asks universities to, “consider arrangements to ensure casual staff who would normally expect to return to work at the beginning of semester are not deprived of income and/or hours of paid work.”