Victoria University Told: Hold Off on Job Cuts
Victoria University should heed calls from the Victorian Premier and the Deputy Prime Minister to hold off on job cuts during the economic downturn.
Yesterday, Victorian Premier John Brumby urged employers to “as long as you can go through this, hold staff and hold jobs”. Last month Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia’s focus should be on “protecting jobs as the full aftermath of the global financial crisis is felt”.
“The union at Victoria University is ready to sit down with the Vice Chancellor and talk through a way to protect jobs and finalise a collective agreement,” said Matthew McGowan, Victorian Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union.
“The university must listen to the Premier and Deputy Prime Minister and hold onto its staff,” he said. “Plans for forced redundancies are just not on.”
“The University's retrenchment plans were made last year before the global financial crisis hit Australia. Universities should be investing in more staff as the demand for higher education increases during hard economic times.”
“Job cuts are unnecessary and the continued speculation around them is only going to cause uncertainty and grief, amongst staff and students.”
“It is in the interests of VU students who face one of the worst staff-to-student ratios in Australia, for university management to negotiate with the NTEU for a collective agreement.”
Mr McGowan added: “Negotiating at this important time could also see a resolution to three weeks of strikes. We are willing to work out with the Vice Chancellor a way to avoid retrenchments.”