"... I looked up from my research and teaching, and realized that the educational institution I’d joined so joyfully had become a severely hierarchical corporation that I hadn’t a hope of approaching in a democratic way. The style of management of our university – management defined, it seems to me, solely as the managing of systems, structures, finances and building, never people - has robbed the colleagues I’ve been proud to be amongst, colleagues chosen for their brilliant scholarship and eagerness to share it, of any hope of democratic governance, even of the courage to speak out."
Here is Kurt Iveson talking about casualiation and why the NTEU's academic workforce claims in the current round of Enterprise Bargaining are so important. He talks about how those claims will address the explosion of precarious and casual teaching in the University and invest in the next generations of academics. High quality education relies on high quality working conditions for staff.
The elections for Staff Fellows of Senate open today. The NTEU believes it is important to support staff elected Fellows of Senate who have a good understanding of the issues facing University staff and the direction of the University. We are urging staff to vote for the following active, prominent NTEU members.
It is critically important that we have advocates for staff, the University and higher education as our representatives on the Senate.
"For me a central question that we all at this university need to answer, in a way that is persuasive to a reasonable proportion of those working at the coal-face, is: what does it mean to be a university, and not a brewery? What kinds of relationships and lines of communication should we have, especially horizontally, but also vertically? What does it actually mean for managers to ‘respect’ the staff they manage, what rules should they be abiding by? There are many people in senior management positions at this University who are acutely aware of the importance of these questions, and have arrived at a considered approach to how they should be answered. In my view these are the ‘best practice’ managers at the University. This round of Enterprise Agreement negotiations, including the industrial action, will have achieved an enormously positive effect if it generates an impetus towards not only answering these questions, but developing the policies, practices and institutional forms that give those answers a firm shape in the real world of university
The Enterprise Bargaining Campaign at Sydney University and the Industrial Action that members took in March has made the Times Higher Education Supplement this week.
Nick Reimer from the Branch Committee is quoted in the article talking about the campaign. "Describing the agreement as “an unapologetic charter for a new era of managerial radicalism”, [Reimer] said that the dispute was not principally about pay and conditions but rather “core intellectual and educational values”. It had “taken on the contours of an all-out ideological battle between different visions of the university and its relation to other parts of society, particularly the economy.”
Raewyn Connell's open letter is also
Many of you will have read Professor Raewyn Connell's powerful letter to Dr Michael Spence the Vice Chancellor at the University of Sydney, or will have seen the video made by Sydney University Staff. Together these are an eloquent call for a more collegial approach to running our institutions of Higher Education and a reminder of the critical place these institutions have in Australian society and so the necessity to protect them.
Professor Connell will be presenting a lecture entitled "Love, Fear, and Learning in the Market University" on Wednesday April 24 at 6:30 in the Eastern Avenue Auditorium at the University of Sydney.
We encourage everyone to attend.