New NACC members
New members have recently been appointed to the NTEU’s National Academic Casuals Committee (NACC). Membership of the Committee is drawn from casual academic NTEU members from across the country.
NACC will continue to provide feedback on the implementation of the new provisions in our Enterprise Agreements as well as working on the development of new claims for the next round of enterprise bargaining. We welcome our new - and returning - members of the NACC!
University of Sydney & Macquarie University
Sharni is a researcher at the Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney and a PhD candidate at Macquarie University. Previously a researcher at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW, she has also worked as a tutor, shelf-stacker, guest lecturer and research assistant at UWS, USYD, and Macquarie.
During a marking strike against unfair treatment of casuals in her department, Sharni was inspired to join the Union. She was a delegate to the NTEU National Casuals’ Conference in 2007 which established some of the key casual claims won in the last round of bargaining.
Sharni is keen to ensure that casuals will benefit from what has been won and to continue the fight for decent work and job security.
University of Western Sydney
Chris has been teaching as a casual academic in the College of Business at UWS for five years and also tutors at the Badanami Centre at the University.
Chris is on the UWS NTEU Branch Committee and represented the interests of casuals in the last round of enterprise bargaining which, though protracted, won significant gains for casuals. Halfway through the life of the Agreement many of the gains, such as the Casuals Working Party, Career Development Fellowships and teaching focused positions are yet to be implemented.
Chris is looking forward to contributing to a national focus and strategy by the NTEU to reduce the extreme precariousness of academic casual work in the next round of enterprise bargaining.
Neville is a casual academic staff member working in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University. He has been a member of the NTEU’s National Academic Casuals Committee since 2009 and is also a member of the NTEU Deakin Branch Committee.
Having worked for 25 years as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Monash University, in 1999 Neville decided to retire and has worked at Deakin University as a casual ever since!
Neville’s motivation for being a member of the Committee was to work to see casuals get a better deal. Part of this commitment has included Neville’s membership of the NTEU enterprise bargaining team where he helped to negotiate a new set of principles for the fair payment of marking as part of the latest Deakin Enterprise Agreement.
One of the great challenges in being a casual is the difficulty in networking with others. Neville sees great potential for the Union to play a role in overcoming the sense of isolation that many casuals can feel.
Alissa Macoun Taylor
University of Queensland
Since 2007, Alissa has worked as a tutor and research assistant in the School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland. She has been an active Union delegate as well as the casual staff representative on the NTEU UQ Branch Committee.
Alissa is also finishing her PhD thesis on settler discourses about Aboriginality in justification of the Northern Territory intervention.
Casuals are often overlooked and exploited, and casual work is inherently insecure. One of Alissa’s main objectives is to ensure that casuals are paid for all the work that is done, to have the resources and facilities needed to perform at a high level, as well as pathways to more secure employment.
Clare’s first teaching position was as a contract teacher. She quickly realised that contract teaching was cheap for the employer, insecure for her and prevented learning continuity with the students that she taught. It was then that Clare commenced work with the Australian Education Union to at best remove, and at least reform and reduce, all forms of insecure work.
Clare has been employed in the university sector for five years, enduring the same working conditions as when she started teaching. Clare sees great benefit in the new Enterprise Agreement at Flinders University as it provides for separate payment for marking and the opportunity for conversion to sessional fixed term positions.
This is, however, far from the end of the story. There is now a need for strong and nationally-backed organisation by casual, sessional and permanent staff members working through the NTEU to see that the new conditions in the Agreement are implemented at the workplace.
University of Canberra
Catherine is a Pinterrairer woman from Tasmania and has worked in the university sector for nearly nine years – and has been a member of the NTEU for all of that time.
For the last three and a half years, Catherine has been at the University of Canberra and is currently undertaking a PhD in Pain Management.
Catherine joined the NTEU because she believes that staff have rights and need a collective voice to defend them. Catherine’s decision to be a member of the National Academic Casuals Committee is due to her commitment to ensuring that casual staff members are not forgotten within the University and that it is through the collective strength of the Union that casual staff can work together to pursue better career pathways and professional development opportunities.
University of Tasmania
Dr Joan Whittier has been employed as a contract or casual lecturer and tutor in the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania since mid-2005. She previously was a full-time Senior Lecturer in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland.
At both institutions she has taught health science students aspects of Human Biology, including gross and microscopic anatomy and physiology. Her research interests are in the areas of reproductive biology and endocrine biology of native animals.
She lives on a small farm with her family in rural Tasmania.