Macquarie Uni seeks help to deal with widespread marking bans
Management at Macquarie University has applied to Fair Work Australia (F37) to have marking bans involving up to 100 academics suspended for a period of one month.
The University lodged its application on Friday and a hearing has been set for today at 2pm in Sydney.
After weeks of publicly understating the likely impact of the bans and the level of anger across the University, the Management continues to pursue a industrial path likely to prolong the dispute and anger staff into further action.
Macquarie NTEU Branch President, Cathy Rytmeister, has said that the NTEU and staff across the campus have taken every effort to prevent students being disadvantaged by the bans, which is the substance of the Management's application to suspend them.
Macquarie Undergraduate Student Representative, Mark Cachia says that many students clearly understand that the NTEU’s industrial action will lead to a better deal for students.
“I have already had one lecturer of mine withhold results and this does not worry me in the slightest. I do not support the universities action against the withholding of results by staff. In fact, I wholeheartedly support my lecturer and all other university academics in their actions,” said Mark.
At a well-attended meeting last Thursday, at least 150 staff met to express their frustrations with Management and were encouraged by a range of speakers including NSW Greens MLC John Kaye and NTEU President from Sydney University, Michael Thomson.
"Most people on campus don't really understand why Management is taking the drastic actions they are. What the staff are proposing in terms of job security and pay does not seem to be unreasonable. Most Universities in Australia have already restored the conditions we’re seeking at Macquarie", said Ms Rytmeister.
University staff have also been confronted with shock budget cuts and job losses in an otherwise financially buoyant Faculty of Science. Well-attended staff meetings to discuss problems with University Management have been held in other Faculties including Arts.
“Staff members can't figure out why job cuts are necessary when the University has a such a huge surplus. Student numbers are rising, staff productivity is higher than ever, so why the cuts?" Ms Rytmeister said.
In other news, the Australian Sociological Association made a statement in support of academics stood down at UNSW and Macquarie:
“That this meeting of sociologists express our support for colleagues who have been stood down in the current industrial dispute. We call on the University management to negotiate in good faith with the staff and their Union. We urge members in other Universities to contribute to support our colleagues, via the NTEU fighting fund.”
A university-wide staff meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 1pm in Theatre1 of Building X5Bï»¿
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