Language studies cut, academic staff to be sacked in radical restructure of humanities and social sciences at La Trobe University
“Staff are extremely concerned about the changes proposed for the Faculty, as presented to the NTEU at a meeting with management yesterday,” said Virginia Mansel Lees, President, NTEU La Trobe University Branch.
The change proposal includes reducing the number of schools from three to two, cutting subjects from 913 to 400, including outsourcing Indonesian and reducing staff in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.
Management are proposing to sack 45 academic staff.
“I am worried about the impact these staff cutbacks will have on workloads for remaining staff.”
“There is a proposal to increase the number of graduate students who tutor in the Faculty which will lead to casualisation and consequent impacts upon teaching quality.’”
“The restructure proposal is based on a conservative budget projection for 2013, on the basis of no growth in the first year student intake,” said Dr Jack Reynolds, Secretary of NTEU La Trobe University Branch.
“Given that there were first year student over enrolments this year of 111% we believe staff losses of this magnitude are not necessary.”
“The Union is concerned about the fact that the so-called consultation period falls almost entirely in semester break, when most students are not on campus and many staff are away at conferences or doing research,” said Mansel Lees
“Students and staff deserve an opportunity to properly consider the proposal and have input into any final decision.”
“Steps have already been taken to implement changes to at least one program ahead of formal consultation, namely Indonesian, where arrangements have been entered into with the University of New England to take over teaching.”
“The University is also making Outplacement Services available in the middle of the consultation period.’
“These pre-emptive moves cast doubt on the genuineness of the consultation process.”
For further information and comment:
Virginia Mansel Lees: President, NTEU La Trobe University Branch: 0438 282 146
Dr Jack Reynolds , Secretary, NTEU Latrobe Branch: 9479 3605