||Issue No. 262||06 May 2005|
Rights and Wrongs
Interview: Fortress NSW
Unions: Fashions Afield
Industrial: Pay Dirt
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
History: Big Day Out
International: Making History
Economics: The Fear Factor
Review: The Robots Revolt
Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The Locker Room
Feds in the Dock
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has flagged formal complaints to the UN and International Labour Organisation (ILO) about Canberra's prescription for driving unions off university campuses.
Federal secretary, Grahame McCullough, says the Howard Government is breaching international agreements that Australia has signed off on.
Canberra has announced it will strip universities of $280 million in funding if they don't adopt the Coalition's hardline industrial relations agenda.
Specifically, they must introduce non-union AWAs to campuses, and block unions from any negotiations where their presence is not formally requested by individual staff members.
McCullough says members will back the legal strategy with a "significant increase in industrial action", building to a national day of protest on June 28.
He says the forced introduction of AWAs appeared to breach the ILO convention on the right to bargain collectively, while UNESCO's instrument on the rights of teaching personnel, contained provisions about university independence and autonomy.
The Australian Vice Chancellors Committee said universities were uncertain about what the federal government was demanding.
McCullough said Government appeared to want thousands of finalised contracts "torn up" and started again.
Meanwhile, the PSA says the changes point out the weakness in government's AWA sales pitch.
"What they have been unable to do by persuasion they are now trying by coercion. They are eliminating choice", says Mr Cahill.
"Their long term aim is to reduce labour costs through reduced wages and lesser conditions.
Cahill said the changes, announced by Ministers Kevin Andrews and Brendan Nelson, would not improve universities but would further accelerate Australia's brain drain.
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