NTEU Members unanimously call Vice-Chancellor to account
Macquarie University staff met at lunch yesterday to hear from union officials and to plan further action after the University Management dramatically escalated its dispute over enterprise bargaining and has refused to negotiate with the NTEU on the key issues of job security and pay for staff. At least 40 staff have been stood down without pay for withholding around 15,000 students marks.
NSW Greens MLC John Kaye and University of Sydney National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Branch President, Michael Thompson addressed the meeting, carrying a message of support from NSW parliamentarians and union representatives across the country to Macquarie staff affected by the University Management's actions.
Macquarie University staff are angered by the management's hardline industrial tactics and seek an immediate return to good faith bargaining.
The following motion was unanimously passed at the meeting, attended by over 150 NTEU members:
“This meeting of the NTEU Macquarie Branch condemns the University Management for their failure to negotiate in good faith on the key issues of job security and pay.
We call upon the Vice-Chancellor to negotiate directly, in good faith, with the NTEU.
We deplore the continued misuse of MQ Announcements to broadcast misleading statements about the NTEU’s industrial action and bargaining claims, without a right of reply, and demand a cessation of this practice.
We reaffirm our determination to maintain our industrial action as a demonstration of our commitment to our bargaining claims.”
Branch President, Cathy Rytmeister, says that NTEU members at Macquarie are united in the industrial action, involving both the academic and professional staff of the University.
“Over half of all academics at the University are NTEU members, and a majority of those seem to either be taking industrial action or supporting those who are taking the action. We’ve received thousands of dollars in donations, but if we are going to outlast management, we’ll need more so that our members can still enjoy Christmas with their families,” Ms Rytmeister said.
“Like John Kaye said at the meeting, the fight at Macquarie and UNSW at this time is about busting Unions and is essentially a struggle for the future of the tertiary sector: quality education and research over corporatisation and profit,”
“The truth is that staff in universities do have strong collegial ties which won’t be smashed. The NTEU is here to make sure of that, and we’re here for the long haul,” said Ms Rytmeister.
Members at Macquarie Uni and UNSW have together produced a YouTube clip to educate the wider public about their current campaigns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOTou7PJj3I