On June 04, 22 Academics and Emeriti sent an open letter to Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, the Chancellor of the University of Sydney. In it they protest the job cuts at the University of Sydney, reminding the Chancellor of the damage this process has done both to staff and to the reputation of the University. They say, '[m]orale in many departments is extremely low because staff members are aware that valued colleagues have been unfairly targeted. Everyone knows that these staff were fully “pulling their weight,” and that what happened to them could have happened to any academic staff member....'
Their letter begins like this:
We, the undersigned, senior academic staff members and emeriti, write to appeal for your urgent intervention to prevent injustice to the twenty-three colleagues who received redundancy notices on Monday 7 May.
We consider that a profoundly unfair process of retrenchment has been implemented, with arbitrary and inequitable impact, and with grave damage both to staff morale and to the University’s public and professional reputation. We think that some of this damage can be counteracted, and some injustice rectified, but urgent action is required to do this.
To read the rest of the letter, please download the PDF below.
Here is the pdf of an article by Primrose Riordan about the redundancies at the University of Sydney. It was published in the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday, 09 May.
The University of Sydney Senate meets next on Monday, May 07. This is also the day that University management will be issuing redundancy notices.
The NTEU will be joining USyd students in lobbying the Senate meeting and protesting the job cuts. There will be a short Rally in the Main Quad, followed by a march to the Senate meeting at the Darlington Centre.
Come along and let the Senate know that staff and students say No Job Cuts at Sydney Uni.
STAFF AND STUDENT RALLY AND MARCH
Where: Meet at the Main Quad, then march to the Senate meeting at the Darlington Centre
When: Monday, May 07
Time: 1 pm -
On Wednesday, May 02 Polling Booths will be at Jane Foss Russell, outside Fisher and on Eastern Ave.
They will be open until 6 pm tonight.
On Tuesday, 01 May and Wednesday, 02 May the SRC and SUPRA are holding a ballot of all staff and students about the job cuts. The vote is an opportunity for the entire University community to ask whose interests Management represent, if not the interests of students and staff? Bring your friends, colleagues and encourage your students to cast a vote for fair work and a fair education.
Where: Booths will be at Jane Foss Russell, Fisher and Manning
When: Tuesday, 01 May and Wednesday, 02 May
Time: 8 am – 6 pm.
In order to vote you must bring along a current student or staff card.
If you have some time, and would like to help, the organisers are keen for people to help. Check out either the Nteu USyd or the Save Usyd Jobs profile pages on Facebook and sign up if you are interested.
For those of you going through the work group meetings at the moment, here is some information about the process and about the kinds of questions you might want to ask in the meetings.
The NTEU took our dispute with the University of Sydney to Fair Work Australia in March. The full document is available on our website. We have managed to delay implementation of the Change Plan, including delaying the issuing of redundancy notices and we have successfully argued for increased consultation. More than this the University has had to acknowledge that they have failed to conduct this process correctly. Here is the time line arising from that decision, outlining the consultation process and the dates by which each step must be completed.
Time line arising from FWA:
23 March University Management will notify staff who have already accepted VR that they may withdraw this acceptance
30 March University Management will notify staff no longer on the list that they are off of the list.
University Management will notify staff whose positions are still under consideration for VR or transfer to teaching focused positions of this fact.
University Management (Deans, HoDs) will then consult with staff whose positions are directly affected and their local work groups.
27 April Consultation process complete.
30 April Deans must report to the Provost.
4 May Final change plan with outcome of consultations and proposed actions including redeployment.
7 May Final decisions in relation to individual staff are made and formal notice of redundancies or teaching-focused offers are issued.
Staff given redundancies will have 4 weeks to request a formal review/appeal of the decision and can ask for all information used by the University to make its determination of redundancy. The NTEU will provide representation to each member who appeals the redundancy decision.
8 August Redundancies are scheduled to occur.
Please note that no final decisions about redundancies have yet been made by the University.
Individual consultation and local workplace consultation will take place between 30 March and 27 April 2012. We must use the ‘local’ work area meetings to build the case against the redundancies.
Below is a copy of the Settlement reached in Fair Work Australia between the NTEU and the University of Sydney.
The settlement begins "The University has agreed with the NTEU to further consultation as part of the change management process by taking the following steps…”
These steps include, delaying the implementation of the process, and consulting with all affected staff members, including those being made redundant or being reclassified, and their colleagues at the local level. The University has also agreed to provide change proposals for all General Staff areas where there are or may be proposed changes in "work activities or services, hours of operation or working hours, organisational structure and work processes, technological change and the redeployment of staff."
The NTEU will be providing support to members for the local consultation meetings.
Some of the staff at the University of Sydney have organised a petition calling on the University Senate to intervene to protect jobs at the University.
The University of Sydney Senate meets next Monday. And it is the intention of the petition organisers, that the petition be presented to Senate Fellows for that meeting.
If you are concerned about the job cuts at Sydney University, if you think that they will negatively impact the student experience, increase workloads and threaten the University's reputation please sign the petition: Urge the University of Sydney Senate to Stop the "Change Plan" and Job Cuts
Feel free to circulate this petition through your networks and among the academic community generally.