Hello, members and others!
I had an evening of inspiration last night, starting with a fantastic gig with the Solidarity Choir, singing our African songs at an exhibition opening in Newtown. Now those African people in their struggle against apartheid knew something about the power of a song... we'll try to get the choir along to our end-of-bargaining celebration party - hopefully very soon!
I followed that up with a Ryde-Epping Greens meeting, at which the group agreed to send a message of support to the NTEU Macquarie and UNSW Branches as we take our protected industrial action in pursuit of a better deal on pay, job security and union representation. There will also be a letter from the group to the MQ VC urging him to negotiate in good faith for an agreement that meets the standards set by 30 other universities in the sector.
And finally I made it to the last half-hour or so of Danny Spooner's gig/singing session - Danny is a singer from Victoria who has been visiting Sydney for the last few days. A highlight was Danny and Margaret singing John Warner's "Bring out the Banners" - if you were at the gathering outside E11A the other day you might have heard a couple of choruses from Mahesh and me - you can read the words and hear the tune at the Union Songs website: http://unionsong.com/u034.html
That's all for now - there will be more posts here later today as we firm up plans for next week and respond to members' questions about the industrial action - keep them coming!! We're now up to around 90 members of staff pledging to take part, and approximately 15000 results affected.
In solidarity (and in Solidarity Choir!)
PS It has been pointed out to me that the info on the exemptions form website for students may be a little ambiguous - we'll fix this up today - so just to reiterate our earlier advice: we cannot release "unofficial" final grades to students as they have no status until approved by Senate. We can, however, release assignment/assessment task marks as we would normally - there is no ban on either marking or providing feedback to students in the usual way. If you are stood down, however, it is up to you to decide whether to send out feedback etc if you have not already done this. The University cannot require you to do this unless it pays you, but I would imagine that most of us will provide the usual marks and feedback to students regardless of stand-downs or bans. I will certainly be doing this for my students.