Here is some further information about the protected industrial action, in particular the withholding of student results.
Firstly, we know that there are more people willing to take part in the action than have informed us. This means that (contrary to Tim Sprague's claims), we are looking at a very effective action commencing between now and the middle of next week, depending on when results are requested in the various Departments. We will COLLECTIVELY be withholding AT LEAST 13,000 results - and that's just the numbers we know about from our survey.
Two key messages about the action:
MQ VC condemned by NSW Parliament
This has been the talk of the town today - but in case you missed it, the NSW Legislative Council yesterday unanimously passed a motion proposed by Dr John Kaye (Greens), condemning the VCs of both MQ and UNSW for their refusal to agree to working conditions that are now an industry standard, having been included in 30 enterprise agreements in other universities around the country. Of those yet to settle, MQ and UNSW are the only ones holding out against restoration of conditions we lost because of John Howard's HEWRRs and Workchoices - an IR regime voted out by Australians in 2007. You can read the motion and the NTEU's press release on our blog - enjoy!
Members who are notified formally by the University that they will not be paid until they lift the bans ("stood down") are immediately eligible for financial assistance ($200 per day) from the NTEU. The National Executive has approved the advance payment of a week's financial support (ie $1000) for staff who are stood down in this way. Please call or visit the NTEU office as soon as you receive any such notification from your supervisor or HR, so that we can check that the notification has been made appropriately and take down the information we need to process the financial support.
Donate at www.mqstaff.org/donate
This financial support is provided from the National NTEU Defence Fund, to which we have all contributed over the years with a small percentage of our union fees. Additional money may be forthcoming from the fighting fund set up to support UNSW and Macquarie for this specific action - any money donated by MQ staff will be distributed to MQ staff; similarly for UNSW; money donated by members of other branches will be distributed to MQ and UNSW staff according to need.
Next week's activities
As we implement the bans, we want to make sure that members don't become isolated or start to feel unsupported. So we've planned a few fun things to do next week, to bring us together for some mutual support and fine conversation! We're firming up ideas for each day, but these activities will probably include BBQs, a picnic on the lawn outside E11A (weather permitting), meetings to share information and maybe even a boules tournament or two. If you have any ideas to add do let us know!
As if we needed more proof that the University administration can't run a coherent and sound ballot process, academic members today received a notice reopening nominations for staff-elected members of University Council because of problems with determining voter eligibility (and these people think they can win a Fair Work case!) Of course, more cynical members might take the view that the University Management was unhappy with the nominations they received by the due date.* Anyway, if you have nominated, you will need to reconfirm your nomination asap - check the email that came today from Rima Myton. If you haven't nominated but were considering it - well, you've been given a second chance. Once nominations are finalised we will invite all union members who have nominated to come to a meeting to speak to their nomination so that members can be fully informed about voting for staff-elected Council members.
That's all for now. If you have any questions please email me or contact Cat at the Branch Office (she'll be back tomorrow) - ext 7643.
President NTEU MQ Branch
* It's hard to believe that anyone could be so cynical in these times of transparency, accountability and free-flowing debate... oh. That's right. They're censoring the VC's blog. Oh well.
Lecturer, Academic Development (Leadership and Management; Evaluation)
Learning and Teaching Centre
Macquarie University NSW 2109
+ 61 2 9850 9719