NTEU National Office
Posts tagged with NSW
We need your help to fight the massive cuts proposed to university education.
In April, the Federal Government announced $2.3 billion in cuts from the higher education sector to help fund reforms to ...
Happy May Day—join us on Sunday to highlight union achievements and protest cuts to university fundingHappy May Day to all NTEU members! May Day is a celebration of the achievements and continuing struggles of the Union movement. On this day, and in the days following, Unionists from all sectors will come together to show solidarity with each other and the campaigns we’re involved in.
For the NTEU, this means working with other unionists to highlight our Uni Cuts, Dumb Cuts campaign.
As you know, NTEU is campaigning vigorously against cuts to university funding announced by the federal government. Today, full-page advertisements have appeared in major newspapers signed by over 1000 university professors and associate professors supporting our campaign.
In NSW, NTEU has been working with the broader movement to revitalise May Day and emphasise the important role unions play in the community. It has also been a fantastic opportunity for us to discuss university funding with our colleagues from other unions.
We’d like to invite all NTEU members to join us at the Sydney May Day rally on Sunday.
We’ll be meeting at the top of Martin Place, under the NTEU flags, at 11.15. At 11.30 we will join everyone outside Parliament House, and take part in the March at 12 noon.
This is an opportunity to have a fun day in the city with your family, support the NTEU funding cuts campaign, and show solidarity with other unions whose support we will need in the coming period.
Improvements to funding and equity for primary and secondary school education are essential. These should not be achieved by slashing the resources available for a quality university education.
After the Government stripped $1 billion out of universities in the mid-year economic statement, the first major statement of the new Higher Education Minister Craig Emerson was to make a further $2.3 billion cuts to the sector. Around $1.3 billion of this will be borne by students – with the rest to come from an “efficiency dividend” of 2 per cent on payments to universities.
Let us be very clear: this $900 million reduction is not an “efficiency dividend”. The federal government is not our shareholder and our institutions do not have profits to distribute to them or anyone else. This change is a cut to university core funding.
Justine is an NTEU member at Macquarie University who took up the invitation to union members to participate in the NTEU sponsored Sydney Alliance training in May last year.
Sydney Alliance is a coalition of civil society groups wishing to make positive change in our community. The training provides skills development in community activism, and was attended by a broad range of community representatives, including members of unions, non-government organisations and religious groups.
After attending a further planning meeting held at the NTEU office, Justine joined the core team of Sydney Alliance activists in the East and Inner South of Sydney, planning to develop and launch a local group of community campaigners. The group goal is to plan a community campaign, and to win it within a year.
It was recently reported that 26 community organisations in NSW—including the Welfare Rights Centre, Lifeline (Sydney and Sutherland), Redfern Legal Centre’s financial counselling service, the Gay and Lesbian Counselling service and Twenty10—are at risk of having their funding cut by the NSW Government.
As a former community sector worker and then lecturer in social sciences, I appreciate how important these organisations are to the communities they assist and represent. They provide vital services to people in need, often on a tight budget.
The potential loss of funding, a result of new efficiency measures set by the NSW government, would have a devastating effect on these services, their staff and the community.
I would encourage all NTEU members to sign this petition calling on the O’Farrell government to protect community services funding, which was created by NTEU Sydney Branch member Megan.
We value the work of our delegates and recognise the vital role they play in our union, which is why we endeavour to ensure our delegates and activists feel trained, confident and supported in their work.
The ACTU has been developing a new online system for delegate training, which was launched at ACTU Congress this morning. Based on our recent work with delegates, NTEU NSW Division was chosen to help trial these modules. Delegates Sue and Ben took part in the training and provided feedback.
As a union leader I think this is a great initiative. Online training is not a replacement for face-to-face training, but it does offer another way for unions to better support delegates in their role.
NTEU NSW Division views delegate development and support as a key priority, which is why we have launched a new handbook and quarterly publication for delegates this year. We have also developed introductory training sessions for delegates that are regularly held in the NSW Division Office.
Later this week, we will be launching a new section on our website that provides information about how NTEU members can get involved in union activities.
With the help of our members, activists and delegates we hope to build the NTEU and provide members with the best possible representation at work.
It has been reported this week that nearly 20,000 new primary and secondary teachers will need to be employed over the next five years to replace staff reaching retirement.
This comes as proposed NSW government reforms will hand control of staffing to local principals, allowing them to replace long-serving, permanent teachers with casual and short-term arrangements.
NSW Teachers Federation President, Maurie Mulheron, is concerned recent graduates will be exploited to achieve a cheaper workforce. He said:
“What we will have is a totally deregulated staffing structure, with an increasing number of temporary positions, no incremental pay scale and no guaranteed executive structure."
''The department and the minister see this as a golden time. They can exploit the fact there are a lot of young people coming in and a cheaper workforce. But they can also change the culture by putting them on short-term or casual arrangements. We're extremely worried about the future of the profession.''
The attacks facing NSW teachers are similar to those faced by higher education staff. Our sector has already seen a dramatic increase in precarious employment, with as many as 77,000 staff in Australian universities employed as casuals. Large-scale casualisation has begun to undermine the sustainability of the academic profession in Australia.
David Robinson, head of our sister union in Canada (CAUT), delivered an interesting talk at Trades Hall last week. We co-hosted the event with Catalyst, a progressive union research and policy group ...•