NTEU Welcomes NSW Parliamentary intervention in Industrial Dispute
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) welcomes the intervention of the NSW Parliament in the protracted industrial disputes occurring at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Macquarie University. The NSW Parliament yesterday unanimously passed a motion, moved by the Greens, calling on the Universities to return to negotiations to settle a Collective Agreement consistent with the overwhelming majority of Universities across the country.
“We are very heartened that there is broad support across the political spectrum for the concerns we have been raising in our attempts to conclude agreements at these two Universities,” Matthew McGowan, National Assistant Secretary of the NTEU, said today
“These are not just industrial disputes, but go to the heart of what it means to be a University. Both these institutions have well over half their academic and general staff on insecure employment, and the current trends are for this to increase.”
“Academic freedom cannot be sustained while staff feel their employment is at the whim of an administration looking to keep political and business interests happy. We want our academic staff to give frank and fearless advice in their roles and not be subject to arbitrary dismissal.”
The Federal Government has already agreed that the principle of academic freedom will be introduced into the object of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, and now all sides of politics in New South Wales have supported these principles in this resolution.
The Union called on the Universities to sit down and negotiate agreements consistent with the standards established in the vast majority of universities across the Australian higher education sector and supported unanimously by the New South Wales Legislative Council.
At Macquarie, over half of all general staff (55%) are hourly paid casuals, and of the rest, the number on fixed term contracts has more than doubled in the last four years, to 26%.
At UNSW, nearly half of all general staff jobs are casual hourly paid, and 30% of non-casual employment is on fixed term contracts.
Sarah Gregson, NTEU UNSW Branch President, email@example.com, 0421 641 439
Cathy Rymeister, NTEU Macquarie Branch President, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0466 144 384
Genevieve Kelly, NTEU NSW Division Secretary, email@example.com, 0424 465 839
Matthew McGowan, NTEU National Assistant Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0417 054 110