||Issue No. 167||21 February 2003|
Scales of Injustice
Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Locker Room
Who Let The Troops Out?
Wagga Wagga Calling
Ode to Johnny
Monk Puts IR in Test Tube
National Tertiary Education Union President Dr Carolyn Allport says that forcing academics to sign Australian Workplace Agreements in return for research funding makes a complete mockery of the idea of research grants being based on academic merit.
The Union's warning is in response to a report in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald that says as part of its higher education reform package, expected to be released in the next few months, the Government is planning to force academic staff to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement in return for government research funding.
"Linking research to individual contracts would be nothing but an underhand and tricky means of lowering the working conditions of Australian university staff," said Dr Allport. "Australian Workplace Agreements provide inferior conditions of employment for academic staff, precisely the reason why previous attempts by the government to introduce them in universities have failed".
"If it is true that this reform is on the table, not only will it create great confusion but it will increase the movement of researchers offshore, directly contradicting the Federal Government's stated aim of trying to attract back Australian researchers who are working overseas," said Dr Allport.
The Sydney Morning Herald also claims the Government is preparing to amend laws to make it a breach of the national interest for academic staff at the nation's 38 public universities to go on strike, by making universities suppliers of essential services under the Workplace Relations Act.
"Amending laws to make it a breach of the national interest for academic staff to strike would be an undemocratic and completely over the top response from the Government that will get little support from staff or students at Australian universities," said Dr Allport.
"If the Federal Government is planning to introduce these measures as part of its higher education reform package, due to be released in the next few months, it will be a recipe for disorder and confrontation in the higher education sector."
"The Government will put the NTEU in a position where it will have no choice but to exercise all the legal and industrial avenues available to it to fight the introduction of these measures."
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