University staff take action for a better education system
Thousands of National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at 16 universities around Australia (see attached list) will take industrial action today, Wednesday 16 September, by stopping work for 24 hours (except University of Tasmania, which will stop work for 4 hours).
“NTEU members at universities in all six Australian states are participating in stoppages in support of their collective bargaining claims for manageable workloads, increased job security, a fair wages deal and other improvements to conditions that are expected to deliver quality education outcomes,” NTEU General Secretary Grahame McCulloch said today.
In separate ballots recently conducted, over 80 per cent of voting members supported industrial campaigns to secure new collective bargaining agreements. Today's actions are in most cases the first stoppages in support of the bargaining claims after over 12 months of negotiations.
The 24 hour strike follows earlier industrial action throughout Victorian universities in May 2009, and recent strikes at the University of New England, Charles Sturt University and the University of Tasmania. Members at the University of Canberra, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Newcastle are about to commence ballots for protected industrial action in early October.
NTEU members have been negotiating a new collective agreement with each institution. The failure of managements to offer a fair deal, together with the recent stalling of negotiations, has resulted in these actions being taken.
“It is time for management to invest in quality education outcomes by ensuring improved staff:student ratios, more resources, improved conditions and a reduction in the casualisation of the sector through improved conditions and more secure jobs for casual staff,” Mr McCulloch said.
Planned industrial action at James Cook University has been cancelled after written confirmation of agreement to the Union’s major claims was provided late on Monday 14 September.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENTS:
Grahame McCulloch 03 9254 1910 or 0418 322 620
Michael Evans 0418 241 664