||Issue No. 198||03 October 2003|
The Monk Off Our Back
Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Unions: National Focus
Industrial: Fools Gold
Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
History: The Gong Show
Politics: The Hawke Legacy
International: Sick Nation
Economics: Closed Minds
Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
Poetry: One Size Fits All
The Locker Room
Unis Walk Over Federal Bullying
Academic and non teaching staff will strike at Sydney University on October 7 in the lead up to a national NTEU stoppage at all 38 of Australia’s public universities on October 16.
"This is bullying by the Federal Government to withhold funding while they get the university sector to do their dirty work," says Mark Dolahenty of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). "Parents shouldn't have to take out a second mortgage to give their kids a first degree.
Dolahenty said the reforms would lead to an "explosion in casual teaching, a decline in standards and research, and an increase in the number of people getting into uni based on how much money they've got".
Staff at the University of Sydney will strike on October 7 over Sydney University's last minute decision to renege on signing a new workplace agreement.
"Staff are angry about the University's decision to renege on signing the agreement, and today's stop work will be calling on management to sign it immediately," said Michael Thomson, Acting NTEU Branch President at Sydney University.
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union, the main union covering non-teaching university staff, will also strike at Sydney University on October 7.
"We expect Sydney University to reject the Government's attempt to bludgeon their industrial agenda into universities, if they don't then we will have no choice but to strike on October 7." Says David Carey, CPSU Federal Secretary
"Our members at the University of Sydney are frustrated at the University's willingness to comply with the government's requirements for the extra money," says Carey. "In recent years this Government has brought Universities to its knees by slashing government funding for badly needed programs"
CPSU Members at Sydney University are not alone.
"Our members across the country will strike on October 16, 2003 if
Universities don't reject this Government's attempt at industrial blackmail," says Carey.
"While the NTEU does not welcome industrial strife, the Sydney University stop work is only the opening round unless the Government abandons its interventionist plans for universities." said Grahame McCulloch NTEU General Secretary.
"University staff have done the hard yards in maintaining the quality of our public higher education system amid a sharp decline in government funding. This has come at a cost - sky rocketing student to staff ratios, increasing casualisation, job insecurity, increasing hours of work and mounting stress levels for staff."
"While today's decision is not taken lightly, the strike signals our determination to maintain not only the pay and working conditions of staff, but to preserve the quality of education our members provide to students," said McCulloch.
"The depth of feeling against these proposed changes among our members is overwhelming and the Union expects that our university system will effectively shut down for the duration of this nationwide action."
The Federal Government's Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements link $404 million worth of funding to the implementation of extreme anti worker industrial reforms.
University staff have called on incoming Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, to abandon the divisive policy.
Giving evidence before a Senate enquiry the deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Western Australia, Alan Robson, said there would be a net fall of 8000 places as a result of the so-called reforms.
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