Cut casual teaching, says NTEU University of Sydney Branch
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Sydney University branch has called for the reduction of casual academic teaching at the University in its log of claims for a new enterprise bargaining. The NTEU fears the growing casualization of university teaching in Australia will undermine the quality of the country’s education.
The university should “reduce the proportion of face to face teaching hours performed by academic casuals,” reads the log of claims compiled by Michael Thomson, NTEU Sydney University branch President.
The document also demands “the creation of positions equal to 20% of the EFT for casual academics engaged in teaching at the university”, which will be “new continuing positions created over the period of the next agreement, to permanently replace and reduce casual academic teaching employment”.
"These new positions, known as 'scholarly teaching fellows', are an attempt by the NTEU to promote career development of casual staff and simultaneously to cut casual employment," Thomson said.
Casualization of university teaching has been rapidly growing in Australia. According to NTEU President Jeannie Rea, casuals undertake more than half of academic teaching in Australian universities now, as compared to only a tenth in 1990.
“This growth in casualization is the dirty secret of Australian higher education, which now threatens to undermine the quality of our university system,” Rea warned. “No matter how hard these casual staff work, and we know they are very committed, they cannot provide the same level of assistance to students as their full-time counterparts.”
The NTEU believes that high levels of casualization enable management to exploit the vulnerability of casuals to undermine their and other staff’s salaries and welfare.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Thomson, NTEU Sydney University Branch President: 0418 450 812; 02 8627 8248; Fax: 02 9351 7573 email@example.com