NTEU media release ‘Survival stall’ asks Swinburne University community to donate goods to help tide over late paid casual academics
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at Swinburne University have today launched a ‘survival stall’ for casual academics working at the institution and are asking staff to donate goods to be made into survival hampers for their casual colleagues who continue to be paid late.
“Casual academics at Swinburne are only now being paid for work done in the first semester and this finishes at the end of next week,” said Josh Cullinan, NTEU Industrial Officer.
“Despite constant encouragement from NTEU’s Swinburne Branch, the University has again failed to commit to pay hundreds of casual academics on time in second semester, which starts late July.”
“This means that they and their families will again be living off credit and loans from family and friends, and will struggle to pay utility bills, put food on the table, and meet transport and parking costs required for them to get to work.”
“For the next few days we will be asking the Swinburne community to donate non-perishable food items and household goods to be made into survival hampers to help casual academics make it through the winter months.”
“Ongoing academics and general staff at Swinburne support the campaign. Many are volunteering time over their lunch break to help casual academics staff the stall and encourage their co-workers to make donations.”
“We can't stand by and let our casual colleagues suffer like this,” said Peter Harkness, President of the NTEU Swinburne Branch. “Once they start eroding the rights of one group of staff, everyone is at risk.”
“Casual academics are discriminated against on the basis of being in insecure work and are predominantly young and female,” said Cullinan.”
“Underpayment or failure to pay fortnightly is in breach of the Enterprise Agreement, and is just one of several breaches currently relating to casual employees at Swinburne.”
“The donations stall will help people in the short term but, ultimately, this discrimination has to stop.”
The donations stall will be open on weekdays for a fortnight in the Atrium (between the Library and the BA building) on the Hawthorn campus between 11:30am and 1:30pm starting Monday 14 May. Donations are urgently required and all volunteers are welcome.
For information and comment
Josh Cullinan, NTEU Industrial Officer, Swinburne University: 0416 241 763
Charlie Saunders, NTEU Organiser, Swinburne University: 0431 399 110
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Australian Catholic University
Division Industrial Officer
Branch Industrial Organiser