||Issue No. 205||28 November 2003|
Australia Deserves Better
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
Unions: Joel's Law
National Focus: Spring Carnival
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
Industrial: The Price of War
Economics: Who's Got What
History: Containing Discontent
Review: An Honourable Wally
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A Tale Of Three Cities
Sydney Uni Strikes At Feds
The action comes as pressure grows on the Federal Government to abandon plans to hold university funding hostage to radical workplace reforms. Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has insisted that universities offer Australian Workplace Agreements to staff.
"This strike has a lot of support says Mike Thompson, president of the Sydney University Branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). "Our boss is using the federal Government as an excuse to hide and run away."
"The Nelson agenda is a full on ideological attack. We want to keep higher education accessible to all."
Sydney University management was set to sign off on a new agreement months ago but reneged at the eleventh hour, leaving university staff "frustrated" by the intransigence at Australia's oldest tertiary institution.
Thomson thanked other unionists for their support of previous actions by the NTEU and asked for unionists to support Wednesday's action.
The Labor Council is supporting the action by the NTEU.
Call For Senators To Reject "Radical" Reforms
Meanwhile the NTEU has stepped up pressure on cross bench senators, calling upon them to reject the Nelson reforms.
A package agreed on by the Australian Vice Chancellors Committee and Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson maintains the radical industrial relations component.
"The Government wants to tell universities how they should employ their staff and on what conditions," says NTEU National President Dr Carolyn Allport. "This is in direct contravention of the institutional autonomy of universities and continues to be the strongest example of excessive Government interference. AWAs do not give choice to staff, they undermine their core employment conditions. The only reason for insisting on AWAs is to offer salaries and conditions below existing standards in our collective agreements"
"The Independent Senators should reject these measures and support the inclusion of institutional autonomy and academic freedom as core objects of any new Act".
The NTEU says that the package should also be rejected because it fails to provide sustainable funding for universities in the future.
Dr Allport called for further amendments to prevent HECS fee increases and to remove the contentious student learning entitlement.
"I have been encouraged by the level of interest that the Independent Senators have on these matters and urge them to have further discussions next week with all stakeholders in the sector before making any final decisions," says Dr Allport.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|