Western Sydney U “verges on chaos” says union leader

“There is an absurd pretence that everything is really normal”

Veteran WSU academic and union leader David Burchell warns that for a year the university “has been in a state of continual turmoil verging on chaos.”

“Many hundreds of professional staff now find that their existing jobs have vanished, and in many cases they are being asked to locate to different positions in different parts of the new structure, often at a lower HEW level – or else face retrenchment. Workloads have been increasing everywhere as staff cover for departed colleagues,” Dr Burchell and National Tertiary Education Union colleagues tell staff.

Union members will strike on Wednesday over what the campus NTEU leadership says is senior management turning “a deaf ear” to “all of our major claims.”

“Instead, they seem overwhelmingly focussed on presentation and appearance – upon lovingly-scripted videos and painfully-orchestrated staff forums, in which all of the major issues are ignored and there is an absurd pretence that everything is really normal, and that it is simply business as usual. This pretence has gone on far too long, and the entire university community is suffering as a result.”

Last week the university proposed a pay rise which it described as the “final offer the university is proposing in our current financial environment.” However a spokeswoman said management will continue to “bargain in good faith with the unions.” (CMM September 14)


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